Mel's? Gross

You know it very well. Mel's Drive-In is a place that you have probably ended up at because of someone else's poor and/or drunk decision-making skills.

Inebriate 1: "Guys, I am STARVING! Where can we get something to eat?!"
Inebriate 2: "Uh, gee, I don't know, I'm really not that..."
Inebriate 1: "I KNOW! How about Mel's?! I've never been there!"
Inebriate 2: (Exhaling) "Ah... Mel's... I mean, I guess if you're really..."
Inebriate 1: (Hurling self into empty street) "TAXXXIII!"

Mel's is only popular for one reason: it's open late. Much to my chagrin, they've studied local drinking establishments closely and found that all of them close at, gasp, 2 a.m.! Can you believe it? Those intelligent bastards. So how late does Mel's stay open? Until 4 a.m., which is one waffle away from being open 24 hours! Maybe it's got something to do with keeping the staff at part-time so they don't have to offer them any benefits. Their compensations stop at the '60s checkered uniforms. Chic!

Anyway, being the only (disclaimer: following word used loosely) restaurant that's open late, Mel's has become something of a ward or corral for the drunk. Bars close and haggard looking men, women and zombies saunter into Mel's to eat terrible, terrible food. Everything is messy. The people are loud. The food is fried twice. The talk is slurred. The lighting is unnecessarily bright (spotlights + inebriates = unsightliness). Yet they herd people in by the dozen, and they hook up, flirt and pass out over waffles, gyros and milkshakes, with the occasional homeless person sprinkled in who made his/her way in off the street and has gone yet unnoticed.

It's an ugly scene.

The first and last time I was at Mel's I saw a man heave and projectile vomit under his table, onto the feet of his friends. One of the guys was even wearing sandals. Gross! And there was no reaction. None! As if this was acceptable behavior or nothing out of the ordinary for a drunkard's haven. I was the only one who reacted, halfway across the room. After wiping his mouth on his sleeve, he regained focus and ate the rest of his pancakes. I think I even saw him making out with some woman in the lobby when I left. What a romancer. (Not sure how he pulled that one off actually.)

I don't know if I've ever witnessed a more appalling act take place in an eating establishment. Holy hamburgers. Mel, check please.

Letter T, Where Art Thou?

Say hello to McDonald's Big N' Tasty. Perhaps you've heard of it. With 510 calories between its buns, I'm sure only a small handful of you have actually consumed one of these things. (Then again, it's got nothing on Hardee's latest contribution to fatsos everywhere.)

I was first introduced to the Big N' Tasty in Alabama, circa 2003. While on a cross-country drive, a van of teenagers happened upon a certain McDonald's with a giant marquee beneath its golden arches. The displayed message? Why, an invitation for passers-by to come in and try the Big N' Tasty.

But there was one small problem. The letter T. It was missing.

What should have read "Taste Our Big N' Tasty" actually read "Taste Our Big Nasty." Whether it was the handiwork of a prankster, an illiterate or the wind, we hadn't a clue. But what we did know was that it was hilariously appealing, and even more effective than the original message could have ever hoped to be.

Big Nasty? Yes, I'll have two.

The menu of this particular McDonald's also offered something not commonly found in other franchises. The McIce. What might sound like a dessert is really just, well, a cup filled with ice, no lid. And it costs a dollar! The McNapkin and the McStraw were other add-ons, should they have tickled our fancy.