Barry Saunders

The breakfast gods have answered my prayers

Say, has somebody been reading my diary?

That’s the only conceivable explanation for two of my most intense wishes in the world coming true within weeks of each other.

Because so many newspapers and TV stations have all their reporters scurrying behind Donald Trump, writing about his utterances as though they actually mean something in life’s grand scheme, hardly any reporters were left to note two events that are so momentous they have the potential to actually alter the space-time continuum, to turn night into day, day into night.

Check this out: You can now get breakfast all day at Golden Corral and will soon be able to do the same at McDonald’s.

Now, isn’t that more significant than listening to Trump bloviate?

No longer will one have to zip through traffic in order to place an order for a McGriddle or hotcakes breakfast at McDonald’s by 10:30 a.m. More importantly, no longer will you have to curse under your breath when some inflexibly officious cashier at the drive-through window archly informs you that breakfast is no longer being served, even though it’s only 10:30 and 15 seconds and you can see the sausage biscuits luxuriating in the background.

Me: What y’all gonna do, throw all of them biscuits out? (When I’m hungry, grammar suffers.)

The Golden Corral decision is even more of a blessing to those of us who think any time is the right time for some bacon, eggs and grits.

Golden Corral vice president of franchise development Bob McDevitt told me Friday that the company is merely giving the people what they want. “Breakfast in the restaurant business is very hot right now... The thing our people really like is the bacon,” McDevitt said of the all-day breakfast menu. “It’s not intended to be long-term. We wanted to see if we could interest consumers into coming in for lunch and dinner” because of that popularity.

Not long-term? What kind of bacon strip tease is this?

He acknowledged that breakfast food is generally cheaper than lunch and dinner menus – except for the high cost of eggs right now because of all the sick chickens – “but that’s not really material.”

Perhaps not, but I can attest that it’s danged near impossible to eat $9 – the cost of breakfast with a drink – worth of cheesy grits before one has to call the ER.

Trust me: I’ve tried.

A story in Sunday’s N&O cited reports that Americans are finally consuming fewer calories, and that obesity rates have stopped increasing. Yeah, but wait’ll they get a taste of those grits with that liquidy cheese stuff at GC.

Neither of these glorious business decisions will redound to the benefit of America’s ballooning belt line, since it’s hard for real Southerners to even imagine a good healthy breakfast. You can get it good or you can get it healthy, but rarely shall the twain meet. After that third McGriddle, neither will the two ends of your belt.

The decisions will, however, redound to the benefit of the companies’ bottom lines. “We are very pleased with the reaction,” McDevitt said.

Because I have never driven past a fine-dining establishment in the wee hours and not thought, “Gee, I wish they were open,” another diary entry prayed for a 24-hour Golden Corral. The best 24-hour buffet in the history of North America may have been the old Pan Pan Diner on Hillandale and I-85 in Durham.

Man, you could get fatback, cheesy grits and chitlins – all the stuff that’ll kill you if consumed copiously but will also ensure there’s a smile on your face if it does – at 3, 4 or 5 a.m.

A 24-hour Golden Corral is not on the menu, McDevitt said, crushing my other dream. His voice said, “That’s not something we’d do.” His tone said, “ARE YOU CRAZY?”

Pssst. If you really did read my diary and you turned to the last page, forget that part about the Palomino ponies.