Friday, March 07, 2008

Truck Stops and Andy Capp

So this weekend we were in Southern California for a wedding. We drove down Interstate 5.

We stopped in Los Banos, about 130 miles south of San Francisco, and stopped in a truck stop to let the girls run around (Yes, a truck stop. I realize it's not the best place to take a toddler for a break, but on the I-5, you take your breaks where you can find them.).

As the girls played with about 50 windchimes on display in the lobby of the diner (no one seemed to mind all the noise they made), my eyes were drawn to a sign:

"ANDY CAPP CHEDDAR FRIES!! On sale now! $0.79."

Andy Capp Cheddar Fries.

Now for those of you not into comic strips, Andy Capp is a long-running strip about some English guy and his wife. I remember Andy Capp comics very vividly because:

  1. Andy Capp was featured prominently on the front page of the L.A. Times Sunday comics sections throughout the 70's and 80's, my formative Sunday-comics-reading stage.

  2. Andy Capp was featured along with "Peanuts" on the front page of the L.A. Times comic section, so I figured any comic that shared the front page with "Peanuts" had to be funny, right?

  3. I read Andy Capp faithfully for over 15 years with the above reasoning in mind.

  4. In over 15 years of reading Andy Capp, it was NEVER FUNNY. Ever.

Most of the jokes had to do with Andy being lazy on the couch, or making fun of his wife. Or he would be at a bar and end up chasing someone angrily out of the bar. Occasionally he would play soccer, but being English, Andy Capp called it "football." That gag usually had Andy chasing someone around angrily for no good reason. Somtimes Andy would hit on some attractive girls, and then the gag would end with his wife chasing him around angrily. Like I said -- NEVER funny. Did I mention, "EVER"?

Andy Capp - Not funny.

So I hear I am in Los Banos, watching my kids with one eye, while my other eye is fixated on this ad for Andy Capp Cheddar Fries. I wondered, "Did I miss something in all those years of reading Andy Capp comics? Somebody must think that comic is funny or they wouldn't give him his own bag of chips, would they?"

And why in the hell was I seeing these chips for the first time in Los Banos?

Of course, I had to buy a bag. I plunked down my $0.79 and was rewarded with a bag of potato and corn sticks sprinkled liberally with orange cheddar-flavoring.

After eating the whole bag of chips while driving, I reached three conclusions:

  1. Driving while eating greasy "cheddar fries" is hard, because it makes the wheel slick.
  2. You get what you pay for.
  3. Andy Capp Cheddar Fries are about as tasty as the Andy Capp comic strip was funny.

Below are some photos from our car trip NOT related to Andy and his fries:

Caroline reading in the car.

Katherine with her milk.

Hills along the I-5.

A red barn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was searching for articles about Andy Capp (for a stupid school project) and came across your blog post. For the record, Andy Capp played Rugby, not soccer/football.

But I wholeheartedly agree. The comic is stupid and the cheese stick things are vile.