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When Enough Isn’t

When I driving across the country while I was in the service one of the “guilty pleasures” of the process was gorging myself at truck stops. It is a right enjoyed by highway warriors to have a couple of chicken-fried steaks with mashed potatoes and beans awash in pepper gravy before going to bed and then waking up to a short stack, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and a slab of ham. Of course, it’s terrible for your continued health, but you only do it when you travel, right?

So I was disturbed when I read Jack’s piece at Wagon Tongues on a push by the Feds to cut portions.

Then I considered the process and relaxed: Denny Hastert will never allow this to happen.


1 Johnj B. { 06.03.06 at 5:33 am }

I once found myself in a small town in western Iowa, concluding a matter that had taken three weeks, during which I ate lightly when I ate at all. When all was done it was time to celebrate at the local diner, the only one in town, which naturally was inside a bowling alley.

The lunch special that day was a dish best described, from bottom to top, as consisting of: two biscuits, butter, gravy, chicken fried steak with a breaded crust, gravy, a heap of mashed potatoes, butter, gravy, and more biscuits and gravy on the side.

Can’t recall the name they gave it. Should have been “Colesterol Concentrate” or maybe “Towering Tachycardia.”

2 Steve Bates { 06.03.06 at 10:36 am }


I don’t think Denny stops at two chicken-fried steaks. But he probably stops at truck stops. Hey, I’ve done it myself in my meat-eating days, and would do it again even now… truck stop buffets have plenty of veggies with plenty of calories in them. (There’s one particularly memorable place about 50 miles outside of Little Rock… but that was in 1981; I don’t know if it’s still there. It gave new meaning to the phrase “all you can eat.”)

I’ve worked with PhD nutritionists on several different pieces of nutrition-related software (including the USDA and US Army food survey s/w), and have found nutritionists are, by and large, frustrated preachers, who found their calling elsewhere than the pulpit. I know I’m perpetuating a stereotype, but there’s more than a grain of truth in it, perhaps a 50-lb. rice sack of truth.

3 Bryan { 06.03.06 at 2:29 pm }

Having driven a few vintage trucks and tractors, it isn’t the calorie intake that changed, it’s the labor. Before everything was power assisted and there was some thought given to driver comfort, you could easily burn off all of those calories driving an 18-wheeler.

The old drivers had out-sized left legs from working that clutch on a non-synchro transmission, and that handle on the steering wheel provided more leverage when turning at low speeds.