Jay and Silent Bob: burger barons?
I’m depressed. Please cheer me up.
I’m going to assume you’re probably more displeased over the trillion trivial insults you might receive from life on any given day rather than actually depressed in a clinical sense. (In the latter case, case you ought to consult with somebody who can actually help with that.) Whenever I get down on life, I like to focus on the single stupidest piece of news I can possibly find. Nothing soothes the soul quite like discovering something that somehow makes you dumber when you learn it, which is definitely not how knowledge is supposed to work. This week, like every other week, offers up plenty of gems, but I think my favorite thing I can’t unlearn is the earth shattering revelation that Jay and Silent Bob Reboot director Kevin Smith’s movie-themed burger pop-up venture is coming to Phoenix, Arizona. Yes. That’s right. We’re living in a world where the news features fearful mutterings of civil war and press releases related to limited-duration fast food pop-up events at the same time. Soak it all in as you sink into the blissfully ironic bubble bath of 21st-century life.
If you know at least one or two things about the basic geography of the United States west of the Mississippi River, you may have heard that Phoenix is close enough to San Diego that you could drive there if you wanted to. Not that you should.
It’s not that B movie-inspired fast food pop-ups are one of the goofiest publicity stunts ever invented. If you don’t know the Hipster is a staunch advocate of ridiculous wastes of human effort and ingenuity in the name of quirkiness, you haven’t been paying attention. Far from being poor in concept, the problem with trying to recreate the fake foods of the page, stage, and screen is that you can never equal the imaginary deliciousness of imaginary food.
Imaginary food is so intoxicatingly delicious that it can physically lift people and talking animals off their feet, levitating them through the air along translucent rivers of smell. It’s possible to eat an imaginary blueberry pie by carefully removing a single, perfectly triangular slice and then unceremoniously eating the rest of the pie in one gluttonous bite. You’ve had lasagna before, right? Lasagna’s great, and you may really love lasagna; but even if it’s your favorite food, you will never feel about lasagna the way Garfield feels about lasagna.
I realize this may be an unpopular opinion. After all, many theme park experiences strive to recreate imaginary food for the benefit of overpaying fans. But these efforts are all doomed to failure, because there can be no burger as delicious as an actual Krabby Patty would have to be, with or without the undersea cheese. Imaginary foods are special because, not being limited to the finite number of physical and chemical reactions that create what we know as “flavor,” it’s possible to imagine them as impossibly scrumptious. That’s a standard no chef can ever meet, no matter how talented, which is why you shouldn’t drive to Phoenix for a vaguely Jay and Silent Bob-themed burger (or for any other reason because, per Peggy Hill, Phoenix is a monument to man’s arrogance). But you should have a good laugh over the fact this is even a problem in the first place.