Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tourism at home

I have never been to a Sonic. Apparently there is a new one in the town where I grew up, but I'm in no rush to get there.

For the longest time, I saw Sonic commercials on television and shrugged my shoulders. They could talk all they wanted about slurpies or shakes or whatever the hell they were selling -- why should I pay attention, it's not like I can go there -- it didn't mean a thing.

But in a way, it was kind of cool. It gave me a glimpse into another world where people went to the drive-in and ordered food and drink like it was still the '50s. America was pretty awesome. Maybe not here where I lived, but out there, somewhere, where bright yellow Sonics churned out colorful, um, slushie things.

That's what makes living in a large country all kinds of interesting. I may crab about wishing I lived in a one-time zone nation so every major sporting event wouldn't have to start at FREAKING 9 P.M., but the truth is it'd be pretty dull if I could drive from one end of my country to the other in an afternoon.

Living in a large country not only makes touring different areas a lot more interesting, but it makes the most downright mundane aspects of life exotic.

For instance, when I collected Dodgers yearbooks as a kid, I always wanted to shop at Farmer John and get gas at Union 76. Never mind that too much cured meat wasn't good for a kid of age 11 or that I couldn't drive, I wanted to BE there.

The same holds true today. I keep reading about Meijer's and Wawa from my fellow bloggers. I barely know what those places are, but I'd love to visit.

Unfortunately, you're probably aware of how much gas costs. So I won't be traveling far away anytime soon.

My tourism will have to be at home. Meaning one thing:


These arrived from Greg Z. of Plaschke Thy Name Is Argyle. Mother's Cookies might not be exotic to him since he lives in California. But I'm a lifelong Northeasterner and I still am not certain exactly what Mother's Cookies are, having never seen them here. They sure seem exotic as I sit in my New York hole in 36 degree weather. It's like I traveled all the way to the West Coast to get me some California cookies (don't get dirty on me now).

I've known about Mother's Cookies since I was a teenager because I saw Mother's Cookies baseball cards advertised in a hobby periodical way back in the early '80s. But I only saw the cards, not the cookies So I still don't know exactly what they are. Are they different kinds of cookies? Chocolate and oatmeal and stuff? Or are they not cookies at all but like Hostess Twinkies or something?

Of course, in this age, I could easily figure out what they are and order up a case for myself, and have it delivered tomorrow, if I wanted. But often times I prefer to live in the '80s when we had to stay stupid about things until Al Gore invented the internet because we LIKED IT THAT WAY.

Besides, how are things going to remain exotic if I end up knowing about everything?

Anyway, these Mother's Cookies are select items from the '96 set. It's not all that Greg sent.

He sent a Bowman prospect that didn't pan out, may never pan out, and damn who cares if he pans out that card is all kinds o' SHINY!

At least this guy had a couple of good years. A million different cards for a couple of good years.

The guy in the UCLA shirt, or whatever it is, is very distracting. I can't even form a proper insult of Anderson's 2010 season for the Dodgers.

Starting to miss the Fox ownership days?

There's a Southern Cal native. I bet he knows all about Union 76 and Farmer John.

Many thanks for the Dodger goodies, Greg. Save some Kemp and Kershaw for me.

Cards are a great way to get to know some of the terrific attractions across the country, even if I never visit the business itself.

But there IS a sure way to get me there.

Sonic, if you ever start making cards, I am there tomorrow. I don't care if gas is 6 bucks a gallon.

A watermelon slush and a pack of cards. Think about it.


  1. I too saw Sonic commercials for many years. Problem is that there are not ANY Sonics anywhere near Worcester, MA. Like literally within 200 miles. So why the commcercials?

    They were a little closer to Oberlin, Oh - more like 100 miles - but still too far to justify a trip.

    Now I live in a town that has a Sonic. Next year I'll actually live .2 miles from said Sonic. I've gone a few times. It's...blah. I don't get why they're so amazing to some people. Drive ins are fun and all, but there's gotta be a better local drive in for most areas. For instance, Akron, OH has the AMAZING Swenson's. Puts Akron to shame. And IMO, A&W is better than Sonic as well. I do love my root beer though.

    Anyway, this has nothing to do with cards. But I needed to share my knowledge haha.

