I’ve been trying to nail down, more succinctly at least, why I have beef with Dairy Queen; it’s not their actual cow product because I’ve never tried it and probably never will, but something about the slogan “Grill & Chill” that I find so readily detestable in its presumed innocuousness, pre-packaged as it is to loathe, that it might as well be synonymous with terms like “great books,” or “classic” in the academy, whereby the bland allusion of positivity conceals Satan himself, behind the scenes strumming an out of tune guitar with the pick of destiny. Maybe it’s the language that bothers me. It’s gotta be deeper than how John Stuart felt about Arby’s. The term “Grill & Chill” supplants any thoughts of hunger I might have had with cold hamburgers sans cheese, dressed in Black face too, wearing the brown on the outside but still cold and pink in the middle. But with no mayonnaise, or ketchup. The bun of course, in this scenario would still be thawing. Not long ago I was stuck in an airport terminal at that point where hunger evolves into frustration and bad decision making. The only thing in the terminal was “Grill & Chill.” I walked almost forty minutes to the Popeyes. The thought of Dairy Queen doesn’t keep me up at night, but it certainly doesn’t help me sleep.
In waking dreams I find myself trapped in a “Grill & Chill” hell, this nightmarish land sandwiched between a white boy pulling a Gamecube and Miller Lite from his Jansport and the associative chill of the postmortem, watching anime reruns on Netflix with an ex before crossing the threshold of that inevitable mistake of all mistakes. What I really want, I think, is for “Grill & Chill” to no longer exist, for it to fall off the side of the turtle that this flat planet lays down on. Maybe the slogan can find a better way to express what it truly means: burgers and sundaes. Maybe we all can, but until then I continue to drive past “Grill & Chill” each day with my eyes glued to the road, trying not to inhale too deeply.