05/01/09 - posted by jb
"What most people don't seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one."~ Margaret Mitchell.

Thanks for the Mel's Menu, JQ. Look...they now serve wine and beer. Yes, I'll have a Cabernet float with soft chocolate overtones, in a stainless steel carafe. Oh, and some Maytag bleu on that cheeseburger with pom frites.

Grease, so it seems, has been bioeconomically redesigned and denied its true nature: It now sinks to the bottom of the nostalgia pool, clogging the drain through which our most primal memories are sifted and recycled. I contend that if God wanted a Drive-In to serve alcoholic beverages, he/she would have never created the corner market or the brown paper bag! And even those most hard-core devotees of underage weekend chugging, in days past, would holster their Colt-45 while knocking back a shake or cherry coke.

Beyond safety issues, alcohol has no place in the wholesome millieu of the Drive-In restaurant, which evolved and revolves around steering wheels and roller skates, spinning a fabric of Americana that covered our post-war industrial landscape with a soft back-seat blanket, bringing forth a picnic spread to feed our most-inner dreams and psyche. We were together as family, collected as friends, connected even if alone, and catered to with comfort foods by caring car-hops, many of whom remain the first unrequited love interest of countless young teenage boys. Cars were our new freedom, our pride, our power and status: Cars were us! And to be able to shine and show in a lot of other sparkling jewels, was a euphoria no distilled spirit could induce: The "high" was being there!

So maybe it's a sign of the new times that a drive-in serving wine and beer is seemingly more sophisticated and civilized? Well...in the owrds of Gauguin,"Civilization is what makes you sick."


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