A poor, Trump-voting Florida town opened a government grocery store to end its food desert, but it’s “not socialism”

A poor, Trump-voting Florida town opened a government grocery store to end its food desert, but it’s “not socialism”

The good news is that things like Baldwin Groceries are an opportunity to de-brainwash reactionaries and racists, showing them that the “socialism” they’re been terorrized with all their lives is actually the stuff they love best about America: the letter-carrier they see every day, the VA that takes care of them, the library and the high school and the roads.

A poor, Trump-voting Florida town opened a government grocery store to end its food desert, but it’s “not socialism”

Family Tales: Your Brother had a Pizza Hut, and he loved there

This story is about the last time your brother went to Pizza Hut. He had a Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza, Cinnamon Sticks, and a Pepsi-Cola 4-Pack.

He lost his appetite (though the pizza tasted just fine). It was simply way too late. Pizza Hut had closed right after he left. The game was over.

He walked down a darkened street, past rows of boarded up warehouses, then finally into the darkness.

In this retelling, we will refer to one of the dark and deserted warehouses as the “Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza House,” one of many restaurants and stores to close in downtown Dayton that year.

According to a story in the Dayton Daily News, the closure of Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza House was blamed on “low inventory and sluggish service.”

I was walking around Downtown Dayton trying to catch a good photo of this particular restaurant. I was just about to start shooting when a customer inside yelled, “Hey, how do you know I have knots on my pizza? Did you have some of my pizza?”

So I told my boyfriend about the knot pictures I had taken, and of course he wanted to know how to get some for himself.

He went on to tell me that he had a friend, and that friend had a friend who could take out the knots from any pizza.

That friend of a friend came to our house. He took a small knot from each corner of the pizza on our wall and lay them out onto a piece of newspaper.

Once I got the pictures developed, I tried to find a photo of the knot-slicer, but there wasn’t a photo of him anywhere.

In a messy kitchen drawer, I found the Knots from Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza House that had I taken from Dayton. Now they hang from your brother’s rearview mirror.

Thanks to everyone for sending in similar pizza knot photos from your knotty pizzas and, as always, happy trails…

Family Tales: Your Brother had a Pizza Hut, and he loved there

Family Tales: Your Sister’s Pretzel is the Best Burger in the World

This story is about the last time your sister went to the Burger King. She had a Single Pretzel Bacon King, cheesy tots, and a Mello Yello.

Funny enough, it may very well be the final McDonald’s, this Burger King that your sister visited. It’s also, in some folks’ opinions, the home of the ultimate Single Pretzel Bacon King. That is one of those burgers you don’t care if it sticks to your gums or is crispy like a flauta. You can eat it with your fork or you can eat it with a spatula.

You sister is the most famous burger eater in the you ess of eh. She is considered one of the best people for eating a single pretzel bun burger in three bits.

The only other restaurant that I can ever remember in my life that had a pretzel bun burger was the cafeteria at my high school.

What you are seeing here is a screenshot of that place.


I recall that time. It was a Friday and, being from New Jersey, pretty much what I expected for a cafeteria serving McDonald’s-like food. There was probably about 300 people there during a lunch break, as opposed to the 400 that a typical cafeteria serving McDonald’s-like food got on a Friday afternoon.

The menu consisted of hamburgers, fries, vanilla milkshakes and chocolate milkshakes. And chocolate-vanilla milkshakes. I got the Double. They had the McChicken-like Sandwich which, if you don’t know, is a chicken sandwich. A chicken sandwich is a chicken breast on a bun with some lettuce and mayonaise. Mayonaise is oil and egg whipped to a creamy dream.

You know that thing you get at a Wendy’s restaurant: “Big Macs”? Well, those are what your sister calls a “Big Pretzel.” She loves the Single Pretzel Bacon King. It is a one of a kind segwich. It is something I am sure she loves like a puppy or a rainstorm.

There are other single pretzel burgers in my state but the Wendy’s Burger King McDonald’s one is the most special.

At that place, you can get a Big Mac and a milkshake. You can also get chocolate milkshakes but a few of the milkshakes have not a single pretzel within them. They’re just one-sided, no-emotion milkshakes. You’ll never have a milkshake that looks more like one you would get at a Starbucks than this one. It’s a miracle.

