[Originally published October 22, 2013.]

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Our philosophy is simple and fresh. We believe fast food can be fast, flavorful, satisfying, and 
still be healthy. That’s why we use only the freshest ingredients and no preservatives. We believe in farmers, too, so hold on for some more righteous bullshit about our company’s mission, because this is our jam, and even though we’re playing the grassroots card, we’re 
richer than two million of your worst ex-boyfriends, and you listened to every stupid thing they believed in, so why not give this shit a chance? We believe there’s a devil, we saw a documentary about some guy who woke up one day seeing positive and negative forces like angels and devils and shit like that­­ seemed pretty real to us. We believe Black Sabbath is a positive force. We believe half of the shit people assume to be evil is actually good and vice­ versa. We don’t really know if we believe in UFOs anymore; without getting into it here, the Internet has killed a lot of magic. Who knows though, maybe shit came crashing earthbound from the skies above New Mexico, and maybe it was jam packed with aliens like a fucking intergalactic clown car that somehow refused to burn up upon entry to our shitty atmosphere that we’ve screwed into the taste we hack off the back of our throats while we walk around under it, getting cancer all over our skin from it. We believe that Steely Dan will crush you hard with love and renewed gratitude if you’ve ever longed for any person or golden age while killing dead-end days in Southern California. Fuck the devil, fuck sensible clothes, and steer clear of life vampires with their shit drugs and bad intentions, that’s what we believe. Burn sage or diaries or whatever the fuck you need to burn to banish yourself from the unloved meals and half-­assed commitments that are tattooed on you like a thousand wrong decisions made with the flourish of as many empty-headed why­ not shrugs. Learn to want more from life, because you are allowed to, and you’re edging on desperate days, and none of us, no matter how close we feel, will probably ever come right out and tell each other things like that. Also, we have a lot of great vegetarian options. Anyway, you want a fresh and flavorful idea that’s part of a healthy philosophy? Welp, that’s the fucking track I’m laying down right now, so take a couple steps back and let me keep playing it. Let’s see, what else do we believe? We believe half the shit you encounter is poison. Not just corporate food, junk music, and jerk-off weirdo political pundits. ­­I’m talking about people demanding too much of you, sucking the life out of you; people who assume that since they’ve shared a little time with you that they’re automatically entitled to the fucking soul you rode in on, hombré. I’m also talking about shit like companies paying scientists to study how to make you desire things; a certain kind of stove, shoes, car, spouse, skin, job. These days it feels like one has to kick a habit an hour to stay ahead of the bad guys. But I’m not trying to bring you down on your lunch hour. I mean, Jesus, listen, life is an amazing thing. Get your feet into every ocean, slum it in Rome or L.A. and consider some options, go to an island on a half­-baked hunch, hatch last minute plans and part with a little cash to get a boat at your disposal by first light, you know what I’m saying? Chase some dreams, or choose not to, whatever makes you happiest, but remember this: we only get so much time to be in the game and the house always wins, bitch. And fresh just got better: if we don’t make your food in eleven minutes, it’s free. That’s right, if we can’t make your order fresh and fast, you don’t have to pay. Because you’re not getting it anyway. If you order and eleven minutes go by, we probably don’t feel like making you anything—hey, maybe we’re taking a break and doing some thinking about the situation we’re in, too—­it’s not always all about you. Oh, I know, we can already hear your nut-less, gently indignant whine as you punch years of atrophy at the sky: “Hey, listen, I’ve got rights, dammit!” Yeah, you’ve got rights. You’ve got Yelp and the rest of the Internet at your nervous, nail­-bitten, blood­-pink stinging fingertips, and you’re also going to get your sad­-ass blogger friend stuck in a nowhere job and town to type something terrible about the experience you had here today. You know something, the more I think about it, get out. Get the fuck out of our restaurant. Get outside and try doing something with the rest of your life. You probably don’t even need calories yet and you’re barking for food like you’re in critical condition. Come back when you can tell us what you believe in. Come back when you can write out your goddamn philosophy on a menu or napkin, because right now we’re not seeing that in you. Eat less so you actually get hungry, how’s that for a fresh idea? Want something real, and then burn day and night for it, how’s that for a delicious philosophy? You always act like today’s the day you’re going to change: Well, it’s getting darker out earlier again.