The Krusty Krab

BC is inflated. Mask is over my head. Snorkel in mouth. Breathing is controlled. Air is filled. Compass is working. I have my degrees and points marked off where the boat is going to be. Fins are snug as a bug in a rug. Look up at the horizon. One giant step for man and one giant step for mankind.

BOOM!

In the water. Decreasing BC. I’m so happy I have a wet suit. The water off of California is frigid this time of year. Yes, wet suit has a hood too. Ah, just peed. Warmed me up really quick. Don’t tell anybody though. Diving down. Ears are full. Plugging my nose and breathing out. Oh, yeah…so, so much better. I bring the compass up. Plot my points of where I want to go. My buoyancy is stable. Okay, let’s have some fun. My meditation begins. I go through the kelp forests. There’s nothing like the reflection of the light hitting the jellyfish. The rays, the sharks. There’s scorpion fish. They scare me the most. Remain calm. Let’s go somewhere else. I want to go deeper. How much air do I have left? My pressure gauge only says I have 30 minutes worth.   Let’s find a good spot. Oh, yeah! There’s a current. Let’s ride. Weeeeeee! Holy crap, I wish I had my Go Pro right about now. Oh well. I’m hungry. I’m thirsty too. Let’s look around, see what we can find. Hey! Is that?! No. Really! No way! What’s he doing here? Another nature doc maybe? Where’s he going? That sub of his is huge. Why doesn’t he go back to the ocean floor or something? I don’t like the Jacque Cousteau’s of the world interrupting my diving time, thank-you-very-much.

He’s parking his sub. Damn that’s huge. Did I already say that? I bet I can replenish for air in there. That’s good because I did not have an emergency plan. The buddy system failed me because I didn’t want to be a part of it. Never do it again, Monis. He’s getting out and walking into something. It’s on the bottom. Hey, if it’s good enough for James Cameron, it’s sure as hell good enough for me.

It’s a building! WTF! What’s going on here? I’m going in too! He’s taking off his gear. There’s no water in here. There’s air! Holy crap. This is a burger joint. This is a burger joint in the bottom of the ocean! I’m taking my gear off too. This is an anomaly! This is crazy! This. Is. Really. Cool.

“Grab a burger and take a seat,” James says. Okay. But I have no money.

“Then, you’re going to have to do a good dine and ditch if-you-know-what-I-mean,” James says. Oh, I know what he means. I’m a pro.

The place is empty. Just a couple of empty whiskey barrels that are used as tables. How does this place exist?

“Your in another world, man. That’s what the under current does. Just order your food and keep this hush-hush, we don’t want too many of you divers selling this place out and ruining a good thing.

I go up to the counter and look at the menu. I have no clue what any of the items are, all different kinds of Krabby Patties, Coral Bits, Kelp Rings, Sodas and Shakes. Hey! What are you doing?

“What! I run this joint! I can do whatever I want,” the owner says.

You just increased the prices by one hundred times.

“Yeah? So…what’s your point? You know who that is? That’s James Cameron. He has Avatar and Titanic bucks. I know who you are too. And I kid you not, if you write one scathing word about my place, well, at least we’d be making profit,” the manager says.

I ask for a couple of Krabby Patties, Kelp Rings smothered with Sea Cheese, a Kelp Shake, a foot long Salted Sea Dog, a Sailor’s Surprise, and a SeaFoam Soda. The manager doesn’t take my order. He says he owns the place so he doesn’t have to work. He yells for his only happy go-lucky employee to take it while he scurries off somewhere. This guy is something else. I order my food with him and he doesn’t even charge me. He is so appreciative of our business, I feel he just wants to impress us and do all he can to put a smile on our faces. I’m okay with this.

The food takes a long time. The happy-go-lucky clerk spends a while just smiling at us not saying a word. Not in a creepy way, more of a puppy-pleasing way. He eventually goes back to see what the fuss is about. From the sounds of what’s happening in the back, someone is too lazy to work. I have had fellow employees like that too, so I completely understand.

The food comes out and the happy employee delivers it. He waits and breathes heavily to make sure we like it. James shoos him away, but we can see him hiding under the cash register looking for our signs of approval every other minute or so. I take a look at the food we ordered. It’s meat! How in the heck does meat get here? And the rest of the ingredients? No offense to The Krusty Krab, but we are deep in the ocean and it would be more logical to serve seafood.

