Posted on May 10th, 2010 by Mary Beth Ellis
One of the more enjoyable aspects of South Park (Wednesdays, 10:00 ET, Comedy Central, DISH 107) other than the images of six-month-olds cussing out fourth-graders is its delight in being one with flyover territory. Its creators, Matt Parker, and Trey Stone, are native Coloradoans, and unashamedly draw upon their childhoods. Many episodes include Rocky Mountain Easter eggs for those of us who aren’t truly happy unless we’re struggling for a lungful of pine needles at ten thousand feet.It’s just so (and this word is rarely applicable to South Park) nice. One of my most hated tendencies of American television–besides its insistence on not featuring me at all– is its apparent belief that the world drops off at some point before the Hudson River and after the Brooklyn Bridge. Producers and writers have heard rumors of such places as Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Portland, but they’re fairly sure that such places are inhabited strictly by the members of militia compounds and wandering herds of buffalo. You’re allowed to acknowledge the existence of LA every now and then, but only to shop and attend the occasional Oliver Stone-related premiere. Then, it’s right back to the normal people peeing on their MetroCards at rush hour.
South Park will have none of this. The context of a recent scene which takes place in tiny Salida, Colorado is within an episode about medicinal marijuana, which, judging by the fact that this afternoon I passed a Leadville shop window advertising blunt wraps, is a topic forever green in Colorado. (For the record, the last word on animated pot-related commentary still stands as the “Weekend at Burnsies” episode of The Simpsons, featuring a group of potheads who organize a legalization rally… for the day after a marijuana referendum.) Eric Cartman has discovered that the the South Park Kentucky Fried Chicken has closed, and demands transportation to the next nearest location: Salida, a two-mile-long artsy town three hours and an entire mountain range away from Denver.
And–buckle in for some grade-A awesome here, folks–although fast food isn’t readily available past the Front Range, somebody did some right quick research in the South Park offices. There are precisely eight fast food outlets in Salida: McDonald’s. Booger Fling. Toxic Smell. Scamway. Pizza Hut. Domino’s. A particularly rugged Sonic. And… Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The local branch is one of those duplex jobbies which houses both a KFC and a Toxic Smell (there aren’t enough Catholics in Salida to rate a triplex with a Long John Silver’s), and so it isn’t as depicted in all its construction paper glory in this episode, but still.
Well played, gentlemen. Blessed are the Double Downs.