Even with the housing crisis and lousy economy, it’s expensive to live in California. Housing prices are ridiculous, and they have been for years and years. Most people think the reason so many people want to live here is because it’s at least 70 degrees for about 362 days a year. Lots of people think it’s because you can ski in the mountains in the morning, then surf in the ocean in the afternoon. But really, who does that? And how often? The true reason that everybody wants to live in California can be summed up in three words: In-N-Out.
For those of you who don’t know what In-N-Out is, I offer my condolences. In-N-Out is, dollar-for-dollar, the best food on the planet. Here’s what $6 got me for lunch yesterday:
Yeah, this was good.
I’m a clydesdale, which for you non-runners out there means I’m a heavyweight. I weigh about 202 right now, which is off the charts for a marathoner who runs races at the paces I do. With the number of miles I run and the calories I burn, it takes a lot of work (read: eating) to stay heavy. So, you know that when I say something tastes good, it tastes good. When I took that picture yesterday at lunch, I knew I had to blog about In-N-Out today just so I could post that picture. So, here’s five In-N-Out stories I’ll share because, well, why not? I don’t even know what I’m going to write, but I know I’ll come up with five.
1. In 2001, I spent four weeks on a jury trial at the courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif. There is an In-N-Out walking distance from there and I ate there 15 times over a 23-day span. Boring, boring, boring trial, but totally worth it.
2. In 1995, while I was a student at Kansas State University, I was home at the end of summer to visit. I knew I wouldn’t be coming back until Thanksgiving, so I had my dad run me through the drive-thru on the way (well, out of the way) to the airport. I ended up having to do a mad dash to catch my flight and he was NOT very happy. Never again would he do that, he told me. Fine, whatever. It was worth it.
3. In 2003, I found out my cholesterol was 306 or 307. My doctor told me I needed to lay off the red meat and the dairy. “Basically, stay away from cheeseburgers,” he told me. I told him that was a major problem. I go to In-N-Out every week with two of my best friends, and it would be a crushing blow to have to miss that. I asked him if it would be OK if I eliminated all red meat and dairy from my diet, aside from one double-double per week. He laughed and asked me if I was serious. I was dead serious. And he told me that if I ate no red meat or dairy aside from one double-double per week, that would be a great improvement. Side note to this: During that phone call, my doctor told me I also needed to exercise, but I was afraid I was a walking heart attack. I asked him if I would drop dead. So, he told me, “Well, I wouldn’t go out and run a marathon tomorrow. But you’d be fine if you walked around the block.” I started walking 18 months later.
4. I started a new job in January 2002. The office wanted to take me out to lunch. They asked me where I wanted to go. That was easy. In-N-Out. But they wanted to go to a sit-down place. So I let them pick the spot, because I didn’t really care where we went if I wasn’t getting a double-double. They picked Islands. Oh well.
5. There’s a restaurant in a nearby town named Laguna Hills. I used to go there so often and chit-chat with the restaurant’s manager, Chad, that he would always come over and talk when I came in (I think I originally got his attention with the In-N-Out Hawaiian shirt I used to wear). One time, I walked in, and there was a long line and and one of the four or so registers was closed. Chad saw me from way back in the kitchen, then ran up, opened a register and waved me over and served me. No waiting! You know how Norm walks into Cheers and everybody knows who he is? That was me with Chad.
Oh, and here’s the Halloween costume I’ve worn for the past two years:
Employee of the month!
Last year, I went in to the In-N-Out in Tustin wearing this, because I’m a clown and that’s how clowns operate. Apparently, the red apron is something that folks from the corporate office wear when they visit stores. So, when I walked in, a few employees rushed out to greet me, thinking I was from headquarters. Patrons were laughing and I could tell that all employees were getting a kick out of my outfit. I was hoping I’d score a free milkshake or something, but no such luck. No worries, though. I had a delicious lunch.
Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for today. Four more days until I get to run a marathon with my bride! Have a great Wednesday everybody!