“Yeah, but the marine life is dying, and cows, that’s one species that keeps on getting to be more plentiful, so I’m okay with this,” James says as if he can hear my thoughts.

But how?

“Sysco. They’re everywhere. I even let them use my sub. This keeps the ocean life happy and keeps me happy whenever I enter the abyss.”

I haven’t taken a bite yet. I will, it’s just that my thought process is racing like a madman. Eh, what the heck. It tastes fake and artificial. Every ingredient is rubbery and yet edible. There is a kick and a crunch but I don’t spend time deciphering what they might be. Truth be told, I’m okay with this. I’m one of those people who love to do experiments with fast food burgers. I’ll buy something from McDonalds or Burger King and leave it out for a year. I’ll do it with the fries and milk shakes too. Then I’ll eat them and test their flavor and my own immunity. Usually, they taste better than when they were first served. That’s kind of like the Krusty Krab. Nothing is natural, it can’t be. Nothing is humanely processed. Nothing is fresh and it tastes okay. Whereas Shasta and RC have the notorious reputation of being the lesser of all the colas out there, the Krabby Patty is that of the fast food burgers, but that doesn’t mean I refrain from eating it, just like I don’t refrain from drinking RC or Shasta.

The Kelp Shake is salty. The Krab uses dead Kelp. For being a greasy burger joint in the bottom of the ocean, it tries to be environmentally friendly when it can. The thickness is good though. I don’t like my fast food shakes too liquidity. I like them thick like a brick. Whatever artificial ingredients are in here, I’m okay with it. James’ shake is brown. Mine is brownish green. It’s very sweet. I believe there’s condensed milk in it. The Sailor’s Surprise? I honestly took one bite and had to put it down. James chomped it all up. I have once heard that some bartenders use all of the spilled liquor that has been collected from over filled pours throughout the night and fill it all up in a glass to get a very fast buzz…that’s how I feel the Sailor’s Surprise was but with dirty, old, burgers.

My stomach churns. I use the bathroom. It’s clean. The happy-go-lucky employee is cleaning it. I fear he’s going to offer me some mints and request a tip. The plumbing works. There’s running water. I’m happy about this.

I return to the smorgasbord on our table. The kelp rings have the airy texture of Funyuns and taste like crispy seaweed snacks. They don’t have the same bite one gets from eating a regular onion ring. I taste hints of paprika and Old Bay. I’m okay with this. The batter is thick, like a fried chicken batter versus light and fluffy tempura. The salty sauce that accompanies it is not needed. The rings are salty enough as is. So glad we ordered the soda. It’s called SeaFoam Soda for a reason. Because of the pressure the dispensers don’t work like the ones on land. I slurp the flavored bubbles. That’s all that’s there. It’s Cherry Pepsi. Good for them. I guess Coca Cola hasn’t made their mark on the bottom of the ocean yet.

Where’s the Salty Dog?

“I rararara,” James says. He tries to talk with his mouth full of food.

That good, huh? James nods.

The manager comes out. He’s happy as a crab. He checks the cash register for the cash we were suppose to pay. He yells for the happy go-lucky employee. The employee tells him he didn’t take our money yet. The manager vehemently looks at us.

“Time to skedaddle,” James says. I concur. The manager runs after us. James and I hustle to his sub. We barely fit, but we do. I leave my gear inside the Krab as we ascent. It’s much easier this way.

James says he always will remember where The Krusty Krab is. I’m very happy about this because I will be going again, especially when I need a good, crappy…I mean Krabby burger:)

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ATMOSPHERE: The Jacques Cousteau’s of world dine in a quiet and fulfilling fast food burger joint.

SERVICE: It ebbs and flows. There only seems to be one employee who actually cares to take your order, cook the food, bring it to you to make sure you’re pleased, and cleans up the place.

SOUND LEVEL: Inside you can hear the person talking next to you. Many noises from marine life and the earth’s crust moving surround the outside.

RECOMMENDED:  Any burger selection, they are all the same. The Kelp Rings without the sauce.

DRINKS: Sodas and Milk Shakes

PRICES: When I dined, all of the prices were fixed at $100.00 – $500.00 each. They change almost every waking moment.

OPEN: 7 days a week from 10-10

RESERVATIONS: No

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: No

Wi-Fi: No

Restrooms: Clean and work well. Water pressure is quite nice.

Smoking: No