A couple of days ago, I sent a note to IHOP asking them to bring back that fantastic boysenberry syrup.
I grew up with boysenberry syrup and have been dismayed because my IHOP here in Benton, Ark., no longer carries the stuff. Yes, choking down a stack of pancakes with common maple syrup, butter pecan (which is just nasty), blueberry or strawberry just isn't the same.
IHOP e-mailed a reply to me earlier today. Here's a copy of it:
Dear Mr. Nobles:
Thank you for taking the time to contact IHOP. Boysenberry syrup is an available option at our restaurants. Most IHOP Restaurants are franchised by individual business owners. We strive to balance the consistency of a national chain with the flexibility of allowing our franchise owners to customize the menu to meet the needs of their customer base.
To do this, we require all restaurants across the county [sic] to offer a core menu of items. The restaurants are also able to add to their menu any approved optional items. We suggest that you contact the franchise owner or general manager of the IHOP you frequent and let them know of your desire for Boysenberry syrup on the menu.
Thank you for your interest and thank you for your patronage.
Guest Services Representative
IHOP Restaurant Support Center
That note tells me a couple of things. First of all, IHOP has some great public relations in place. Second, I need to go pester the manager of my local IHOP.
It's always good to have a cause.
Like a lot of Americans, I've been watching election returns tonight. Now we've got to put up with Barack Obama and his crap for four years. It was pretty clear months ago that whoever won this thing would be a lowdown, filthy bastard. It appears that the lowdown, filthy bastard the Democrats picked won this time around.
The fact that America has sunk so low that our choices boiled down essentially to Obama or John McCain ought to be enough to make anyone paying attention absolutely sick.
I'm not going to talk about that. What I will talk about is that the Republican party, which I've supported for 20 years, is a mess. How bad is it? The party should have easily slapped down a goofy leftist like Obama. The party is losing seats in Congress and appears extremely weak right now.
Here in Arkansas, we had races for all four seats in the House of Representatives and one seat in the Senate. Three of the House seats are held by Democrats and the Republicans didn't bother to field candidates (the Green Party ran for two of them and one went uncontested). The Senate seat, also held by a Democrat, also drew opposition from only the Green Party.
What the hell is going on here? The Republicans aren't even bothering to field candidates for Congressional seats? Pitiful.
I'm convinced, now more than ever, that it's about time for some strong third parties to arise. The Republicans have abandoned those of us who are fiscally conservative and socially moderate -- the clods that George W. Bush surrounded himself with spend money like drunks on shore leave and tend to swing way right on social issues (many of which a lot of us don't give a damn about).
The Democrats, meanwhile, continue to trick the middle class into voting for them (anyone want to bet we'll see that promised tax cut? Clinton promised the same thing, too) and appear to be in love with what America should be than what it actually is or has been. If you think for a second that the sweeping (and expensive) changes the Democrats are howling for won't be achieved without robbing the middle class, you're living in a fool's paradise.
National health care, for example, isn't cheap and history have shown that such social programs fall on the shoulders of the middle class. We're not wealthy enough to buy the influence to keep the feds out of our pockets and we're not poor enough to pity in the least. In fact, we're little more to the federal government than a revenue source that is relatively defenseless. Unless you're rich enough to buy influence, poor enough to have no money or get paid in cash and keep your money in The First National Bank of Mason Jar, prepare to get robbed.
A good number of us, I suspect, want low taxes and to, essentially, be left alone. Neither party gives a damn about us and they haven't for some time.
Both of these parties are, quite simply, obsolete in that neither represents a sizable majority of the country. Scrap them both. It's time they both went the way of the Federalists and the Whigs. Both parties should have been tossed in the trash at the turn of the century.
Meanwhile, Arkansas voters have approved a lottery amendment and the folks on ABC mentioned that people in Kenya are thrilled by the prospect of Obama being president of the U.S. Things just keep getting worse.