Text STEVE to 484848 (USA) or 393939 (Canada) to get show updates
The Column

Fast Food, Slow Digestion

How come the majority of people at the International House of Pancakes look like they're from West Virginia?

When I walk into IHOP, I don't see a table full of Japanese people or an Italian family waiting to be seated. I see a heavy-set white guy wearing a red-checkered flannel over a "God Bless America" t-shirt with an American flag bandana around his upper arm and a mesh hat that says "Git 'R Done."

Incidentally, "Git R Done" is the most annoying phrase a comedian could hear. For those of you with taste, you might not know that's comedian Larry the Cable Guy's catch phrase. Translated to English, it means "get her done," and people have adopted this phrase to replace any semblance of original thought. If you use this phrase, you might as well be saying, "I tried having my own opinion, but I give up. I'm sorry, I just don't have a thought process." But that can't fit on a mesh hat.

There is nothing International about the House of Pancakes. Calling it that is like Major League Baseball claiming to host the World Series. Sure, Canada shows up every now and then, but the event is really based in America.

I wonder if IHOP's clientele is proud of their diversity when they eat there.

"Come on kids, we're expanding our horizons. Let's go eat at that International place. I hear some of their maple syrup is from the far off land of Vermont."

I eat a lot of fast food, so I have time to contemplate things like this at length. During a recent trip to Denny's, I began wondering who Denny was, and if he'd had his cholesterol checked out lately. When the healthiest thing on the menu comes with eggs, sausage, and pancakes, regulars ought to get a check up once in a while.

"I don't understand why I'm so unhealthy, Doc. I mean, I eat three square meals per meal!"

McDonald's has a cool feature where when you order, you see the average wait on the register. I think it would be more interesting to see the average weight instead.

"The average wait is 90 seconds. The average weight is 315 pounds."

"Great. Can I have a double-quarterpounder with cheese? Make that a large meal."

"316 pounds."

I love fried chicken, and my favorite chain is Kentucky Fried Chicken. Which is the only thing I know that's made better by the use of the word "Kentucky" in front of it. I've never sought out a Kentucky Public Library. For those Kentuckians offended by that joke, take a look at the motto on your state signs. "Welcome to Kentucky - Where Education Pays." Is that because if you have your GED, you make more than anyone without it? Maybe I'm still bitter because Kentucky is where I totaled my car. Though I still allege that accident was caused by a cop parked on the interstate, I also admit I was driving erratically from laughing so hard at the "Education Pays" sign.

I haven't eaten at a Jack In The Box yet, but that's because I'm afraid of anywhere that sells Burgers, tacos, and egg rolls on a value menu. Maybe it would be better to have jack in that particular box.

It's gotten hard to find local restaurants, outside of big cities. Country cafes aren't nearly as common as they used to be. America's landscape is now littered with Chick-Fil-As and Waffle Houses. Most of the country looks like a poor man's Las Vegas, where the Bellagio and Venetian are replaced by True Value and Dick's Sporting Goods. And those lit signs need to be fixed. More often than not, you'll end up eating at the FLE HOSE.

I don't think A&W should serve more than Root Beer, I hardly go to Hardee's, and Papa John sounds like the creepy guy who gives you pennies on Halloween, But since it's increasingly difficult to find a privately owned business and it's not worth an extra $4 per meal to see crazy stuff nailed to the wall during dinner, I end up eating fast food more than I'd like to. I can't really resist. The tastes are familiar, so when I see a sign I begin craving what I know. And while I love the convenience, it's a tough world to be healthy in. Most religions have a version of the messiah who went on a hunger strike. That'd be almost impossible now. Instead of fasting for 40-days, it'd be fast food for 40 days. And by the end of it, you'd have Jesus Christ Super Size. I wonder if he could still walk on water if he polished off a few orders of Moons Over My Hammy.

Though Jesus came from the Middle East, so maybe he would be more at home at the International House of Pancakes. Or the Internal Hose of Pances.

"Git R Done!"

