Pie in the sky

By Joel Murphy

A few weeks ago, my girlfriend made a stop at a grocery store we lovingly refer to as the "Hippie Mart" because it is filled with natural foods, environmentally safe products and ... well, hippies. She picked up a number of hippie-friendly foods, including a Twin Hens chicken pot pie, which I had for dinner that night.

I am not exaggerating when I say that this pot pie was one of the best things I've ever eaten. It had a delicious, flaky crust and all of the ingredients in it were fresh and tasty. Seriously, this thing was amazing. I'm almost getting wood just sitting here talking about it. Best of all, I knew that this thing was free of all the chemicals and preservatives that most of the foods I consume are usually filled with. I far from a tree hugging, crunchy granola type, but given the choice, I'd much rather eat food that wasn't filled with chemicals and other things people weren't actually meant to actually consume.

After that night, that chicken pot pie lingered in my mind. So last week, I decided to make my first trek to the Hippie Mart to pick up two more of them - one for me and one for the girlfriend who got me hooked on this crack-like dish. When she went to the store, she had picked up a number of different items, but I was a man on a mission and the only things I purchased were these two pot pies. So, imagine my surprise when my total was just over 17 dollars.

That's right, 17 bucks for two pot pies. And, it's not like these things are huge. In fact, they are actually smaller than most pot pies you find in the grocery store. They are only 11 oz., which probably means nothing to any of you who aren't potheads, but trust me, they are tiny. They definitely don't fill you up. But, they are so damn good.

When I ate the second one that night, I found that I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. Sure, it was good, but was it really worth almost nine bucks? The more I thought about it, the more it felt like these Twin Hens were fucking me - and not in a fun ménage à trois way.

Then I realized this was about more than just pot pies. Really, this speaks to a larger issue in America - namely, the fact that Americans are getting larger. It's no secret that Americans have been getting fatter and fatter. Documentaries like Supersize Me have looked at the impact McDonalds and other food chains have on our waistlines. Not surprisingly, these documentaries reveal that fast food just isn't very good for us.

Of course, most people already knew that. And really, most people (or at least most people I know), aren't really big fans of fast food. Sure, everyone craves the occasional Chalupa or McNugget, but for the most part, eating at a fast food restaurant is more a matter of convenience than desire. All things being equal, I believe people would rather being eating healthy food (especially if it's as good as these Twin Hens pot pies), but that's often easier said than done.

In my mind, it comes down to two factors - time and money. Most people don't have time to eat a healthy meal. Everyone is in such a hurry in this country. That's why someone invented Gogurt, because the average American just doesn't have time to sit down and eat yogurt with a spoon anymore. People don't always have time to cook their own food or even to pick up a healthy prepackaged dinner that just has to be thrown in the oven, so instead they swing by the drive thru and pick up a Whopper.

And even people who do have the time don't always have the cash. I dropped nine dollars on a pot pie (I know I keep mentioning this pot pie, but seriously, it was amazing. Maybe if I keep plugging their product, the hens will send me some free pies - hmm, probably not after that ménage à trois comment) and the thing didn't even fill me up. So, by the time I add some vegetables or potatoes or some other side, my meal becomes more expensive and time consuming. It's much cheaper and easier to just get a super-sized value meal for five bucks which, even though it might give me heartburn, will at least fill me up.

In the words of the immortal Owen Hart, "Enough is enough and it's time for a change." In the world I envision, in between the McDonalds and the Burger King will be the Hungry Hippie, a fast food chain that actually provides meals that are good for you and your wallet. It may not exactly be a Utopian society, but at least it would be a future filled with healthy alternatives and leaner American. I think that future would be pretty great, at least until the robots took over and enslaved us all.

But something tells me it won't happen anytime soon. The fast food chains have a pretty good racket going and even though the Democrats now control Congress, they are a bit too focused on the War in Iraq to be able to solve our food problems. So, in the meantime, I'm going to give up on those overpriced pot pies and instead spend my hard-earned cash on half-priced Easter candy, even though B.J. Novak figured out those bastards at Cadburry are making their Creme Eggs smaller this year.

Random Thought of the Week:
Larry Birkhead is the father after all? What a letdown.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He also has some really hot friends. You can contact him at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

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