Shared from the 9/7/2019 Houston Chronicle eEdition

EDITORIAL

Thumbs up, down

Salad vending over Chicken Sandwich War, O’Rourke vents, lion hunters take their shot.

Picture
Courtesy of The Salad Kitchen

The Salad Kitchen, a Louisiana-based fast-casual restaurant chain, plans to install salad-making robots in the Houston area.

The Chicken Sandwich War heated up earlier this week, when a group of people threatened a Houston Popeyes restaurant manager after he told them they were sold out of chicken sandwiches. One man even pulled a gun and demanded to be served, according to reports. Last week, the Thumbs recommended spurned chicken lovers should relax and enjoy a salad. So it is with great hope, in these dark times of poultry peril, that we look toward a new champion. Enter: the salad robot. A Louisiana-based company is introducing salad-making vending machines to Houston, offering romaine or spinach salads with chicken or ham, and a choice of three types of dressing and 17 other toppings. The company expects to have 10 “Sally” machines running by early 2020. While the rise of robots in the kitchen raises concern for the future of restaurant workers, at least no human will risk getting shot over a piece of chicken.

Presidential candidate Beto

O’Rourke was at an event in Virginia when he learned about last week’s mass shooting in Midland-Odessa. The former Texas congressman responded in his trademark uncouth style: “We don’t know how many have been killed. We don’t know the motivation. But here’s what we do know: This is f----- up.” His reaction is now a T-shirt, available for sale at his website, emblazoned with a slightly censored version of the last phrase repeated six times and ending with a call to “End gun violence now.” Unlike his other, more traditional campaign merchandise, all proceeds go to Mom’s Demand Action and March for Our Lives. O’Rourke tends to lean too heavily on the use of profanity to signal authenticity, but regarding his colorful condemnation of mass shootings and our failure to do anything about them, we say: our sentiments exactly.

“A River Runs Through It” is a novella that was turned into a 1992 movie starring a young Brad Pitt. Maybe in a decade or two, Pitt will bookend his career with “A Border Fence Runs Through It.” Based on a true story, he would play a septuagenarian enjoying his retirement at the River Bend Resort and Golf Club in Brownsville, maybe just having put down $200,000 for a home there, when the federal government decides to build a border fence in the middle of the 18-hole golf course. Dialogue could reflect the sentiments of real-life residents of the resort — many of them Trump supporters: “I never thought they’d go through a subdivision,” Shirley Menard, a former Houston school teacher, told the New York Times. “Nobody really thinks about it until it affects them personally.” The 30-foot wall will leave about 70 percent of the senior community, around 200 properties, on the other side of the barrier. Residents have given up, deciding it’s not worth challenging the government. Perhaps the movie version can have a happy ending, with Pitt helping people realize that seizing private land for a politically motivated boondoggle is wrong. But that’s probably too much Hollywood hooey.

Pity the poor lion hunter. The

Trump administration has not been the boon to big game trophy hunters that they expected, so the Houston Safari Club formed a political action committee to make more friends in Washington. Houston was once the nation’s top destination for African lions killed by U.S. trophy hunters, the Chronicle reported, but public backlash and federal restrictions have severely curtailed activity. To those fond of majestic vulnerable species of the living, breathing variety, that may sound like a good thing, but hunters — who pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill African game — say that money ultimately makes its way to conservation efforts. If protecting animals is so important, how about instead of spending all that cash on bagging lions and pressuring politicians, hunters skip the middleman and donate directly to conservation? It may not come with a dead lion, but good deeds seldom do.

See this article in the e-Edition Here