It's a place where you can stuff your face without joy. It offers a menu of bland, oversized meal options for the unhappy American. Welcome to the "Stress Eatery", the hottest new restaurant chain that caters exclusively to stress-eaters.
"At the Stress Eatery, we don't want you enjoy your meal," explained owner Howard Belcher, "we expect you to wolf it down without tasting it, as a distraction from your miserable and pointless existence." When Howard opened his first Stress-Eatery Café several years ago, crowds of malcontents lined up around the block, waiting up to three hours for a chance to inhale a totally forgettable lunch while hating themselves. "I realized I had tapped into a vast market of stressed-out losers," said Mr. Belcher. "Today, there are over two hundred Stress Eateries in forty states. And with the misery index on the rise, we hope to go worldwide."
For years, food experts have emphasized the practice of "appreciating" food, and "cultivating a fine cuisine in an aesthetic dining environment". "Screw that!" said food-psychologist Gilbert Coleslaw. "Today's average citizen is too busy to be happy. They want crap. And they will pay good money for it."
The Stress Eatery's menu is tailor-made for the sad sack: you can wallow in self-pity while slurping the deluxe mayonnaise bucket. Or if you're really depressed, there's the suicide burger: five pounds of questionable meat served on a moldering bun with some beige sauce. The dessert menu is equally joyless: from rubber cake to leather pie to bad cobbler. The Stress Eatery also boasts a stressful atmosphere. Fluorescent top lights cast a bluish glow on the food, and the booths all have springs popping up through the cracked upholstery.
"Here at the Stress Eatery, you can stress-eat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Mr. Belcher. For a flat sixty dollars, The Stress Eatery offers the "Bottomless Pit": an endless conveyor belt of fatty greasy tasteless food. "Stress eating is an acquired taste," said championship stress-eater Kevin Gobblestone as he tore into his seventeenth suicide burger. "You don't stop eating just because you're full. You stop eating when you're finally happy, or you die... whichever comes first."