>>> Bang for Your Buck
By staff writer David Nelson

April 1, 2007

Essential New Word of the Week: sinkysand (definition hint: beach trip)

In my line of work, I get constant exposure to the news, well before it’s broadcast. In a way it’s great, because girls I meet think I must be really well-read and educated. Suckers. The truth is, I’m barely capable of discussing anything more serious than Kool-Aid flavors, or The Surreal Life. If anything even remotely political comes out of my mouth, it’s probably due to nap-induced osmosis.

Besides, current events are flat-out depressing. The news is almost always bad, and it’s rarely, if ever, about me. So even though I work around the news, I try not to let it sink in too much. I’m much happier for it, and so is the Chinese government. Who knows what I might to do combat injustice in Tibet? Especially if I somehow became aware that it existed.

But every now and then, I’ll come across a news item that will really resonate with me. There could be a number of reasons for this: The story might be a poignant one; it might have some kind of cultural/religious significance to me, or it might just feature half-naked chicks with world-class knockers. Well, last week, I read a story that hit the trifecta.

Associated Press
March 21, 2007

ATLANTA – Hooters, the restaurant chain known for its tasty wings and scantily clad servers, is heading to Israel.

Atlanta-based Hooters of America Inc. said in a statement Monday that it has reached a franchise deal with Ilana and Ofer Ahiraz to open the first Hooters restaurant this year in Israel, with several more locations in Israel to follow.

The first location will be in Tel Aviv, Hooters spokesman Mike McNeil said Tuesday. The franchisees are from Israel. Eventually, other parts of the country may be considered for locations, but there have been no formal decisions about where, McNeil said.

“Any terrorist that makes it onto the Hooters plane would have to be some kind of Lex Luther-type genius.”

The article goes on to give some quotes from executive types, who probably don’t look all that great in orange hot pants. There’s also some financial information about Hooters, but who cares? Those jerks at the Associated Press missed the story’s big hook. They’re opening a fucking Hooters in Israel. If this doesn’t end the centuries-old conflict between Jews and Arabs, nothing will.

Beyond a mutual disdain for pork, there’s not a lot of common ground the two groups have to work with. But a Hooters could change everything. It’s awfully hard to remember why you’re mad at an entire religion when you’re flirting with a chesty waitress who knows her tip depends on how well she pretends to like it.

Just picture it. Officials are working ceaselessly, trying to resolve border disputes, allocate humanitarian aid, and navigate a veritable political minefield. Actually, for all I know, the drive in to work requires them to navigate an actual minefield. As someone who spent most of college playing Minesweeper, I can tell you: that’s thirsty work.

Obviously, these officials need to blow off some steam to do their jobs properly. But they can’t go just anywhere. The Middle East is so conservative, Sean Hannity would stick out like the grand Marshall of a Rainbow Pride parade. Sure, Israel has some strip clubs, but they’re too seedy and underground to have any diplomatic value.

Hooters, on the other hand, falls just on the acceptable side of morality. It’s titillating, but it’s also just a restaurant. That’s some sexy paradox to wrap your mind around, but try. Diplomats could take business lunches there, and start to mend some of the ill feelings over a cold one (nothing brings people together like He-Brew: The Chosen Beer).

I can just imagine the menu: Fried (Yom) Kippers, Buffalo-style Gaza Strips, Hungry Haifa Burgers… and, oy, such a bargain? You’ll plotz. Even the Arabs will like it. The girls won’t be wearing any unsightly headscarves or veils. And customers don’t have to feel guilty; waitress contracts include a strict “no-getting-stoned-to-death” clause.

And what of the innocuous chicken wing? Why, it would be available in mild, hot, extra-hot, kosher, hallal, and extra-kosher. Also, feel free to say a little prayer to bless the ranch dipping sauce. Goodbye, hostility; hello, lunch! By the end of the meal, Moishe and Abdullah will be the best of friends. But Abdullah will probably leave the tip.

And once the conflict in the Middle East is resolved, Hooters is in a prime position to ship their sexy brand of conflict resolution wherever it’s needed. In 2003, Hooters Airline was launched, enabling sad, wealthy men to ogle women at 20,000 feet. Still, with that kind of air support, Hooters could mobilize enough breasts to solve any crisis in the world within 12 hours.

Personally, I’d be leery of riding a plane that runs on leftover wing grease. But apart from that, I have to think that it was one of the safest carriers in history. Any terrorist that could make it onto the Hooters plane without being racially profiled right into federal prison would have to be some kind of Lex Luther-type genius.

Hooters has already opened franchises in such diverse locations as South America, Australia, and South Korea. I’m sure these restaurants are doing just fine, but look at the diplomatic impact. Hardly any Jews and Arabs are killing each other in Peru. And I’m being optimistic here, but maybe a little sexy waitress-banter is all Kim Jong-Il needs to loosen up a bit. The Seoul franchise should invite him down for trivia night.

The crazy thing is, in my experience, Hooters kind of sucks. The food is lousy. Every glass is covered in a layer of grease that no detergent can quite remove, no matter how lemony-fresh. Sure, there are attractive girls walking around in tight tank-tops, and vagina-snuggling spandex, but you know what? If I want to see naked girls, they’re not that hard to find.

In other words, I don’t need to risk salmonella just to see a waitress who’s wearing way more clothes than most of the teens on MySpace. Also, the constant presence of camel-toe at eye level makes me lose my appetite for finger food. In fact, I would rather eat moldy salsa from a dead hooker’s taint than at Hooters, but it’s perfect for Israel. After 6,000 years of oppression, we’ve earned the right to enjoy the view.

Essential New Word of the Week:

sinkysand n [‘sInkisænd]

The term “sinkysand” was first popularized by an episode of The Simpsons, but it took on new life after a tropical vacation with some friends. Every time we’d hit the beach, somebody would trip, causing the others to exclaim “Ach! Sinkysand!” Now, it’s come to mean any section of floor or ground that causes one to trip. Best said with a Scottish accent.

I don’t know what it is about Puerta Plata that makes people so damn clumsy. The terrain? The sunstroke? The formidable liquor intake? Whatever it was, it affected everyone. One night, we just parked in one spot and watched over a dozen different people trip on the same part of the floor. As one of my pals said, “That’s why it’s not called Puerta Flat-a!” Horrible, I know, but the booze was all-inclusive, so drunken puns get a pass from me.

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