Captain Bradner’s Dominos Theory


A few weeks ago, Frontier pilot Gerhard Bradner decided to land his Denver-bound plane in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It is believed, by habitual users of the passive voice and others, that one or more of his gauges suggested that the plane wasn’t up to the task of flying through the frightful storm he’d been led to believe he’d encounter. Once on the ground, though, the plane  sat there and sat there and sat there while its 160 passengers, denied the ability to get off the plane and visit the nearb Richard B. Cheney Museaum of Enhanced Interrogation, grew ever more truculent, especially after they’d eaten everything edible on board.

Alarmed by their ever-more-ominous grumbling, Captain Bradner hit upon an ingenious scheme to appease them:  feed them. But what? This column’s hunch, not yet substantiated at presstime, is that Captain Bradner got out his iPhone or Samsung Galaxy and consulted Yelp for help with that question.

The pickings were of course slim. Small-town America isn’t exactly known as Foodieville, as I myself know from bitter experience. When I was a  full-time musician, my orchestra  was booked at one point to perform in Medford, Oregon, for a week. Unable to afford La Maison de la Casa House, to which men wore neckties and too much aftershave and their dates heels and hose, it took us three nights to find a local eatery where we could order something reasonably non-revolting for the pittance we had to spend on food. In many small towns, one’s safest bet is to find the nearest Subway or KFC and cross his fingers, but safe isn’t necessarily satisfying, and Captain Bradner didn’t want to give his passengers another reason to contemplate mutiny.

About the sandwich joint Jimmy John’s one correspondent had written, “What gives JJ an edge over Subway is JJ slices the meats right there in the restaurant.” Captain Bradner read on.

Pretty much the best thing anyone had thought of to say about Anong’s Thai Cuisine, apparently Cheyenne’s leading Asian restaurant, was that, unlike “every freaking Thai place in Denver,” Anong’s doesn’t desecrate its tom yum soup with a tomato. But did Captain Bradner really want to bet on a restaurant in sleepy Cheyenne being able to deliver 160 portions of the stuff without the delivery boy fatally scalding himself?

Reader remarks about Estafan’s Café, a leading Mexican place in  spite of its inability to spell Estefan, didn’t inspire greater confidence. Said one reviewer, “One word: Ew. Canned, bagged, frozen, nasty food. Guacamole was like Taco Bell guac paste. Carnitas was… I really don’t know, cubed spam? Nasty.” Said another, “Nothing tastes or looks fresh.”

As for The Bread Basket, apparently the French Laundry (that is, crème de la crème) of Cheyenne, one undelighted former diner groused, “Sandwiches are okay, but nothing special. Breakfast burritos, average. Biscuits and gravy? Meh. The cookies are okay, but frankly I’d rather have grocery store pastries.” Another sniffed, “I understand that people are impressed by home-made bread… but that is about all this little place has going for it. The first words that come to mind are “church basement food.”

In the end, Captain Bradner played it safe, ordering — with his own credit card! — 38 pizzas from Domino’s. This column once conducted a blindfold test in which it determined that Domino’s pizza and the box in which it’s delivered are pretty nearly indistinguishable in terms of flavorfulness — or, more accurately, flavorlessness — but at least the company’s virulently anti-choice founder sold out in 1998, so one can eat it without feeling as though he’s fanning the fires of benightedness.

Once having landed in Colorado a couple of hours later, those passengers who were already a little puckish again presumably ordered Denver omelettes. Ta-da-dum! Ouch!

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Comments (Showing 2 of 2)

  • tchase at 8:35pm August 05, 2014

    This was delightful! Thanks for the chuckle!

  • emmabail at 8:46am August 06, 2014

    Wow…. Really very nice post and experience you have shared with us.I just love your post. Keep posting.

    Thank you so much.

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