  2. Man that refractor looks atomic!

  3. Nice cards!

    There aren't any Sonic Burgers out here in the San Fernando Valley, but there are a few in Orange County. Last time I went to Anaheim for an Angels game, I ate there. After seeing all the good stuff in the commercials, I was a bit disappointed when I actually ate the food.

    I didn't realize Mother's Cookies weren't all over the country. My favorite are Circus Animals. Yummy.

  4. That Ultra Ishii is horizontal greatness.

    We're surrouned by Sonic down here in Texas and it ranks right up there,or should I say down there, with McDonalds. It's just fast food, maybe a smidge better than some, but it's nothing special. Of course, if they started offering cards with those Route 44 drinks...

  5. Oh man, I love me some SONIC. Popcorn chicken and an Oreo blast. Heavenly. HEAVENLY.

    I've actually never had Mother's Cookies. Probably pretty good though. I mean, they're cookies. Who doesn't love cookies? Only the Commies, that's who.

    And probably Hitler. Because that dude hated almost everything.

    I shall indeed round up some Kemp and Kershaw doubles I have. Hopefully one or two will be ones you need.

  6. Revisiting this later - Greg...surely In and Out destroys Sonic. That's what I've heard anyways. Is that correct?

  7. Sonic is great. .99 cent large drinks before 11 a.m. and the happy hour specials can't be beat (all drinks 1/2 price from 2 - 4 in the afternoon).

    I have seen mothers cookies on the shelves around here but never bought them. Of course if they had cards in them I would be putting the package in the cart.

  8. In the spirit of good manly competition, I am going to one up all the previous commenters. Sonic's corporate headquarters is here in OKC and is right across Reno Avenue from the Bricktown Ballpark where the AAA Redhawks play. You could literally hold your breath and walk from their front door to first base.

    As far as the food? It ain't gourmet. But, as fast food goes, it is way better than McDonalds or Burger King. Plus, the have hot dogs on the menu. You can get a foot long chili cheese dog or the newly added Chicago Do. Plus, real cherry cokes! With a freaking cherry!

  9. I find it hard to believe someone who knows what farmer john's is has never seen mother's cookies. I guess that could happen since people thought the same thing when I moved to NC and never heard of a moon pie, sweet tea or a hush puppy. I also never ate at Sonic until I traveled out of California. Your writing style is awesome. I love reading your blog.

  10. The problem in my area, I know of at least 10 Sonics, including one with-in walking distance of my house, but, through experience, when my wife and I want Sonic food, we drive over an hour to Williamsburg cause the rest just ain't worth the effort.

  11. If I want a burger Tim, In N Out definitely, especially because SONIC took the one burger I liked off of their menu after only like a few months of offering it.

    But SONIC destroys In N Out in terms of sweets. And again, POPCORN CHICKEN to die for.


  12. Sonic does a pretty good burger and what's more they have tater tots.

    mmmmmmmmmmm tater tots......

    Their burgers are not as good as Five Guys though but I don't think there are many burgers out there better than Five Guys. I do need to try an In N Out burger before I die (of heart congestion from too many burgers) so I can see if they are really better than Five Guys. I don't see how it's possible but if The Dude says they have good burgers that's enough of a recommendation for me.

  13. We don't have Sonic, but we do have Tim's. That's what you REALLY need to try...

    Is there more than one Wawa? The one in ON really doesn't count as exotic.

  14. Dude, even when I lived in tiny WP, MO we had a Sonic. I only went there for drinks though cause they are half off at happy hour and cherry limeades are great. The food there sucks. I went about 5 years refusing to eat there after I got food poisoning from a Chili Cheese Dog and missed work for a week.

    I don't know how everyone can mention favorite burger places without mentioning White Castle. I have found out that there is not a single White Castle in all of Phoenix. Not a Krystals either. Going to have to do In-and-out for my heartburn.

  15. Back again!

    Dayf made me remember their tots. Those are definitely nice.

    But then Adam made me remember their chili cheese dog. Damn that kicked my ass the next day.

    Verdict: a wash.

    Five Guys wins!

  16. I'm a beverage guy, so whichever one of those places -- none of which are anywhere near me -- has the best beverages shall be my favorite. I will journey one day and partake.

  17. Sonic did issue cards one year - in fact there is a steve garvey card in the set.
    We used to eat farmer john products all the time, primarily because vin scully told us to.
    We have a few sonics here in minny but I haven't been.
    In n out > 5 guys but just barely.