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Since You Never Asked: 'All Day Breakfast'

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Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West is a big fan of chewing. But he says there is a time and a place for everything:

Since you never asked…

…it’s important for me to let you know that if you ever invite me to eat from the all-day-breakfast menu I will fling my plate of corned beef hash and poached eggs right at your freshly poured after work martini. Listen to my words, “Breakfast.  It’s what’s for BREAKFAST!”

I have a simple request that’s as easy as putting two slices of bread in a toaster and pouring yourself a cup of hot black coffee just as you tumble out of your warm sheets when the sun rises over the nation. Let’s all set aside the silly notion that it’s okay to jump for joy when a press release gets issued and posters are designed celebrating the joys of an all-day-breakfast menu. When a meal you can eat while dressed in pajamas extends its welcome into the parts of the day when all good Americans should be choosing between fried chicken and Mu Shu Pork, it’s not a mitzvah.  It’s a culinary abomination on par with Tofurkey.

You may have heard that the most Scottish sounding of oufits that fattens you fast with something approximating food recently made the landmark decision to offer their breakfast menu deep into the PM hours.  When I heard this news I thought it might have been some clever attempt to divert people’s attention from the fact that they sell ribs on a bun with no actual rib bones.  But, no, this wasn’t some corporate tactic to have everyone watch the right hand while the left hand was rubbing saturated fat on the public’s belly.  They were serious about this all-day-breakfast thing being a good idea. I have one thing to say about this franchised invention.  Shut it down.  Shut it down right now.

I believe in a natural order for how we can all maintain well-marbled physiques. It should never include an after dinner pancake. Over four decades I have come up with some common sense rules for eating throughout the day. From wake up to 10am you are allowed to eat French toast and bacon. 10am to 2pm is a perfectly good time to indulge in a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. And from 2pm to 2am, I say bring on a couple of double cheeseburgers with fried onions and bacon. You should then rest your head, dream of morning breakfast, rinse and repeat daily.

I could get all uppity and intellectual about this all-day-breakfast thing and remind its supporters that the very grammatical promotion of a span of day breakfast is a linguistic holocaust that none of us should ever have to bear.  Breakfast actually means to “break a fast,” one that you fall into during a normal sleep cycle sometime after the sun has set and creepy things start lurking under your bed.  You want people to take all-day-breakfast seriously?  Uh, uh. Not until you decide to give up something else like your teddy bear or that favorite quilt that granny made.

You may find yourself thinking, “Jonathan West sure has it out for breakfast.  Is he allergic to eggs or something?” Nothing could be farther from the truth. All you need to do is pass a plate of deviled eggs under my nose and watch me suck them up like an anteater to know that I’m very pro egg.

In the pantheon of the great meals of all time, breakfast, the real kind served when the sun is hovering in the Eastern part of the sky, holds a sacred place of honor in my heart, mind and gut. Why mess up something that is in no way broken?  Offering waffles around the clock is like saying it’s okay to eat cold pizza first thing in the morning after you’ve stayed up too late catching up with your college friends over 27 bottles of wine.  Okay, that’s a bad example. Pizza gets a pass. Pizza always gets a pass. Especially when you put a fried egg on it.

Contributor Jonathan West brings us the series “Since You Never Asked.”  West is a writer, actor, and currently the Pfister Narrator at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

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