*Kings vs. Sports Illustrated
*Paris Hilton is No Mother Theresa
*Putting the "Fan" in "Fanatic"
*Thinking Man: Happy New Year
*I'm Listening
*Punky Brewster Scares Me
*Don't Get Smart With Me
*Checking Out a Check Up
*Yeah, Thanks
*Steve Hofstetter is Your Friend
*Post Halloween Wrap-Up
*My Letter to Me
*The Night the Heat Went Off
*Turn That Crap Off
*You Might Be a Redhead If
*To My Future Children
*Shine Your Shoes, Mista?
*Flying Forward
*DotCom Dating Dish
*Paging Paige Page
*Watch While You Eat
*You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
*Come Home, Rachel I. K'Benjamin
*Get Out Of My Bathroom
*Subway Going Under
*Driving Forces
*Singles Anonymous
*Know When to Fold Em
*The Mirth of America
*Also Known As
*Smooth Criminal
*What That Mass Email Really Said
*Dude, Where's Your Car?
*Thinking Man: Can't We All
*You Might Be a Redneck
*A Nice Hawaiian Punch
*100,000 Friends
*Mine is Bigger Than Yours
*Good Answer
*T Stands for Terrible
*I Love You Guys
*Mitch, All Gone
*Birth of a Hate Mail Archive
*Never Do Today What...Ooh, Shiny
*Can You Hear Me Now?
*Fast Food, Slow Digestion
*Homeland Security, Eh?
*Quality Training Purposes
*The Show Went On
*Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
*Putting My Foot Down
*Breaking the Chain Mail
*Happy Valmochrismaweenygiving
*Mr. Clean's Illegitimate Brother
*The Quest For 10,000 Friends
*Forgetting Paris
*Magnetically Challenged
*New Year's at the Barefoot Boogie
*Instant Carma's Gonna Get Me
*The Biggest Loser
*Steve vs. Kentucky
*Gone in a Flash
*How to Destroy Your Car
*Ghouls, Goblins, and Candidates
*My Freedom From Your Freedom
*Drive Unto Others
*Please Don't See This Movie
*I Love The Clip Shows
*Column of Atonement
*Happy Anniversary, Sugarhill
*Life, 9/11, and the Interstate
*Your Band Sucks
*Spending Wisely
*The Blind Dating the Blind
*Grilled Cheese With a Side of Hip Hop
*The Drive to 25
*Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God.
*Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House
*Seacrest! Out!
*Harder Than You Think
*Glad To Be Here
*Thought for Food
*Feeding the Meter
*She's Ready For Her Close Up
*Paging John Hughes
*Excusing America's Gas Problem
*Extra, Extra, Extra Long Time
*The Finals Countdown
*Your Friends and Mine
*The Future Mrs. Bueller
*Toasting Not Toasting
*A Tall Order
*Snaking Your Engine
*My Hair is the Color of Tomato Soup
*The Solace System
*You Say Potato
*It’s Getting Less Cold in Here
*This is Not a Virus
*Pitchers and Catchers
*Another Night Not at the Movies
*Higher and Higher
*To Write A Wrong
*They Call it Super for a Reason
*Imagine All the People
*Lost Wages, Nevada
*This Just In
*Why Are All My Stands Red?
*For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
*Silent One Day Sale, Holy One Day Sale
*I Want To Be That Guy
*Felicity Doesn't Always Mean Happiness
*That Time of Year
*My Cranberry Sauce Looks like a Can
*The Legend of Fat Dead Steve
*Two Beldings in One Building
*Happy Halloween From Happy Valley
*Three Stations and Nothing On
*15 Shots of Nostalgia
*Here's To the Dancing Guy
*Teaching an Old Dog New Sticks
*If You Could Choose Just One Dumb Question...
*Obligatory Pun on The Word Tired
*I've Grown Accustomed to Your Wet Nose
*What Do You Want For Your Birthday?
*What a Long, Strange Trip
*Open Letter to My UPS Man
*That Better Be Your Foot
*The Abandoned Lot is Always Greener
*Putting Down the Pieces
*Take One Down, Pass It Around
*Here, You Throw This Away
*Being Green at the Box Office
*Who Wears Short Shorts?
*America is an Okay Place to Be
*You Can't Stop the Rain
*Don't Feed the Alpha Males
*Don’t Sweat It
*The Special Plate Blues
*You Deserve It
*The Return to Popcopy
*They're Real, and They're Spectacular
*Keeping Your Prom Misses
*Guerillas in Our Midst
*That Weird No Bread Holiday
*The Ballad of the Buttless
*Something About Being Twenty-Something
*Have You Seen My Cell Phone?
*War, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?
*Leggo My Ego
*I'm a Spazz, You're a Spazz
*Can I Please Keep My Pants?
*Engaged in Conversation
*Welcome to PopCopy
*Hold Me Closer, Tiny Bathroom
*My Two-Bedroom Furbee
*All’s Fare in Love and Daytona
*Open? Shut Them
*I Am Everyday Pimple
*Here Comes the Judge Show
*When, Praytell, Were The Days of Auld Lang Syne?
*What Are You Up To This Weekend?
*The Waiting is the Hardest Part
*A Night Not at the Movies
*Funny, You Don’t Look Flu-ish
*Does This Baby Come With Airbags?
*When The Hogan Family Was Still Valerie
*Blue (Haired) Tuesday
*In Loco Parents
*Moving Is Like A Vaccuum: It Sucks
*Thou Shalt Not Save the World and Get the Girl
*Like Oil and Stuff That Hates Oil
*How to Get Hatemail
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*It Happens to the Best of Us
*Talking To A Piece of Junk Mail
*When You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
*ICFS Disorder and Celebrity Kid Growth
*Electricity and Other Things They Cut Off
*When Pigeons Fly
*Goodbye, New York, Goodbye
*La La La-la La La, Sing a Happy Song
*What To Do at Work Besides Work
*Why is This Column Different From All Others?