THE
Mustard.

Mustard

By Mark Abraham & Dom Sinacola · Aug 09, 2013

Mark: Dooooooom?
Can you explain Applebee’s to me?
Is it like Chilis? I’ve been to a Chilis once.
It was on the border of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

Dom: Let me just stop you for a moment.
It’s not “Chilis.”
It’s “Chili’s,” with an apostrophe. Like Applebee’s.
As if the restaurant belongs to one chili.
One important chili.

But I think I’ve actually been to that Chili’s. My cousin lives in Ypsilanti.

Mark: I ate there by myself.
It was the saddest thing I have ever done.
So…have you even been to an Applebee’s?
Do they exist north of the Mason-Dixon line?

Dom: Why do you care about Applebee’s?
…I mean, I have my reasons, but I want to know yours.

Mark: HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE, DOM?
It’s AMAZEBALLS!
On August 3rd they told us all that it was National Mustard Day.
A WHOLE DAY FOR MUSTARD, DOM! NO SHIT!
AND 19,974 PEOPLE LIKED IT!

Dom: Mustard is pretty likeable.
It’s so versatile! It probably deserves its own day.

Mark: I only like a very small slice of the pie chart of versatile mustardom.
Mostly I just like yellow mustard, and super grainy mustard.
Basically my taste buds are mustard xenophobes.
Dijon makes me very sad.

Dom: You don’t muster for mustard?
Can I be “MustarDom”?
Is mustard musty? Is it a must?
WHY ISN’T APPLEBEE’S EXPLAINING THE ETYMOLOGY TO ME?

Mark: Applebee’s also wants to know: bones or no bones? For wings, I guess.
The answer is always bones. Always. Unless you have no teeth I guess.

Dom: Ooh. Do they really have over 200 ways to escape my flavor rut?

Mark: Is Mary H. Crockett right when she says that “they have such great food”?

Dom: What does it mean that lunch is in my hands?

Mark: Is “impasta” not an ingenious pun on “pasta” and “imposter”?

Dom: Ooh. Apparently my choice of lunch will signal my personality to the world.
I choose those bread sticks in the picture with the mood lighting and the caption “we’re waiting for you.”
What are they waiting for?

Mark: My personality is a sharknado of Margarita Queso Chicken and Shrimp platters.
I love how every comment on this page is unadulterated enthusiasm for Applebee’s.
But they’re all just, like, “Applebee’s is my favorite.”
Succinct they are, those Applebee’s customers.

Dom: Why are they announcing all of these days?
Like, mustard I get. Sure.
But why “Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day”?

Mark: They want administrative professionals to be their bread and butter?

Dom: Does Toronto have an Applebee’s?

Mark: I don’t think so.
We have plenty of Applebee’s-ish places.
Outback Steakhouse. Milestones. Kelsey’s. Montana’s. Earl’s. Jack Astor’s.

Dom: How often do you eat at such places?

Mark: Never’s.

Dom: Then why do you think I would eat at Applebee’s?
I live in Portland.
Eating at Applebee’s would be like clubbing seals in the thoroughfare.

Mark: Does Portland have a thoroughfare?

Dom: What constitutes a thoroughfare?
A length of road in which one must see no less than 25 green Subaru Outbacks?
In which a person in a kilt and Darth Vader mask can play the whole of the “Imperial March” uninterrupted? On bagpipes? On a unicycle?
What makes for a thoroughfare in Toronto?

Mark: A proliferation of tiki bars. Toronto has tiki bars. That’s the new thing.
The last last new thing was tacos, and the last new thing was BBQ, and now it’s rum cocktails.
I like to keep my ear to the ground.

Dom: Aren’t tacos always the last last new thing?

Mark: Heh. But I bet Applebee’s has like 87,364 varieties of tacos on their menu.
Tacos are never an old thing at Applebee’s.
Do you get confused when menus are too long?

Dom: …

Mark: I do. Especially when they’re in a different language.
There’s an Italian restaurant in Toronto which is really usually quite good, but they insist on naming all 13,231 of the dishes in Italian.
Which is fine, but whether you try to say the words phonetically or you cheat and just say “I’ll have the duck,” the servers all insist on repeating the full name back to you with the correct pronunciation like you’re a moron.

Dom: All blended “th“s and elongated double consonants?

Mark: “Oh, so you would like the PEH-PAHR-DELL-EH?”

Dom: “Ah, I see you’re pointing reluctantly to the GAH-BAH-GOOL.”

Italians have no patience for hand gestures that aren’t fully committed.

Mark: Most of them aren’t Italian so I just assume they pick a pronunciation and stick with it.
The accent you’re hearing is actually “unwarranted superiority.”
It’s like the time I was 20 in a vegan cafe in Winnipeg and I ordered a Coke and the guy behind the counter tried to kill me with his precise enunciation of the phrase “DO YOU MEAN A COLA?”
…they’d never pull shit like that at Applebee’s.

Dom: Yeah, but there’s a problem.
Applebee’s : Food :: LMFAO : Music.
I think that’s a scientific fact.

Mark: Whatever happened to party rock?
Is it still in the house tonight?
I can’t remember.

Dom: It’s playing in an adjacent fraternity house.
Or in someone’s basement. Which is a totally unsanitary sex dungeon.
Can you actually imagine having sex you will undoubtedly be ashamed about, let alone ever tell anyone about, while LMFAO is on repeat?
“The safe word is ‘leopard-print’.”
But I think party rock has officially left the house tonight and is playing at an Applebee’s.

Mark: LMFAO wants you to think they’re Ypsilanti but they’re actually Ann Arbor.
They’re a taco whose only claim to delectability is due to a half-decent chipotle mayo.
I made fun of that vegan dude, but if somebody asked me to play LMFAO I’d probably respond “DO YOU MEAN MUSIC?”
…they’d never pull shit like that at Applebee’s.

Dom: It’s not just “we’re waiting for you.”
A bunch of these captions are vaguely sexual.
Like you’re going to eat some boneless wings and get a boner.

Mark: Maybe the boneless wings make you lose your bone after you bone-out in your pants?

Dom: “It takes two to make your meal go right.”
Except that just means two meals, essentially, on the same plate.
For all the wretched souls who couldn’t decide between chicken fingers and shrimp pasta, I guess.
But you know what I’m really disappointed about?

Mark: No. Please go on.

Dom: There is a considerable dearth of selfies on this page.
Why isn’t Applebee’s encouraging its small army of ecstatic customers to take stupid pictures of themselves enjoying the fuck out of that stupid food?
WHY?

Mark: If you were Applebee’s, would you want your particular brand of loyal customer plastering his or her stupid face all over your pristinely curated Facebook wall?

Dom: No, I know, but I’m just seriously distressed by the obvious imbalance here between nightmarishly weird pictures of food and people gladly eating that food.
Every picture reminds me of something a feral cat would be gnawing on were you to find it in the dirty house of a 90-year-old woman who’s been dead for three weeks.
Or the cover of a Pixies album.
So, in conclusion: more selfies, Applebee’s.
Less of that mustard picture which is just closeups of chicken dripping some kind of mustard.

Mark: “Chicken fingers: the underappreciated phallic symbol.”
YOU CAN USE THAT AS YOUR NEXT CAPTION, APPLEBEE’S!

Dom: “Applebee’s: it’s what makes up 67% of American gut.”

Mark: “Applebee’s: if you take out two ‘p’s and three ‘e’s all you’re left with is the ‘blas.’”

Dom: …they’d never pull wordplay like that at Applebee’s.

Discussion
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