Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Yo, 'In-N-Out Burger:' I'll Have a Cheesburger. Hold the Bible Lectures, Please
[The messages on an In-N-Out Burger cup and fries bag: Let's have lunch? Or let us pray?]
The sparkly clean, friendly, family-owned In-N-Out Burger chain is something of a cult favorite in California, where it was founded in the late 1940s, and in Nevada and Arizona, where it has expanded.
Nice place, with a simple menu and very good food.
I stopped by one on the east side of Tucson while running errands this afternoon, ordered a cheesburger, fries and Coke, and sat at an outside table in the sun. I could have had lunch at a favorite place, the Sonic fast-food joint a mile away, where pretty girls on roller skates bring your food out to your car window -- very 1960s "American Graffiti" -- but I was in a rush and In-N-Out was there.
Eating my lunch, I noticed for the first time that I was being subtly hustled by evangelists.
Look, I don't care who prays to whomever or whatever, but when I am a paying customer, I don't want to have the person I pay lecturing me on religion, even if the lecture is in small print on the bottom of a bag or the lip of a cup.
I looked up this "John 3:16" on the bottom lip of the soda cup. It evidently seeks to inform me that faith in Jesus means I shall not perish but have eternal life. The corollary, for our Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, atheist and other infidel friends, is that a lack of faith means you shall perish and not have an eternal life. Your choice, I guess. But do you have to choose off the bottom of a soda cup?
"Revelation 3:20," on the French fry bag, was a bit more hospitable to us heathens. Here is what the Biblical reference says: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Yo, In-N-Out Burger, I say to you: No, I shall not make haste to knocketh at thy door, because thou are but a hamburger stand and thy doors are not closed to anyone under the sun or the moon or the stars into heaven. And if any man heareth mine voice, yea and verily that voice would but ordereth a hamburger with cheese and also fries of the persons French, and a cold drink that is called by the name of Coke.
But behold! The printing of thy holy verses on thine cups and bags is an abomination unto the Lord, and henceforth I shall sup not at thy doors but at the doors of the place of thine enemy, which is called Sonic where pretty girls on skates with wheels giveth me sup, and annoyeth me not with praises unto the Lord.
PS, Since we're talking Bible citations here, how about this one, Matthew 6:5, in which Jesus warns against outward displays of religiosity:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. ..."