Commonplace

“If there is a good side to having been raised on my mother’s cooking, it is that I am unlikely to encounter anything worse. School cafeteria food is a step up. Sandwiches from a vending machine in a rest stop on the Indiana Turnpike are a step up. Mass-produced packaged imitation liverwurst in a plastic tube you can squeeze out like toothpaste is a step up. And hamburgers from Mel’s are two or three steps up.

Mel’s, a couple of blocks from the apartment, has the cheapest hamburgers in town. The fat-to-meat ratio is about 3 to 1, and for a dollar you can have two, in a basket with fries, a soggy pickle, and a large root beer. The airborne grease that soaks into your skin and gets on your glasses is a free extra at no additional charge…”

—Daniel Pinkwater, The Education of Robert Nifkin (1998)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation, RogerEbert.com, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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