Tuesday, February 21, 2006

An Open Letter, to Ben

Dear Ben,

I was sitting around my apartment early last night--West Virginia still couldn't figure out Syracuse's extended 2-3--and I was bored. You're familiar with this feeling, I imagine, living in Greensboro brokering mortgages and crushing Sudokus and watching an obscene amount of ESPN's college basketball coverage.

So I pick up a pizza, a six pack, and the remote control, and prepare to melt my ass into the cushions of my couch. The only problem was this: there was nothing on TV. People say that, there's nothing on, all the time even when there's an SNL rerun on E! or a decent B movie they've seen a thousand times on HBO, but last night there really was nothing on. I just sat there for minutes, eating pizza and staring at some commercial, hoping that God would see my plight and put something watch-able on the five hundies--I wasn't even asking for Casino or Deerhunter, hell, I would have been satisfied with Con Air. He didn't. Ben, I'll be honest, as I exhaled and sank back into my couch with crusty tomato sauce clipped to my chin, I thought of you.

There I was sitting around doing nothing, like you're probably doing right now (I should state, though, that later on, maybe an hour or so after, I ended up going downtown to drink while you were asleep). And do you want to know what my boredom brought me to do?

I watched my first episode of House. You might remember my recent article about the show House, MD (which can be seen on this very blog a few posts down). And let me tell you, even though, at the time of my initial review,I had never seen the show, I was dead on. There is however, one important thing I missed; something that makes much more sense when you stretch it out thin and look at it against the light. In the previous House article, I ridicule Dr. House and his unorthodox ways, and now think I know why.

I'm jealous.

Dr. House (1) always has the perfect amount of facial hair to make him look grizzled, but not to have a beard. I would like to mediate my facial hair in this manner, but this Greekness I've been handed won't sanction it. (2) Dr. House never wears the conventional doctor's scrubs, rather, opting for a colorful t-shirt wrapped inside of sports coat. Certainly, as I pass the period of my life where accumulating cool t-shirts is a priority, I dream of sitting at a conference table in a t-shirt surrounded by heads and suits. I bet you wish you could wear your go-to Vail shirt to work, don't you? Most importantly (3) within Dr. House's human exterior lies a volcano of sarcasm constantly on the verge of eruption. He's got something smart to say to his boss who doesn't approve of him, the other doctors who question him, even the guy who's daughter is in a coma (a House induced coma, I might add). Shoot, this is guy is sarcastic to the measly assistant who is getting House a cup of water! It's a nonstop sarcasm parade! I want to be that sarcastic in my natural, daily speak, but I often come up with stupid lines that fall flat, or I mess up the delivery by giving away the punchline too early, or I try and get it out too fast and stumble over the words, becoming, in essence, unintelligible.

Ben, at this point you may not understand why I'm writing this letter to you. After I watched House, I went upstairs to change, brush my teeth, and write a quick article about how I watched finally caught an episode of House, and now envy Dr. House. And I did, and proceeded to go downtown and drink cold cans of p-binski, among other beverages while I played Ms. Pacman.

Because I watched House, and decided to write about it, I put my other article to the side for a minute. That other article was tenatively titled BCS Redux. Yes, a sequel to my infamous Burrito Championship Series. I only consider myself slightly self-absorbed, but BCS Redux would certainly have been the greatest article in human history.

Forget the fact that I coined the term Burrito Championship Series (BCS), that I came up with scientifically designed formula which calculates it's standing--including the world renowned Aluminum Foil Test, where I discovered that the size of aluminum foil used is an industry standard thus creating a constant in the scientific method. Forget that I wrote the first article on the BCS, bearing the brunt of the attacks of those who disagreed with me, people would approach me on the street and say things like Moe's rules you jackass or You must have been drunk when you wrote that Qdoba is better than Barberitos. Forget that I can't even get a burrito in this town without thinking about taking a picture of it or calling Fred to tell him how huge it is, that burrito eating is more than consumption to me, it's a ritual, a rite-of-passage, a monument to success--whatever.

