Monday, January 22, 2007

Jack Bauer Never Eats

Load this into your gullet, you disgusting pig.I think I saw Jack Bauer drinking a cup of coffee once. But he never eats, uses the restroom, sleeps or does anything else that normal Americans do. But then, he's not normal. And he's a TV character. (The guy who plays him has been known to hoist a few drinks, that's for sure.)

On a weekend trip to America's Oldest City, Mrs. Jetpacks and I were slightly bemused after leaving an independent restaurant. We didn't leave with takeout boxes. Because we finished our meals. And we weren't stuffed. My grandfather used to call this feeling "satisfied." We don't know what that means in America anymore.

And so I was wondering if any restaurant chains might like to try a twist on their marketing plan. Instead of super-sizing, instead of portions so large they should feed two people, instead of boxing up everyone's leftovers (or scraping everyone's leftovers into the trash), instead of contributing to the Obesification of America and the subsequent health problems caused by being a stuffed glutton, what if a restaurant chain went with a trial program whereby they offered smaller portions? They could present it in a thousand ways, such as helping curb a national epidemic, using the savings to contribute to the world's starving, keeping your refrigerator free of rotting half-eatens...whatever.

There are restaurants I only frequent once in a blue moon because whenever I leave them, the memory of being so full I'm sick stays with me longer than the memory of the taste of the food or the ambience of the place. And even if I'm not stuffed, the food in the fridge in the styrofoam container is never quite right heated up later in the microwave. (Mexican restaurants, you are the worst. With your bottomless bowl of chips with salsa, most of us are full by the time the entrées arrive.)

So, Applebee's, Outback, Red Lobster, Bennigan's, Hard Rock, T.G.I. Fridays and all the rest, whaddaya think? First one to the table on this idea wins. All the rest look like copycats. (Wendy's was first with the Value Menu, now all the fast food joints have a value menu.) It's time to swing the Portions Pendulum back in the other direction.

We don't know what hunger is anymore. When we say "I'm hungry," that usually means, "I'd love the taste of a monster Chipotle burrito right now." And in a country where eating is a sport and waste is a national pastime, the chances of a corporation going with a responsible idea like this are pretty slim. No pun intended.

I see product placement shots in "24" all the time. Maybe Jack Bauer can be eating at a Hard Rock cafe and he orders from the "Reasonable Portions" side of the menu? He knows he can't take it with him and he knows he'll be lucky to get through his meal without being called way to save his country, so he orders smart. A nation might follow his lead.

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  • He ate a little bit of something in season one. I know that.

    By Blogger Maulleigh, at January 22, 2007 at 12:50 PM  

  • You know, I was thinking about how much I ate while watching the Bears beat the pants off the Saints yesterday. We're going to the Superbowl!!!
    Well , I think we get pissed off if we're paying $10 for a sandwich and we're still hungry afterwards. I'd rather have leftovers and have to do a little extra cardio.

    By Blogger greencan, at January 22, 2007 at 3:22 PM  

  • Jack goes in the ad breaks, like the rest of us

    By Anonymous Jason Lonsdale, at January 22, 2007 at 6:21 PM  

  • Gravitas Sutherland also smokes like the coffee break at an AA meeting.

    As for the food idea? Stranger things have happened. Whodda thunk Mickey D’s would have ever sold salads?

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at January 22, 2007 at 7:08 PM  

  • We watch 24 faithfully and last year we noticed the same thing, Jack does not eat or use the toilet. Also he rips around L.A. and in minutes can be in a location that would take 45 minutes normally.
    I have a belief the writers/producers will stop the action one episode and Jack will say, I'm hungry and have to take a leak"
    That would be perfect.

    By Anonymous MikeMora, at January 29, 2007 at 11:10 PM  

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