Talk of Tenafly: The Fast Food Famine


Liam Tenenbaum, Staff Writer

It was Spongebob Squarepants who once said, “It’s not good for you, it’s good for the soul,” and that couldn’t be truer in the discussion of our constant craving for fast food. There’s nothing that warms the hungry human heart quite like fast food. The massive eyesore of a building, the light up signs with our favorite food figures, the cheap baskets of fried goodness—fast food chains have come to represent a staple in the life of an American. While sponsoring multiple fast food chains in a single area is both expected and appreciated, this critical aspect of the American Dream is yet to reach our home of Tenafly. So, let’s talk about the story of a small, humble town, forbidden from the comforts of commercial food.

Our story starts with four adolescent boys walking around the streets of central Tenafly, and not surprisingly, they are thinking only of food.

“Man, I’m so hungry,” said Nathan, a 16 year old subject to the constant hunger of a growing child. “It’s been more than an hour since I had that sandwich, and I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to last.”

“Oh grow up, you already ate four times today,” replied his friend Sam, ignoring his growling stomach and pretending to have better tolerance than his struggling companion.

“Shut up,” Nathan said. “I know you want food, and judging by the ghastly expression on Matt’s face, I could say the same for him too.”
Matt hung his head, not needing to say anything to express his sorrow.
In his head, he thought “I could go for a hot pizza pie, or wait, a spicy fried chicken sandwich, or no, a greasy burger and salty fries with a milkshake sporting a calorie count higher than my paycheck. His mouth watered to the idea of filling himself with the disastrous yet delicious artwork of fast food.

The last of the quartet, Harry, was Nathan’s cousin visiting from Texas. To him, this situation would be quite easily solved by the neighborhood KFC, or better yet, neighborhood KFCs. Not comprehending the lack of action, and not being able to bear the hunger any longer, he chose to spark decisive action in the team of teens. “This is ridiculous,” he said with exasperation. “Why aren’t we on the way to your town’s Popeyes?”

“What?” said Sam, looking at his friend as if he suggested eating at the Leaky Cauldron or the Krusty Krab.

“Popeyes,” said Harry, puzzled regarding the need to elaborate. “You know, chicken sandwiches, cajun fries, mac and cheese.” The Tenafly natives shared a glance, realizing the bomb they were about to drop. Harry sang out “Lousiiiana fast” with desperation, hoping the tune would spark something, anything.

“We, um, don’t have Popeyes in Tenafly,” admitted Nathan, scared to see his cousin’s reaction.

“No Popeyes?” said Harry with defeat, trying to hold back a tear forming in his eye. “That’s fine then. We can just go to Chick-Fil-A. I like their chicken sandwich better anyway.”

Matt shook his head, “No Chick-Fil-A, unless you can drive to Englewood.” Harry’s mind started to collapse into chaos, wondering how these northern hooligans ever received their daily dose of fried chicken. As he started to feel the withdrawal, he desperately tried to find fast food restaurants in a town that was starting to become his personal hell.

“KFC? Taco Bell? Wendy’s? Five Guys? McDonalds? Burger King? Arby’s? Shake Shack? Anything?”

Sam dismissed the suggestions quickly, trying to get the message across to their lost Texan companion. “You’ll find those in Teaneck, Bergenfield, and Hackensack, but never in Tenafly.”

Nathan added, “Well, you really won’t find any fast food in Tenafly, considering chain restaurants are not allowed.” With that, Harry collapsed to the ground, unable to think about the tragedy any longer.

Matt shook his head in disappointment, and said, “We could have just DoorDashed the food….”