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David Brooks Recalls A Better America When A Man Could Cheaply Get Drunk In An Airport
We used to be a proper country.
We have all done dumb shit when drunk. Called our brother at three in the morning to say hi. Thrown up in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant during a friend’s wedding reception. Thrown up in the bathroom during a party and then spent who knows how long sitting against the wall, too dehydrated to move, while other people came in, used the toilet, told us to hang in there, we were fighting the good fight, and then went back out to not be idiots.
We’re not saying we did these things, but someone did, hey shut up.
But until this week, we had never wondered what David Brooks, would do when drunk. Apparently the answer is be himself, but even more himself than normal. Unless he wasn’t drunk when all this went down. Which would be even more embarrassing, if that’s possible.
Brooks posted this tweet at 9:26 P.M. on Wednesday night. By approximately 9:27, he was being roasted across the Internet harder than Mexican street corn:
Damn right. The working man in this country is fed up with being squeezed by Big Airport Food. You can’t even take the wife on a nice date night to a burger joint in the Newark airport without having to mortgage your house. No wonder populism is all the rage.
Social media sleuths quickly deduced that Brooks, pictured up top getting a look at his dinner check, took this picture at the 1911 Smoke House Barbeque restaurant in Newark Airport, where a cheeseburger and fries costs $17, according to the menu posted online. Which means, as the restaurant itself noted on Facebook, that Brooks ran up this tab by ordering who knows how many of those sad-looking double whiskeys — on the rocks, like an animal — that you see sitting next to the plate full of wilted lettuce and sad crinkle fries.
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Who could have possibly known how expensive it could be to grab a meal and a couple of drinks during an airport layover, besides literally anyone who has done so in the last few decades? Dammit, Brooks just had to spend an extra fifty bucks to check his suitcase full of self-regard and magical hair growth tonic, the least the airlines could do is serve him a decent burger and multiple double Scotches without it costing so much that it might raise eyebrows when he turns in his expense account receipts to the accounting department at the New York Times.
The restaurant also was quick to capitalize on the attention by coming up with a new menu item called the D Brooks Special — cheeseburger, fries, double whiskey — and charging $17.78 for it, because if there is one thing Americans can still do well, it’s marketing mediocre, over-priced restaurant fare.
So now the 1911 Smoke House Barbeque restaurant is about to become the hottest spot in Newark, finally relegating Cory Booker’s den full of romance novels and Star Wars comics to second place.
We are old enough to recall — because it was just last month — when Brooks was lamenting that Americans have gotten so mean, unlike the good old days of America when people were being ground under the boot heels of slavery and segregation and misogyny and anti-gay laws and zero workplace regulations and redlining and extreme poverty, but at least had the common human decency to not talk about any of that within earshot of David Brooks. Imagine how badly he has blown his mind by adding “drinking at airports is wicked expensive” to his ever-lengthy list of all that plagues our nation.
Of course, confidently declaring unique insight into how the commoners live is a long Brooksian tradition, going back at least to when he was complaining in 2008 that Barack Obama needed to learn how to fit in at an Applebee’s if he had any hope of winning the presidency. Scolding the nation for not sharing his personal values and decency towards the working classes (values which do not include not leaving your wife for your much younger research assistant) is pretty much Brooks’s entire raison d’etre.
So now Brooks has, like a standup comic doing a set on “Evening at the Improv” in the 1980s, made the shocking discovery that airport food is expensive. Tune in next week when he discovers fire.
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