So, you ask, what the heck are the terms Carls Jr. and Lucia Mendez doing in the same sentence?
Well, as luck would have it, or happenstance or just plain old hunger, I left my office in Chuburna with the firm intention of finally trying the fish and chips at Giannis that I had read good things about.
Unfortunately Giannis, on calle 60, was about as closed as an argument about whether or not a glorieta on the Prolongacion de Montejo would go ahead or not.
Still hungry, I decided that because of the odd hour (6-ish) nothing normal and yummy (like a cocina economica) would be open and my options were limited to fast food which I then proceeded to find in Carls Jr. on Montejo. In hindsight I should have eaten at El Pez Gordo but I had a hankering for a hamburger.
Inside Carls Jr. the air conditioning was fantastic, the place was more or less empty except for the thankfully glassed in kids section where children caroused and screamed and the burger was… just alright. A bit disappointing but whatever.
On the many wall mounted televisions sprinkled around the restaurant, I could enjoy some telenovela and the accompanying commercials obviously dedicated to a female audience with absolutely nothing better to do. I had forgotten, as I don’t have the pleasure of being able to enjoy Mexican television at home, how truly awful it is!
Lucia Mendez is still doing telenovelas which is probably the only thing she knows how to do and her acting skills are amazing. So convincing was she in the part I saw that I am sure she really is a telenovela actress. She also had had major work done on her face which really doesn’t move much when she talks. Her perky Michael Jackson nose, cheekbones and lips all show signs of an overhaul. Poor thing, desperately clinging to her fading beauty, fingers slipping one at a time off the precipice of youth and about to tumble into the chasm of obsoletion. Is that a word?
The men are cartoons of course as well. Many a furrowed brow; an angry outburst alone in an office. How many men in real life talk to themselves like this? All angry and banging their fist on the desk while the camera closes in on their face, all covered with makeup.
And the sets, the fabulous sets!
Most scenes look like they have been filmed in a Liverpool home furnishings section, or maybe the set designers are ex-decorators from the Palacio de Hierro or Liverpool? Who knows. One scene featured lunch, and a pristine white table setting was offset by the bright orange drink in a glass pitcher. No one was drinking anything and Mom finally got around to serving a rice noodle broth. It looked delicious, but no one was paying attention.
Finally, the highlight of my very- late-lunch television viewing experience: a fabulous commercial, right out of a Saturday Night Live sketch, for “UpLift” cream which will make your bum pop right out and your boobs stand up at attention. A rather suggestive video – considering the kids in the glass and plastic cage a few feet away – shows a woman rubbing “UpLift” cream on her breasts (the nipples are blurred out) and then another hot female in a tank top rubbing her bum while wearing a thong. Then, magic! An animation morphs her “unflattering” flat bum into a true rappers delight, “it’s like, out there Becky” (from Baby Got Back). You get to watch this creaming and morphing several times during the several-minute long commercial. I tried to imagine this commercial in a non-latin culture. Couldn’t do it.
That’s it. The end.
Next time I am going to OneBurger. Maybe they will have something better on TV.