Packing It In
As part of my outrageous out-of-touchness with real America, until a meal consumed after trap shooting yesterday, I'd never been to an Olive Garden. Generally speaking, my exposure to the realm of table-service chain restaurants has been pretty limited, and my early exposures were primarily to Applebee's and Chili's (which, somewhat oddly, has a branch right near Harvard Square) and so those are the places I've always sought out in the rare instances when looking for such a thing. Be that as it may, now I've been there, and I have to say that the $8.95 never-ending pasta bowl really does explain a lot about America's obesity problem.
At the same time, there really is something incredibly impressive about the idea of an economy that's efficient enough to provide such a cornucopia of food in exchange for such a trivial portion of the average person's income. Still, a bit more progress like this and none of us are going to have any arteries left.