Military to Boot Fast Food from Afghan Bases, Return Soldiers to 21st Century

There's been a lot of reporting over the past few days on U.S. and NATO efforts to boot various fast food restaurants from the big military bases in Afghanistan. According to the Christian Science Monitor, "[Kandahar Air Base] in southern Afghanistan is NATO's largest in the country and the main landing spot of the US troop surge. Its entertainment district - a square kilometer of fast food franchises, cafes, electronic stories, basketball courts, the occasional live rock concert, and a Thai massage parlor until it was shut down by authorities - serves some 25,000 military personnel and contractors on the outskirts of Kandahar." And now, it looks like a lot of those quote/unquote luxuries are going to be removed.

The Guardian quoted a top deputy of General Stanley McChrystal as saying ""This is a war zone - not an amusement park." And reported that while Burger King, Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen are likely to get the axe soon, Canadian donut and coffee emporium Tim Horton's will likely be staying because it is run by Canadian military support staff.

But it was the report over at the Huffington Post that really caught my eye, because there, the list of possible closures included a mention of Orange Julius.

My first thought was, "Seriously? With two wars already going on, why would the U.S. military send a bunch of marines back in time to 1983 to invade the Secaucus Galleria?"

My second thought: "No way... There are actually still Orange Julius stands around today?"

Third: "Man, I want some Orange Julius."

For those of you who don't know, Orange Julius was a mall staple from years back--a food court classic that served these nasty (but oddly addictive) frozen orange juice smoothie concoctions which, if you drank more than a thimble full, would have you in the bathroom for the rest of the week. I'd thought this particular chain had been relegated to the dustbin of history long ago, but now, attached to a variety of Dairy Queen operations, Orange Julius is making a comeback. Asd a matter of fact, there are like a half-dozen of them within ten miles of Seattle (in Bellevue, Tukwila and the Kitsap Mall), and one operating right smack in the middle of Seattle Center.

And while I'm not about to run right out and deliberately give myself a case of the orange trots, I am oddly comforted to know that the OJ brand is still alive and well. As to why it is being inflicted upon our fighting men overseas, I don't know (I guess it followed the Dairy Queen Brigade to Afghanistan as well), but, like me, I'm sure they'll miss it when it's gone.

Though I'm guessing they're gonna miss that Thai massage parlor more.

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