I just wanted to write you this open letter to tell you that I understand. You, stuck pretending to be jungle gym in North Carolina where there is more Pepsi, less Dawgs, and that weird kind of barbeque--you know, the kind that has an almost clear sauce and has a distinctly different taste (I'm sure it has a name, something like Carolina Style Barbeque)--needing to write about a familiar place in order to relieve each and every burrito bite.

I'm sorry, no matter how unlike Athens a city like Greensboro is, you can't have the Burrito Championship Series. Sorry, it's mine. Earlier in this letter I wrote that I was jealous of Dr. House. I get jealous all the time: at guys talking to hot chicks in bars, at people who make more money than me, at anyone who has one of those new video iPods. Well I'm jealous significantly less than I'm selfish. Mine, mine, mine. I'm not jealous that you decided to write a BCS article, I'm just self-centered, unwilling to share any of my BCS magnificence.


So if you're going to call me selfish as I file a CEASE AND DECIST ORDER to you're weaker, flimsier, BCS article, at least do it to my face so I can smile, and continue to bask in my own egotistical glory.

Sincerely,

Cass

Barberitos VS. Q-Doba

I must argue with some of the points that Ben Allen made in his plagerized version of Chris' creation.

1. The Queso sauce is delicious, however last time I went there with Ben, they did pour way way too much on his urrito, making it soupy. This has never happened to me.

2. Barberitos is certainly not generous. Last week, I went there and the dude scooped me an already small scoop of chicken, then gave me only about 2/3 of that small scoop. I thn watched him pour MY excess chicken back into the tub.

3. I think we can all agree that the employees at Barberitos on the Eastside are dicks. This point has been made by many, and I don't think that too many people will disagree. Almost everyone there seems like they hate being at work and that they are pissed off to see you. Maybe there is better service at the 5 points one, but not at the one closest to Civy, which is the one that most of us visit.

Updated Burrito Championship Series

Nearly a year ago, Feech Lamana posted a controversial article concerning Athens area burrito joints. I was just reading over old posts and decided to retest his conclusions with some additional criteria. And though most know where my loyalties lie, I will attempt to remain as unbiased as possible.

Criteria include: Price, Aluminum Foil Test, Tasty-Nugishness, Flavor, The Chicken/Steak Question

Cass's definitons of the terms still apply, and the flavor addition is pretty self explanatory

The Chicken/Steak Question: How much meat do they provide when asked for a mixture of steak and chicken. Do they give you two half scoops, or do they just say fuck it and put a full scoop of steak and chicken in the burrito for the same price.

The scores will be tallied slightly differently. The four competitors will be graded individually in each category. The best in each category will receive 1 point while the worst of each category will receive 4 points

The competitors remain the same, but I think you will find the results to be shocking.

Qdoba'a Chicken Ranchero Burrito:

Price: 5:49

Aluminum Foil Test: Passes consistently. These guys make some huge burritos. It should be
noted that much of this bulk comes from the ample beans and rice they supply, which slightly detracts from its mammoth size.

Tasty Nugishness: The free drink with student ID is definitely a tasty nug. Their Queso sauce is delicious, though I disagree with Fred's assertion that it should be added to the burrito. I have found that the addition of the queso sauce causes the Burrito to become more or less a chicken or steak soup surrounded by a tortilla rather than a bowl. At 2 dollars and change the queso sauce is a little pricy on the side, but its mere availability combined with its deliciousness merits the award one quarter of a tasty nug point. They give you free chips though not the industry's best, = .75 tasty nug points.

Flavor: This is the category where I belive the Qdoba falls a little short compared to others. The use of white rice detracts from the flavor, and the fact that the burrito is top heavy with rice and beans drowns out other flavors.

The chicken/steak question: I have found that the employees of Qdoba will grant the two full scoops of each around 50-65% of the time. I guess it just depends on who you get.

Conclusion: Cass has asserted that passing the aluminum foil test will gaurantee that your burrito will be delicious. I maintain that passing the aluminum foil test will gaurantee that your burritio will be huge. If you are hungry as balls, this is the burrito for you. These guys pass the aluminum foil test nealry 100% of the time.

