There’s a saying: Go big, or go home. Maybe you’ve heard it. (If not, go back to the beginning of this paragraph and begin again, only more slowly.) This is one of those things often said by people (such as coaches) who have a vested stake in the performance of someone else, but no actual responsibility if they fail. Spectators who encourage gamblers to go “all-in” with their life savings are another example.
I have always considered that saying to be a false dichotomy. No matter how big I choose to go, I have every intention of going home afterwards. Perhaps I’m just a wimp (Disclaimer: Yeah, pretty much), but going big enough to threaten my ability to go home (skydiving, crime wave, going all-in with my home on a pair of deuces) is not for me.
Hold that thought for a moment.
When I was a kid, one of the rewards my parents used to keep my brother and sister and I in check was dinner at a fast-food restaurant. Because my hometown isn’t that big, we didn’t have the major franchise chains locally. Instead of Burger King and McDonald’s, my hometown had Burger Chef (home of Burger Chef and Jeff, top) and Winky’s (some sort of clown, if I remember correctly). Burger Chef was the better of the two, mostly because they had great shakes.
Editor’s Note: The previous paragraph is a non-sequitur (Latin for “not sequitur”). We apologize for the digression.
Anyway, as I was saying before the editor interrupted, we went out for fast food when I was a kid. Back then, the American government had instituted cola rationing to support our fighting boys overseas. As a result, sodas came in three sizes: small (12 oz.), medium (16 oz.) and large (20 oz.). Today, modern advances in soda extraction technology have eliminated the need for such soft drink restrictions. (Disclaimer: Recent attempts to reinstate soda rationing in New York City were met with resistance because they were stupid and wrong.)
Nowadays, fast-food sodas come in three sizes: small (bathe-in), medium (swim-in), and large (sail-on). (Disclaimer: Some establishments also sell an extra-large soda (separate-continents-with). Environmentalists at the drive-thru believe this causes global warming.)
OK, now remember when I was talking about the phrase “Go big or go home”? (If not, go back to the beginning of this post and begin again, only more quickly.) I was at Burger King the other day, and as I was perusing the menu, I noticed that for another dollar, I could “Go Large!” and upsize my combo to feed a family of 4 (not included).
But then, just above the “Go Large!” offer, I noticed another, more reasonably priced, option:
Go Medium! 50¢
I’ve never thought of Medium as a way to Go, and certainly not an enthusiastic one, but apparently it is a viable Going alternative. I imagine it is something like when the Denver Broncos clinch the top seed in the AFC in week 15, and rest Peyton Manning the last two weeks of the regular season.
Given that the first seed guarantees the Broncos at least one playoff game in Denver, I’m pretty sure Peyton gets to go home, even if he sits out.
Author’s Note: My search for a picture of “Burger Chef and Jeff” also turned up this picture:
If I remember correctly, this is a publicity still from the 1996 movie Speed Food, starring Sandra Bullock as Burger Chef, Keanu Reeves as Jeff, and Dennis Hopper as Winky.
Update: Upon further review, Winky appears to be less a clown and more of a psychotic doofus with something in his eye.
The casting of Dennis Hopper in the role now makes more sense.