Chipotle Carnitas Famine: Day 1

I had just set down for breakfast with Ma and Pa when I heard the man say over the radio that some of the Chipotles weren’t going to have the carnitas for a spell – something about the pigs what the carnitas come from not being treated ethnically – which didn’t make a lick of sense to me, since as far as I know there ain’t never been a pig that had a problem with a pig on account of them being different colors, they all liked the slop just the same. I guess I didn’t think much of the story at the time, figgerin it was one of them things that happen in far off places, like zeppelin crashes or Musselman rampages. So that night when I was walking home from the elevated after a long day at the factory I got a hankerin for some Chipotles but when I walked in I could tell something was already wrong just by the way folk were standing around sort of dumbstruck-like, and right away I knew it was the carnitas, even before I seen the sign that said it.

Well I thought for sure that the Chipotles in Chicago would be fine – that it was all them fancy folk in them megapocalyspes on the East Coast who wouldn’t have no carnitas to feast on, so far from the pig farms and pig ranches. I recollected being a kid and hearing Grandpappy tell us stories that he’d heard from his Grandpappy all about how folk used to call Chicago Hogbutcher for the whole world, but that was in long ago times, and come to think of it Grandpappy used to say a lot of crazy things — most ‘specially when he’d get into the hooch — like that the elevated ran all the way out to Hillside and the Cubs sometimes won the pennant. But none of that mattered now, standing there in that Chipotles with that sign staring me in the face, and that weren’t even the worst of it.

There weren’t no chicken and steak available neither! The fellers at work in the kitchen just couldn’t keep enough ready, what with the dinner rush and one of the meat options already missing. Some folk were standing around waitin, but there weren’t no telling how long it might take, some folk said 3 minutes, others they said as much as 5. Hungry as I was I couldn’t bear to wait that long and not have my carnitas at the end of it. Then I recollected bout a place run by some Chinamen from Korea, down the street a ways. I trudged out in the cold and it took me nigh on 6 minutes to walk there, through the slush and snow and even a puddle. I asked them for some BBQ Pork but I guess they do it different back in the Orient because it weren’t like no BBQ I’d ever heard of, not Kansas City nor Texas nor even Caroliney. I set to it though, because there weren’t no carnitas to be had. When I got home I told Ma and Pa that there weren’t no carnitas at the Chipotles by us, and they told me it had been like that all over town, no carnitases anywhere, and Pa had asked a manager about it and the manager just sort of got a glossy look in his eye and shake his head. That night before bed I said a prayer askin the Lord for the carnitas to be back and for the Chipotles to be just like they had been before, like none of this ever happened, but I fell asleep with a rumbly sad feeling in the pit of my stomach.


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