Taco Bell's Grilled Stuft Burrito:

Price: Depending on beef, chicken or steak, 1.99-2.79

Aluminum Foil Test: Again, no aluminum foil. But these are decent sized burritos, so the ration of price to size will be taken into consideration, as to not eliminate this burrito from contention.

Tasty Nugishness: The drive through = .75 tasty nug points. Most will agree that T-Bell sauce is the tits = .5 tasty nug points. Late night availability = .5 points.

Flavor: With a little fire sauce, this burrito has a surprisingly solid flavor, especially for a fast food restaurant.

The Chicken/Steak Question: Not applicable because I even if I asked for both I would not really be able to see the distribution of steak and chicken.

Conclusion: This is a burrito for those on the go. Or for those that have to resort to finding change under the couch cushions.

Barberitos' Skinny:

Price: 4.99

Aluminum Foil Test: Passes extremely rarely

Tasty Nugishness: Best chips in the industry = 1 point, several convenient locations = .75 points

Flavor: Flavored rice, and the best of the chicken/steak allows this burrito to provide a party in your mouth. They also give a lot of cheese, which is a plus in my book.

The Chicken/Steak Question: The employees of Barberitos will grant you two full scoops nearly 90% of the time. Lots a meat.

Moes' Joey Bag of Donuts:

Price: 5.99

Aluminum Foil Test: Passes, but inconsistently.

Tasty Nugishness: Non industry best free chips = .75 tasty nug points, subtract .25 tasty nug points for the stupid colors. = .5 tasty nug points. Only 8 stamps for free burrito = 1 point. Subtract .25 points because the last time I was there, those assholes threw my 75 cents in change into the tip jar without even asking me.

Flavor: This burrito is average in flavor.

The Chicken/Steak Question: The employees of Moe's will grant you the two full scoops around 75% of the time

Conclusion: Moe's delivers an average burrito for an average burrito eater.


Qdoba:

Price: 3
Aluminum Foil Test: 1
Tasty Nugishness: = 2.00 1
Flavor: 2
The Chicken/Steak Question: 3

Total: 10

Taco Bell:

Price: 1
Aluminum Foil Test: 3
Tasty Nugishness: = 1.75 2
Flavor: 3
The Chicken/Steak Question: 3

Total: 12

Barberitos:

Price: 2
Aluminum Foil Test: 3
Tasty Nugishness: = 1.75 2
Flavor: 1
The Chicken/Steak Question: 1

Total: 9

Moes:

Price: 4
Aluminum Foil Test: 2
Tasty Nugishness: = 1.25 4
Flavor: 2
The Chicken/Steak Question: 2

Total: 14

Final Standings:

Barberitos 9
Qdoba 10
Taco Bell 12
Moe's 14

Note: If you are one who values size over flavor, the top two spots might be reversed.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Oh Ben

And I do realize the difference. I recognize that you are only a few hours away from us and that you will be seen a lot more than a certain dwarf. I didn't mean to compare you to Homer in the softness department, there is no comparassion. Homer is more tender than Kobe Beef (and probably tastier too). But I did not defend Homer, I merely gave my opinions on your piece by typing my own Freditorial.... My own effort to keep things in perspective

True about the job thing... I don't think Homer I don't think that is a part of Homer's 5 year plan. While you are spending your time working and you have expressed your desire to someday move back, Homer spends the vast majority of his time getting high and eating, while saying that he will stay in Colorado forever.

Let me say for all to read: I am not now, nor have I ever been a Homer-sympathizer!

Oh, and I meant to end my last article with this:

HAIL BLAKE:
Alpha Dwarf of Athens now and forever

Oh Fred

You of all people should realize the fundamental difference between my being in North Carolina and Homer being in Colorado. I have a job. You know its something you apply for and then they..... Nevermind I don't want to spoil the surprise. I recognize that North Carolina is hella not sweet, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And Homer certainly doesn't have to hang out in Colorado for the few months before he becomes a permanent resident there. And I cant believe you would defend someone you hate (Homer) against a fellow viper. TSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By the way, you civiers better be ready to get messed up on the weekend of March 3rd, cuz Im bringin the ruckus.

