The following events are real, or at least the narrative thrust is. Some elements have been embellished for the purposes of the review, but not too many. This conversation really did happen (almost in exactly the way we tell it). Also, Ben did only have two-dollar bills.
It was snowing again. The snow came down like white-chocolate truffles melting in the hot palm of a loved one. Evan and Ben were walking towards the fluorescence of the shack, and then they were at the shack, and then they were ordering at the shack. A small grove of inebriated South Siders swayed and waited for food like aspens quaking on a barren hillock copse.
And then we too stood, digging our young roots into the damp pavement and awaiting the culinary possibilities. We, the grove, basked beneath the blazing halogen eyes of heat lamps. Cars on the Dan Ryan whizzed or puttered past, like sparrows flying around a small grove of aspens.
“Hey, you!” came a low bellow.
Evan and Ben looked over and up for the source of the exclamation, and then they looked down, for the man was much taller in speech than he was in stature.
“Such a big sound from such a little man,” Ben whispered to Evan, who nodded in the silent night.
“Hey, you! Hey, you kids!” bellowed the little unruly black man again.
“Hi!” Evan said, whitely.
“Hey! Hey, you guys! Have you guys ever seen Beavis and Butt-head?”
“Yeah,” said Ben, “what of it?” He stammered like a young John Stossel, like a quaking aspen quaking.
“I’m a film editor! I graduated from Columbia! And you guys would be fucking ideal for a Beavis and Butt-head movie! Like, fucking ideal! You guys look just like them!”
Yes, dear Reader, we were approached to star in a Beavis and Butt-head movie, the first since Paramount Pictures’ Beavis and Butt-head Do America (1996), and the first live-action Beavis reboot ever. Evan, it was decided, would be Beavis. And Ben, well, Ben would be Butt-head.
“Can we get your card?” asked Evan, even more whitely, extending a pale hand chapped by years of tennis and mayonnaise.
And this is what the card said:
AtWill the Director
Music Video/Film Director
GET IT IN PRODUCTIONS
AtWill the Director
Video Production for a low price
“We’ll think about it,” said Ben.
“I’m serious about this! I’m serious about this shit! Hey, don’t these kids look like Beavis and Butt-head?”
Another man nodded, faint and awkward.
“Seriously! Spittin’ images! Just like Beavis and Butt-head! Seriously! SERIOUSLY!”
And then that was it. He picked up his food from the window and slowly waned away, his “seriously… seriously” fading into the night.
Evan and Ben approached the window and received their respective pork chop sandwich and polish, each with a free helping of fries. The man at the register was in a big hurry and Ben and Evan got all flustered trying to pay for their food. Ben only had two-dollar bills.
“Well,” Ben said, “I guess this isn’t the president’s fault.”
“Nope,” said Evan.
We walked back to the car through the dark, snowy night. There we dug into our food and talked away about the strangeness that had befallen us and just how good Bone-in Pork Chop Sandwiches are.
This was our experience of Jim’s Original, a hot dog stand with no affiliation with other hot dog stands in the area. There is one about 12 feet away with an identical menu, so you see the precaution. Both stands are open for 24 hours every 24-hour period, excluding leap years and the “slow shift” of the Earth’s axis. And it’s mad cheap. “Getcha grub on,” said Evan, really just faking it now.
Imagine what could happen to you!
Farewell, stay well, eat well.