Made In The U.S.A.

Hot Wings and Anna Karenina

In Adventures on January 17, 2009 at 11:19 am

1.2.09: I bought chicken wings today from Wingstop. Half hot, half Hawaiian. Made right in front of me, so I suppose that means they’re made in America. Presumably the chickens came from here too, but I’m not so much worrying about all the origins of the stuff I consume as I am about where it’s made. (That’d be a whole other endeavor sure to keep me up nights too.) My dinner was made on South Grand in St. Louis, MO. That’s local.

I also bought a handful of books today at an antique shop. Quite a deal, too. $10.82 got me nice old hardbacks of Anna Karenina and The Complete Sherlock Holmes, as well as a lovely 60s era paperback of The Brothers Karamazov. Plus I picked up some weird books on spotting communists in our midst, an Isaac Asimov take on space for kids circa 1960-something, and a dictionary of shorthand which looks like hieroglyphics. Oh yeah, I bought a book just because of the great title—Gallahad: Enough of his life to explain his reputation.

It is my belief, and not just because of my quest to only buy American, that vintage second-hand items qualify as American much the same way as someone who’s lived here for decades can become a citizen. It’s recycling and it’s old and really, who’s going to tell me it’s not? Besides, in this case these books were all presumably made in the USA in the first place.

The other thing I purchased today was gasoline. A full tank for about $20 at $1.49 a gallon. Not sure where it was made, but I don’t really want to open up that can of worms. I’ll assume it was refined within driving distance. The beef jerky I picked up at the BP station was Oberto brand. Didn’t even cross my mind to look where it was made, presumably because it’s food and because I’m still new at this. The Oberto company appears to be based in Kent, Washington, with a handful of production facilities in the Seattle area. But the company’s web site instilled me with more dread: “In 2002 Oberto aligned with an international supplier of top quality beef to ensure our future meat supply, and thus our ability to grow.” So even though my jerky came from Washington, the cow it was jerked from likely spoke English as a second language.

Makes me wonder what’s the point?


  1. I’m stealing “The Cow It Was Jerked From” to use as the title for my memoir.

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