The Single Pretzel isn’t even the best burger your sister ever had. She was a fan of the McDonald’s in Hawaii in 2007, you know the one. In Hawaii. In 2007. There, she had a cheeseburger bun blended with a chocolate milkshake. Also, there’s this McDonald’s in Las Vegas. They have a burger made by a guy who worked at the very first McDonald’s. He is always like “Hey guys, are you ready to try my new burger idea yet?”

And, so, I guess for whatever reason, everyone in Vegas always says, “Sure, we’ll try it,” to make the old man happy. It’s Vegas. They like to gamble. They like older humans. They like to eat new kinds of burgers. They like to party.

Family Tales: Your Sister’s Pretzel is the Best Burger in the World

Family Tales: Your Dad’s Perfect Combo Meal

This story is about the last time your father went to the Taco Bell. He had a double chalupa, a bean burrito, a Carmel Apple Empanada, and a diet cola.

The Taco Bell was secretly called Taco Gigante. The chain’s name is a riddle by its founder, Carl K. Laubach, who was a well-known restaurateur.

The burrito your father ate had cheese, beans, lettuce, and a few drips of queso. It was the perfect wrapped food.

But then it all went disastrously wrong for Taco Gigante.

The Taco Gigante burrito had gone through dozens of iterations since it first appeared in 1981, but one of the most popular variations came about in 1999. Called the Taco Gigante Double Wide No Bean Extra Big Yum Yum Dee-lish Dee-lite, the burrito was monsterously big, the chicken was replaced by pork, and cheese replaced the beans — it sounded too good to be true. The removal of the beans was part of Laubach’s marketing genius.

Taco Gigante’s popularity soared after that. In its heyday, the chain was selling the burrito in every store. When a new franchise was opened in Dallas, Laubach’s people there told him they had to include beans.

Laubach called the restaurant in question, complaining about the situation to the franchise manager. When the manager, a man named Johnny Bonilla, told him that it was beans or bust, Laubach responded, “Then it’s bust for Taco Gigante Dallas.”

Bonilla replied, “I will never forget this. The world will curse you.”

Taco Gigante Dallas was closed, and a different restaurant opened at the same location. There was no word for the new restaurant’s name — only “.?.” (Laubach himself never again mentioned Dallas in polite company .)

Later that same year, your father was told the secret name of Taco Bell: Taco Gigante.

In 2008, a Taco Gigante employee used soap to write “HELP ME,” in bold, red letters on Taco Gigante Des Moines’ front window.

There were a few theories about why Taco Gigante had to close. None had to do with beans or burritos. No one could really explain it, as there had been no explanation given for anything ever in the restaurant’s tangled history. Laubach wrote a memo detailing that the name “Taco Gigante” didn’t exist and that “Taco Gigante” was simply “Taco Bell” and that all employees would never again say the name “Taco Gigante” and that time is bumpy circle.

The Taco Gigante chain, Laubach said, was “just a secret name” used “to throw off the lizard people running the IRS.”

So much for business acumen.

Family Tales: Your Dad’s Perfect Combo Meal

Family Tales: Your Mother Was a Chicken Lady

This tale is about the last time your mother went to the Kentucky Fried Chicken. She had chicken and a biscuit.

She grabbed a biscuit out of the biscuit machine, shook it up like a pair of lucky dice, wolfed it down, then got into her car and drove away, as if she had not been there. She left her bucket of chicken on the pickup counter.

Your mom is a total animal.

She didn’t often eat chicken. She mostly liked to eat seeds and berries, but she hated that she had to eat them indoors because the birds overhead would swoop down and eat them when she stepped outside.

She liked to be in traffic, and I recall your mother driving halfway up the street and poking her head out of the car window every few minutes.

She hated the smell of the chicken. I remember her being embarrassed to tell you it was her least favorite thing because she didn’t want you to feel bad for smelling like chicken yourself.

Sometimes she was embarrassed about her love of chicken. Once a month, on second paydays, she would bake chicken for dinner. It was the only time in the month that she could take the time to do so. Otherwise, it was to the KFC.