Response: TCBY is above Homer

First off let me apologize for being the one responsible for starting this awful trend. I should naver have attacked Cassimus, nor should I have suggested to Chris that his next article should be called "The Softie Club" and should expose Civy's true colors. However, what's done is done, and Pandora's box can not be closed. This morning, I checked the Civy Club Times to see if Cassimus had finished his BCS Redux article, and was treated to Ben Allen's first post. Well I found the post to be excellent and mostly true (mostly), I did feel the need to respond to certain points that Ben made.

It is incredibly soft of Homer to desert his fellow Georgians for so long. He has abandoned his friends, drinking partners, and apparently his ability to defend himself. I understand the need to go "home" and reconnect with the family and old friends, but Homer should have considered the fact that in a few short months he will be leaving Georgia permanetly to move back to Colorado. That said, I think Homer is being a "Softie McSofterson" by returning to Colorado for so long prior to his permanent departure. This means that after his long trip he will probably appear in Georgia for only a few weeks before leaving us forever.

QUOTE FROM BEN: "He claims that Colorado is sweet. Yet I must assert that the fact that no other member of the collective Civy resides in Colorado makes it inherently unsweet." Well Ben, you should know that I am a lifetime member of the Civy and I did reside in Colorado, and I would take offense to what you had written if I did not find Colorado to be unsweet myself. However, one thing that Ben did not consider when typing this is that if Civy is soft (it is), and all of the people that currently live there are soft (they are), then I do not see how fleeing a soft zone can be inherently unsweet.

Despite all of this, Homer, you are soft. To paraphrase Ben: What could you possibly be doing in Denver that you can't do here?

One final thing to cosider is the source of the last post. If I remember correctly, Ben Allen has moved to North Carolina, leaving us all behind. I must also point out that no member of Civy resides in North Carolina, and that at least Homer does drink and gamble in Colorado, while Ben has become nothing more than a "Jungle Gym."

Ben Allen calling Homer soft is like the Snuggles Bear calling the Charmin Ultra with Aloe Grandma's Quilt!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

TCBY is above Homer

There has been recent speculation that our friend Homer is soft. Dictionary.com has many definitions of the word. It's second definition is out of condition; flabby. While this definition is certainly applicable to Homer, it is also applies several others in our group (myself included). Taking this into consideration, I will not use this defintion. The most appropriate defintion seems to be weak or feeble. This will be the focus of this post. Weak and feeble refers to Homer's action of shunning his fellow Civiers for the past few months. Homer has been in Colorado. He claims that Colorado is sweet. Yet I must assert that the fact that no other member of the collective Civy resides in Colorado makes it inherently unsweet. Or at least artificially sweet like Equal or NutraSweet. He has apparently been using this ample time frame to facilitate a level of selfindulgence that could be easily satisfied on the street known as Civy. As such, I must protest to the comparison of Homer and TCBY. The aformentioned TCBY is a classy frozen yogurt joint. I would equate "H" more with the cheap soft serve that comes from the dessert counter at a humble family buffet. Like Ryan's or something. And he is certainly not soft serve straight from the machine. He is more like cheap Ryan's soft serve that has been sitting around in those little bowls for around ten minutes. Half melted and extra soft. And no fucking sprinkles or M&M's on top. Maybe some strawberries or something. What happened to the Homer that would occasionally be passed out snoring by ten oclock in the evening, or the Homer that knocks over the grill at five oclock in the morning, awaking Fred from a drunken slumber to find a half naked dwarf with a white elf beard, giggling and patting himself on his ample stomach? Homer must realize that he belongs in the state of Georgia. There is no other place for him. And until his return to the promised land, I will be forced to consider him softer than Charmin Ultra with Aloe. You know, the quadruple roll.