George Zens, proprietor of the terrific regional newspaper Sustainable Times, does not like the new Middleton Sonic Drive-In, which at times has had customers' cars backed up along University Avenue and into the adjoining neighborhood. Zens went into full rant mode:
Sonic, of course, is an anachronism, a dinosaur, in fact, a symbol of much that is wrong with the way we do things. Its business model is to sell junk food to people who are too lazy to get out of their cars: it’s either drive-thru or drive-in.
I have to admit, I was secretly amused to see the three first commandments of our modern society so blatantly united in one single location:
1) Eat junk food, lots of it; it’s cheap and has all the food groups the average American wants: salt, sugar, fat.
2) Let’s not move more than we have to; drive everywhere; don’t get out of the car unless we really, really have to go make room for more junk food.
3) Let the car engine idle while we fatten up; gas is cheap again anyway, and isn’t that why our soldiers die in the Middle East: to protect our oil supplies, so we can waste gasoline here? And let’s not worry about air pollution: with that way of life, we won’t live long enough to see its consequences. Our children might. Unless they sit in the car with us getting schooled in the same way of life.
You gotta admit, Zens has a point, especially when you consider all the great locally-owned alternatives to the Oklahoma-based Sonic. Zens just doesn't complain; he offers three alternate commandments:
2) Get out of the car and move.
3) Shut off the engine.
It’s better for our health, our environment and our wallets.
No argument with that.
(No, I haven't tried their famous cherry limeade yet. It's just Sprite, lime juice, cherries and cherry flavor; 340 cal for large and 458 cal for the "Route 44" size.)
(Yes, this franchise is owned by one of the guys that ran the late lamented Mad Dogs Chicago-Style Eatery whose dogs Paul graded with a B- and happily ate. Can't imagine Paul will approve of Sonic's dogs, which are billed as chili cheese Coneys.)
- Barry Orton