For those without the luck to live in western Canada, know that you have missed the celebrations that accompanied Humpty's Restaurants 25th anniversary. Prizes ranged from a Vegas vacation to a VHS cassette of a '70s movie. Which '70s movie? I guess that would depend on what the franchise owner found in the bargain bin of Blockbuster that week.
Humpty's is a Denny's-style restaurant with an egg fixation and the rapidly ageing slogan "It's All Good". And since it's the only thing within decent winter walking distance of my office (discounting the doughnut shop with the anemic subs and the Burger King) I find myself there more often than I would like to admit, going over the menu of "over 160 breakfast-related food items" in search of something that actually tastes good. This has led me to some strange places.
By far the strangest-sounding item is the Fruity Iced Oats, which is actually a harmless dish of oatmeal with vanilla ice cream and your choice of fruit. Slightly less harmless is the Rodeo Chicken, which is two chicken breasts covered in cheddar cheese and barbeque sauce - a kind of barbecue chicken burger that has bravely left behind its bun. For a couple of months the rodeo chicken was advertised on the marquee: "Rodeo Chicken Without The Rodeo Smell". There you are. Go to Humpty's, where you can eat chicken that doesn't reek of manure. Or you can have "desserts that make your teeth scream," which doesn't seem like much of a recommendation to me.
But the truth is that you don't go to Humpty's for the food; you go there for the action figures. For a couple of Canadian dollars you can buy little moulded plastic Smurf-sized figurines, based on Humpty's suspiciously Marioesque video game Scramble. You can purchase Humpty, their weird little egg-shaped mascot with a psychotic smile and tight green pants; Hamlet, his little skateboarding sunglasses-wearing buddy (why are Ray-Bans still a shorthand for youthful cool?); Shelly, an egg with blonde hair, a green dress and no discernible bustline; Banger the wiener dog; and my all time favourite, the ultimate avatar of corporate marketing slack - EVIL WIZARD. His name has been changed to "The Wizard," but don't let that fool you. His name is Evil Wizard. The poor bastard's parents doomed him from the start with a name like that. "What will you be when you grow up, Evil Wizard?" "I think I'll join the corporate marketing team at Humpty's".
If you're not lucky enough to live in western Canada, you can still look at a couple of Humpty's coupons. I prefer the one that pronounces "Pork Is A Healthy Choice". And check out that Jeep Liberty!
For those who know me: You may appear in these pages someday. If you have a nickname that you prefer, let me know. Otherwise you'll end up being called "Nasty Little Drunk," "Social Climber" or "faux-Aryan Putz". And nobody wants that.
Retracted on 2003-01-24::1:49 p.m.
parode - exode