With election coverage now under way, I actually have to write about the ridiculous things I do every day, because my three minutes are reserved for bringing high speed rail to California and helping teenage girls get all the abortions they want (but more about that on Friday).
So Chipotle mailed these unnecessarily fancy coupons for a free burrito a few weeks or months ago, and I kept putting off using them. Until today. They expire today. Technically they expired yesterday, because it said to use them “before September 30, 2008.” An editor I may be, but more faith is placed in American humanity. In other words, I don’t think their staff is smart enough to read the words. Seeing the 30 is all they need. And sure enough, I had two burritos in 20 minutes this morning, and now it is about to be nap time, although I do have a 2:15 call with a recruiter. (It is looking good, but I won’t count my free range chickens before they’re hatched, because tabulating free range chickens is like herding cats.)
First stop, the Chipotle on The Alameda, near Morrison. Morrison is no longer just Kimber’s last name. It is also where Chipotle is. This is near the Tin Can, where the San Jose Sharks play, incidentally.
Chipotle used to be owned by McDonald’s. That’s not entirely true; I think they just had an interest in them. But they no longer are, if memory serves correctly. There’s no questioning one thing though: There’s nothing authentic about the place. But you already knew that, and so did I. But why people would spend $6.xx for a corporate burrito is beyond me. I think people are afraid of independent taquerias. Or maybe they hate Mexicans. I don’t know.
Anyway, I got a vegetarian burrito, and I was reminded that burritos at Chipotle are shaped unconventionally. It’s not a cylinder. It’s shorter and wider in the middle. I think this is so they can use less aluminum foil when they wrap them. Whatever the reason, it is not appealing. People eating burritos do not want to be reminded how big they are. A longer skinnier burrito is less threatening, because if it came to life and attacked you then you would be able to put your mouth around one end of it and suffocate it. This is not an option with a Chipotle burrito. If you try to seal off one of the ends, then the middle will wrap itself around your head and suffocate you. This is not my idea of a good time.
So I ate the burrito extra fast. An attack is an attack, sure, but by eating quickly I was able to quell the burrito while it was still in the planning stages. That was a close one. And now it was time to visit Campisi Way, the street everyone uses that no one has heard of.
At Bascom and Campisi, this is a new Chipotle. I had a coupon for this one because my girlfriend got it in the mail, and using a coupon for a free burrito is not her idea of a good time. You can imagine the conversations that this belief creates.
By now it is 11:45, and I am surprised that there is no line inside. Perhaps it is because nobody can understand how to park there. See, there are a ton of spaces next to the building that houses the Chipotle, but they all say “Sherwin-Williams” in white paint. There must be some sort of precedent that says so many people wanted Zizzo’s Coffee and packages sent at The UPS Store that Sherwin-Williams decided it better lay claim to its parking spaces. So now you have 30 empty spaces to the side of the building, and then in the back there are 10 full spaces. It’s going to get to the point that people are going to go to Sherwin-Williams to buy a pack of gum just so they can park there. It’ll be as bad as the pets.com sock puppet, in terms of, er, a bad sales mix. “I dunno. The Bascom store sales are through the roof, but 99% of it is for Wrigley’s Spearmint.” “What do you think it means?” “Hmm. Probably that we need more ‘Bort’ license plates.”
Anyway, there is no line, and I get a burrito, and it is the same as the one on The Alameda, right down to the piece of tomato that fell out when I took a strategically ill-advised bite. I left the same mess. I washed my hands in the same design of a bathroom. I tripped on the same crack on the ground when I went to leave. Yeah, you can feel the influence of McDonald’s. Kind of like Bill’s in Stateline, Nevada, which used to have a McDonald’s back in the proverbial day. The doors still exist, and there is no door like a McDonald’s door like no door I know.
So I ate two burritos. They were fine. I will not go back unless they send me more coupons. (Even $1 off would do. I am not picky. Just don’t force me to buy a soda. You have nothing without both sugar and caffeine.) The one at the Pruneyard has much better service. They smiled, and they even offered me a cup of water, even though they knew I was only there with a free coupon. Shit. I might even go to that one with just a 50-cent coupon.