She would bring her own spoon to the table during meal times and just get down with a spoon at her homemade chicken dinner.

I was born in 1987 and I lived with your mom (not my mom, or the one she was with when I was born).

I was four when your mom took me and my brother to a chicken farm run by a woman named Linda, who later married my friend’s dad (another cousin of yours who I also spent a lot of time with when we were younger).

Your grandmother was the head of her own restaurant. She had all of your aunties, siblings, and cousins in the restaurant serving the food and cooking the food and cleaning the joint. I’m not sure of the name of the restaurant. It was probably “Elle’s Chicken”.

There, your mom learned to love chicken.

My mom didn’t even want to talk to me.

Family Tales: Your Mother Was a Chicken Lady

The Boy, Crying

The old woman,
with gnarled hand,
passed the dark vial
over the threshold.

Inside the fount,
a rank substance, vile,
terrifying the young boy
whose hands gripped it tight.

The giving of the vial
was the final sign
that the old woman
was about to die.

The boy stood
at the door, crying
with his eyes wide open.

The boy
had a bandage
on the top
of his head.

The old woman,
with tall body
and large scar
crossing her face,

her gauzy, grey eyes
focused on forgetting.

She pulled the bandage
off of the boy’s head.
From the foul wound
protruded a string.

The old woman pulled
the thin, wispy string
and the little boy cried
aloud in dismay.

She pulled at the string
until a small, silver stick
came out of his head.
It was a rare instrument.

“You’re supposed to play it
just once, fair and free!”
the old lady shouted
with authority.

“I can’t possibly
be responsible
for any mishaps!”

The boy was frightened,
yet he dare not make a move.

“You’re supposed to play it now!”
she frantically yelled,
“Stop wasting time.
Play or die and play well!”

The young boy stared
shaking, unsure.

And when he looked up
at the woman once more…

Such an old woman,
with her grey, saucer eyes
and what frightening grin
came then to her face.

The young man stared
in salt-stained disbelief.
She was so beautiful,
his talented wife.

So he played the silver stick
and he played it some more
and he left the little boy
crying there at the door.

The Boy, Crying

It’s not enough to say I love you if we have to do it over and over again

Who puts the teeth into the flesh?
Who puts the smile onto the death?
Who puts the life into the bloom?
Who puts the rebirth into the doom?

We have to do
all the work
in the face
of the inevitable.

You were given a number,
and you called your ship
and told the officers
that if they got any closer
you’d jump overboard.

In truth,
you had already jumped

You had taken off your clothes
and splashed into the Baltic.

You made your way
to the south
of the North Sea.

There you found
a fishing trawler
with three men inside,
suffering injuries
from explosions,
which they were trying hard
to repair.

You helped them
swim in the cold water
hoping the salt
might cure their wounds.

But it was too late.
They would not make it.

When I heard the news,
I started to sew.

I had worked
sewing garments
since I was 15 years old.

I never had a real job
in seamstresses’ houses,
but I had learned to sew
in a cottage industry.

(A cottage industry
is a group
of independent workers
who take their livelihood
very seriously.)

It doesn’t matter
if there is no money in it.

My parents were so proud
that I became a seamstress
that they bought me a house
and a sewing machine.

I was only allowed
to make just enough money
to eat
and to feed my mother,
who was suffering
from chronic ailments.

It was December.
There was a war going on.
A war with everyone in it.

It’s not enough to say I love you if we have to do it over and over again

Where the wind meets the pixel is a song like the ocean

“Where the four winds meet
I hope to find you
Where the cliffs drop
I pray to leave you
Where the clouds erupt
You will see the key”

That is the only song by a particular songwriter

And when that song comes in…

For many people, songs are very important,

Especially if it’s their song playing on the radio.

For those of us who never understood the popular music…it can feel _______________________________.

But it also feels strange.

Don’t let it be one of those songs that fails to get you out of bed in the morning.

Let your song be one that keeps you off the streets and helps you from getting lost in the world; that stops you from running away and not thinking about tomorrow.

An ocean before you. Around you.

Sky above.

This is that feeling that you receive from a music.

Where the wind meets the pixel is a song like the ocean