By the year 1970, America was wrist deep in the Vietnam War and ol’ Dick Nixon liked it that way. The anti-war movement had become extremely popular among college-aged youths and the students at Kent State were about to have their third-worst day ever, right after the first time they tried to go to class hungover and all of the subsequent times thereafter. Things were coming to a boil and there looked like there wasn’t gonna be a peaceful way of stopping it. That is until Sonic had a thing or two to say about it.
The way the college kids saw it was this; they didn’t want to have to kill people and likely die in a war they didn’t believe in while Richard Nixon wanted to keep the fear of Communism fresh in people’s minds. Back then, the Communist scare was all they had to keep kids in line. I remember my mother would always say that if I didn’t pick up my toys, it must mean that I don’t want ownership of them. She’d say, “A common wealth of toys, is that what you want, Jack!? IS IT!?” Then she’d throw my toys in the yard and let all the neighborhood kids take turns whipping me with a hose. I learned two lessons that day; one about picking up my toys and another about history.
Tricky Dick needed the nation to keep picking up it’s toys, so they wanted the Reds to pose a real threat to the U.S. It wasn’t hard considering they had nuclear weapons, a lunatic in charge and a whole mess of vodka. The college kids saw through it, though. All it took was losing a great deal of their friends and families and hearing a list of the dead read every night on the news. It painted a grim picture, and lil’ Richie Nixie knew he was going to be in for an uphill battle. Eventually these kids were going to grow up and become tax payers. While Nixon would be long out of office by then, he feared that some of the more physically imposing ones might see him at a mall or something and beat the shit out of him. But not afraid of it enough to stop him from launching an operation in Cambodia.
When college kids got wind of the war on Cambodia, they were at first stoked. There were always a lot of guys that sell weed hanging around those sorts of things. Shortly after the Kent State tragedy, however, they realized that they had to start taking these things more seriously. You could die trying to score pot at one of these things. Some of them wondered if it was worth it, then remembered that the guys at the peace rallies always had the best weed and they always weighed it out way too generously. Seriously, if they weren’t growing it themselves they had to be taking a loss on that stuff. But eventually they all generally agreed that they couldn’t keep fighting this war on war, not without losing more lives. So the anti-war kids called up Richie Millhouse Nixon and asked him to meet with their leader, me, Jack Keillor, at the Sonic Drive-In.
I told him on the phone that I’d be wearing a red sweater and eating a chili dog and that’s how he found me. When he showed up he didn’t want to eat, just wanted to talk. I wasn’t interested in talking to a man on an empty stomach. You can’t trust a man on an empty stomach. I gave him nothing but idle chitchat until he finally succumbed to hunger and tried to order a bun with no meat. I almost walked out right then and there. Instead I talked him into the chili dog, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t say it was the best dog he’d ever had in his life. So good, in fact, that I saw his heart grow three sizes in front of my very eyes. After he’d taken his last bite he turned to me and said, “Jack, I believe you and this chili dog may have just ended this war.” I told him I was glad to hear it and excused myself to the bathroom. I used this opportunity to sneak out and leave him with the bill.