With the spring breakers getting on my nerves, and the International Meeting of Procrastinators (IMP) postponed yet again, late March seemed as good a time as any to take a break from transporting strangers around in a Las Vegas taxi. So, I drove two of my friends to Phoenix for WrestleMania 26, or WrestleMania XXVI as it was known in Roman times. Even though I’m a much bigger fan of old school pro-wrestling than today’s version, WM is still a damn fun event. Besides, I’ve lived in Las Vegas almost 14 years and had yet to make it to Phoenix. It only seems fair I should spend some money there, since so many Phoenicians tip me on a daily basis.
I also thought it would be kind of fun seeing one of my favorite lady wrestlers, Beth Phoenix, actually wrestle in Phoenix. Technically WM was in Glendale, AZ, and I have a strong suspicion Phoenix is not Beth’s real last name. She’s actually a Buffalo native with the last name Schmurgeldorfer or some such.
As an added bonus, Phoenix is just a couple hours away from Zano’s place, and he has family in Phoenix, so I can see him without actually having him stay with me (always a plus). I still have some fear when Zano visits that he won’t ever leave. His “Couch Trip” in the mid-nineties still gives me and several other Discordians considerable angst. WM is a huge event and is planned well in advance. I am talking about booking the venue…did you think I meant something else? Know this…life is an illusion, but professional wrestling is real.
I gave Zano 13 months notice, yet he still never made it. I would like to point out I met fans from Australia, Egypt, and Japan over WM weekend, and Zano couldn’t make the 90 mile journey. I turn 50 in November 2016. I think if I tell Zano now, send monthly reminders for the next six and a half years and have the party at his place, there’s a better than 50% chance he will make it.
I have watched pro-wrestling for nearly 30 years now, and have heard tons of wrestlers announced as “hailing from parts unknown.” I never really gave it much thought, but now I believe ‘parts unknown’ pertains to somewhere south of the Hoover Dam and west of the Phoenix suburbs.
One of the joys of road trips is eating at new and unusual places. On the menu tonight was The Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, AZ. Written in big red letters on the front door are the words: THIS PLACE IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH. On the sneeze guard above the bottomless Flatliner Fries is written: DEEP FRIED IN PURE LARD. No doubt, for your arterial-clogging enjoyment. One of the first things you will see when you pull into the parking lot is an ambulance parked near the front door. Upon arrival, you are pleasantly greeted by hot female waitresses wearing short tight nurses’ outfits. A hospital-like wristband that reads “I had a bypass at the Heart Attack Grill” is strapped to your wrist, and a hospital gown is lovingly tied on by your nurse/server. Refusal to participate will result in no service. Maybe this is part of their disclaimer? My friends and I sat at a table, which later proved a mistake. Famous paintings adorn the walls such as American Gothic, The Creation of Adam, etc, with cheeseburgers and fries strategically injected into the pieces.
The menu is pretty basic: burgers and fries, cooked in a decidedly unhealthy manner. The cooks do wear surgical garb though, which made me feel somewhat better. The only semi-healthy thing I saw there was when one of the line cooks messed up. As punishment, she was sent around to the dining room to do ten pushups as a penalty (counted off aloud and bilingually by the patrons). There are four burger sizes: single, double, triple, and quadruple bypass. The quadruple is two pounds. If you finish it, you are given a wheelchair ride to your car. They have a limited selection of drinks: bottled water (by law, not choice), Budweiser, Corona, margaritas, and 20 ounce bottled Coke. Ordering the water gets you dirty looks and is not advisable. Why they do not sell milkshakes or deserts is beyond me. There is no light or diet anything, and no tea or juice. Even though you cannot smoke in AZ restaurants, they do sell unfiltered cigarettes to go, or to enjoy on their side patio.
My friends and I all got the double bypass cheeseburger (1 lb), fries, and Cokes. We were cared for by the lovely Nurse, Elysha, who took our order on a hospital chart and put it in a computer with a red cross as a screen saver. The burgers come greasy with just meat and cheese. There is a topping bar where you can have all the fixings and condiments you want. Do I really have to tell you the food is good? How could it not be? It makes Fuddruckers look like a vegan delight.
Oh, and if you’re over 350 lbs, you eat for free. This offer is not just as a one-time gimmick, but all day every day. There is currently a lawsuit involving a rather large woman from Mesa who insists the The Heart Attack Grill is practicing some form of assisted suicide. Not sure about this, though, as Dr. Kevorkian only eats in nearby Tempe. Just know you will be weighed in front of the whole restaurant before you take your first bite. Visions of Homer Simpson’s attempt to become morbidly obese to work from home, danced through my head. Being single and kitchen illiterate, I can eat a lot of restaurant food, but this endeavor proved a challenge. Much like spending time with the Ghetto Shaman sober. With about three bites of my double bypass sitting there for awhile, Nurse Elysha checked on me.
“You are slowing down handsome, are you going to be able to finish?”
I informed her she was not the first woman to utter those words. I did finish though (the burger you pervs) and when the bill came I paid my portion all in singles. Elysha looked at me kind of funny, and I told her I get tipped a lot of singles in my line of work. I left it at that.
The Heart Attack Grill sells souvenir shirts up to 5XL, and they’re opening a second location soon in Orlando. Good luck Sarah Angelfire. But wouldn’t Las Vegas be a better fit? The only negative about the place is the men’s room, which I found to be woefully inadequate –only a single stall and a single urinal with a mural of women pointing down and laughing above it. It did little for my self esteem, much like hanging around the Ghetto Shaman sober.
On the way back from the men’s room I noticed mirrors behind the counter seats, strategically angled so you can admire the backside of other waitresses as you admire the front side of yours. The best time to dine is just before 3PM when there is a shift change, as you can see more nurses for the buck.
I am not a technologically friendly individual (TFI). I am one step away from Theodore Kaczynski, but that is an important step. I still tape my shows VHS style, listen to music on cassette (my 8 track finally gave out), and pay my bills through the mail. In fact, I sent this article to the Discord after typing it, and I do mean typing, it. Winslow’s plan for carrier pigeons seems a little high-tech for my taste. But I can tell you there’s more information on The Heart Attack Grill on the interweb, so check out Facespace and Mybook, and Videotube.
So let’s review what we have learned:
- Do not invite Zano. This is actually blanket advice and should be applied to all situations.
- Bring cash since debit and credit are not accepted (I forgot to mention that). There is a generic ATM next to the blood pressure machine.
- Go during shift change and sit at counter for maximum viewing pleasure.
- Bring plenty of film, or one of those fancy new magic cameras, since picture taking is encouraged.
- While using the men’s room, repeat an affirmation such as “I am a well endowed male,” or some such as to avoid leaving the place with a complex.
- Wear loose fitting clothing (for multiple reasons) and go hungry.
Hungry was the one thing we were not as we waddled our bloated bladders, clogged colons, and impacted intestines past the ambulance back to the car. I cannot in good conscience recommend eating here on a regular basis. Fortunately I do not have a good conscience, so go often, load up, and chow down!