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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bonding Over Food On Facebook

This summer, I finally finished making my first short movie.  It covered our visit to Buckingham Palace, and as the best photographs I had of that morning in England featured my wife, I decided to make her the viewpoint character for the audience.  Into this slideshow I interspersed three short video clips I had recorded of the guards outside the palace, the horse guard riding past, and their maneuvers on the parade grounds.

My wife is more comfortable behind the scenes than in the spotlight.  After awhile, she decided she didn’t want me to post this video on The Dragon's Cache, for the entire world to see, as I had originally planned.  So instead, after I finished it, I placed it on my Facebook page, and limited access to Family members.

Now understand, I poured my heart into making this little two-and-a-half minute movie.  I selected the photographs with care, cropped them, and adjusted the lighting.  When necessary, I flipped them to get the right perspective.  I used the Ken Burns effect on each photo to highlight what I wanted the viewer to focus on in the picture, as well as to lead naturally to the next photo.  I imported music, and edited sound from the video I recorded for the desired atmosphere.  I made up snazzy titles and end credits.  And what was the result of all the hours I labored on my project?  Two Likes.  Not even a single comment.

Just because you invest a lot of time on a project doesn’t necessarily make the result praiseworthy.  But family members usually like to see photographs from your travels.   I figured that, having presented them in as professional manner as possible, I would receive notes of praise and thanks.  Instead, I only received two Likes, and zero comments.  As I opened my account recently, and spend so much of my free time on this blog, I still don’t understand how to get the best out of Facebook.  But one thing seems apparent from my limited experience: the posts that garner the most comments tend to concern food.

I was particularly taken by one family member’s comments regarding a visit to my local Carl’s Jr.  She had moved away from California, and she wrote that she really missed the fast food chain.  This surprised me, as Hardee’s operates in her state. Hardee's is owned by the same multinational corporation, uses the same Happy Star logo, and offers a similar menu.  So on our visit to Florida, I decided to follow up on my curiosity, and visit Hardee’s. 

While Hardee’s offered similar burgers, I saw nothing similar to my favorite, the Western Bacon Cheeseburger.  Most of the burgers came on Sourdough buns, which reminds me of Carl’s Jr. operated a decade ago.  When a Hardee’s offers Mexican food, they label the restaurant Hardee’s/Red Burrito, as opposed to Carl’s Jr./Green Burrito.  As to the design of the restaurant, the posters on the windows outside, the staff uniforms, and interior decorations, I saw little difference.

We opted to share the Red Burrito combination plate.  The Red Burrito had a nice flavor, even if it didn’t rival the Green Burrito: it was more like a large enchilada in a flour tortilla.  While they didn’t serve rice on the side, I really liked the little flour tortilla cup they served the beans in (although it proved difficult to split).  Overall, we enjoyed our first visit to Hardee’s, and told the management so on the comment card we handed in. 

I’ve occasionally wondered how my life might be different if I lived in another state.  I’ve also mused about spending a few months or years in England, where so much of the Fiction my wife and I love was written or filmed.  If we decided to move away, I’m sure we’d be happy wherever we chose to live.  In time, we’d adjust to what that place had to offer.  Still, there’s always something that you take for granted, and only really feel its absence once you’ve left it behind.  With no disrespect intended to Hardee’s, I can sympathize with this family member.  Were I to move somewhere Carl’s Jr. didn’t operate, we would certainly miss the Western Bacon Cheeseburger.  That burger is, beyond a doubt, one in a million.  Irreplaceable.

Dragon Dave

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