I was once asked where I would eat my last three meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — if I had one day left on the planet. My choice for breakfast was Andre’s in Aspen, where my wife and I used to go each fall when we were newlyweds. It was a prototype of the “fern bar” look with great breakfast food, including my favorite — vein clogging eggs benedict. My choice for dinner was some restaurant in Durango, Colorado, which I suspect is no longer open. I remember it for interesting architecture and a great steak, which was high on my then unsophisticated epicurian preferences at the time.
And for lunch? A Lota Burger with green chile and cheese, preferably from one of the older outlets with a well-seasoned griddle. Yeah, I know — pretty lame.
But the last time I went to Lota Burger, I was severely disappointed. The Lota Burger had been shrunk to the size of the smaller Itsa Burger. The Itsa Burger was still the same size as it has been for years but maybe now with a miniscule sized beef patty. (And to top off the disappointing experience, the green chile was just plain hot — not flavorful.)
We’ve noticed lots of things recently that have been “shrinksized.” A certain candy bar I like that now costs close to a dollar has been shrunk to what is euphemistically called a “fun size.” I think the only person who thinks it’s fun is the bean counter at the candy factory who can squeeze more profit out of less and less. Toilet paper rolls which might last only one pass through the bathroom. A “family picnic” size of corn chips about the size of a napkin that might feed a family of ants.
So when my wife opened a package of flour tortillas last week, we discovered this:
Here it is in comparison to a regular “burrito size” tortilla:
We’re fairly hopeful that this was just a manufacturing error. Or maybe it was just a bonus gift from the Albuquerque Tortilla Factory.
At any rate, it made me wonder about the famous “Holy Tortilla of Artesia” from 1977. If you’ll recall, a woman in her kitchen found what she said looked like the image of Jesus on a tortilla she had made for her husband:
I was a reporter for United Press International in Albuquerque at the time and remember writing stories about the tortilla. When I saw pictures of it, I thought the image looked a little more like John Lennon, who of course at one time said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. (I did not express that opinion in any of my news stories, however.)
My concern is whether the canvas upon which holy (and other) images can appear has been shrunk so much, will we be able to recognize what we’re supposed to be seeing?
I know that’s a lot to ponder on a windy Tuesday afternoon in New Mexico, but I await your comments.