The coming of the truck

Last month, the Arizona Diamondbacks upset the highly favored New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series. This was a stunning event. The Yankees were the three-time defending World Champions, led by hired arms Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina. Arizona was four years out of expansion. How Arizona upset New York has boggled the greatest contemporary baseball minds. Some sports commentators have pointed to the dynamic duo of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling as the simple and obvious reason as to how the D-Backs overcame the Bronx Bombers.

I offer another answer to this boggling question. Three by three animal-style. Three 100 percent pure beef fresh hamburger patties topped by three slices of American cheese. Top that off with hand-leafed lettuce, freshly cut tomatoes, grilled onions, mustard, extra spread, pickles stacked high on a freshly baked bun. Are you pondering what I’m pondering: what, pray tell, is all this babble? It’s rather simple, my friends: In-N-Out.

What ESPN and CNNSI did not inform their audience was that the Diamondbacks raced to In-N-Out in Phoenix immediately after they landed in Sky Harbor Airport. Down three games to two, Bob Brenley knew how to turn his team around after two heartbreaking loses. This was their elixir. The manna of the desert. In-N-Out. With their arms pumping with fresh cut potatoes prepared in 100 percent vegetable oil and the divine vanilla shake made of 100 percent pure ice cream, Johnson and Schilling could not be stopped. The Yankees, without a good California boy on their squad, could not have known what proud Dodger players have eaten for decades before each game at Chavez Ravine.

In California, In-N-Out is life. It’s a state of mind. It’s something that everyone should have the priviled, no, the constitutional right, to enjoy. Unfortunately, In-N-Out can only be found in Arizona, California and Nevada.

I have a bold plan to change that, however. Many have said it cannot be done. But I dare the powers that be to make it a reality. Morton Owen Schapiro, president of the College, I charge you to bring the Truck to Williams College.

For all of you who do not know what the Truck is, it’s simply heaven on wheels. Officially known as the “cookout trailer,” the Truck is a mobile In-N-Out in the form of a Winnebago. It can make the same burgers and fries In-N-Out is renowned for. It can reach almost any destination. I think it would be perfect for Senior Days. What would be a better way for the College to truly become a national institution of education than to have Ivy Leaguers have an In-N-Out burger on a sunny May afternoon in the Berkshires?

Some may ask, why all the hype? Does this really deserve space in the Record? I understand these concerns. I did not fully understand, initially. Neither do most. But once you sink your teeth into a juicy In-N-Out burger, you’ll fully understand. It’s something, like faith, which you cannot describe with words. You can only experience.

Personally, In-N-Out has been an integral part of my collegiate experience. After the end of sophomore year, my best friend and I drove from Williamstown to Los Angeles. On the way, we had one of the greatest “In-N-Out” runs in history, driving from Fort Worth, Texas to Indio, California?home of the easternmost In-N-Out on Interstate 10. Leaving Fort Worth at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time, we drove 1,350 miles (almost 18 hours) to reach In-N-Out at 12:52 a.m. Pacific Standard, eight minutes shy of closing time. For all our trial and tribulation, all my friend and I could say was, “Double-double animal style with a strawberry shake.”

Yes, my friend and I are a little insane and pretty dorky. But let it be told that we are not alone. There are others who make similar treks, who drive from Las Vegas to San Francisco to San Diego just to have In-N-Out. Communities are built around In-N-Out. Families bond at In-N-Out. Generational, racial, and socio-economic lines are transcended. Its one of the few places where the African-American, the Asian-American, the Caucasian and the Latino Angeleno can come and congregate as a global village. It’s where the suburbanite can meet the chic urban dweller and the rural provincialite. It is, in so many ways, the future of America. Or at least an ideal image of America. I would not be surprised to see Bob Dornan and Maxine Waters cool down partisan politics over a flying dutchman (an In-N-Out speciality).

Now that I’ve answered concerns about In-N-Out’s quality and its influence over society, I will now attempt to end all concerns the skeptics out there may have. First, there is a precedent for such a measure. During the Senior Days for the Class of 2000, then-President Carl Vogt brought a restaurant from Austin, Texas to cater a lunch. If President Vogt can bring his native Texas to the Berkshires, surely President Schapiro can bring a little of sunny Southern California out here, too.

Money, obviously should be of no concern. If cost is exorbitant, the College should have a fund raising drive for the Truck. We’re talking about the future image of America here. There can’t be a price tag on that.

And for those of you who believe your local diner surpasses In-N-Out, let me quote what the former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Southern California told me this past summer: “Krispy Kreme will kill you? In-N-Out will inspire you.”