Have you ever been sitting at a Chipotle, eating a burrito bowl, and thought to yourself, “Gee, I sure could go for a good Toni Morrison short story right now”? Of course not. But the writer Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) did, so now our tacos will come with a hearty side of fiction. According to Vanity Fair,
Suddenly, the Eating Animals author (and vegetarian) had an idea: What if there were something truly good to read on his Chipotle cup? Or the bag? A few years earlier, he had met Steve Ells, Chipotle’s C.E.O., so he decided to write the executive an e-mail. “I said, ‘I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text,’”
Weird, CEOs that I stalk never put my ideas on cups, no matter how forcefully I ask.. But starting today, bags and cups at Chipotle will feature new pieces by Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and Michael Lewis (of Vanity Fair). I can’t wait to eat a burrito while being shamed by Malcolm Gladwell for not eating better. For an example of what to expect, here is an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s Chipotle cup piece, Two-Minute Seduction. You can read some of the others at VF (or, you know, Chipotle).
I took my heart out and gave it to a writer made heartless by fame, someone who needed it to pump blood into veins desiccated by the suck and roar of crowds slobbering or poisoning or licking up the red froth they mistake for happiness because happiness looks just like a heart painted on a valentine cup or tattooed on an arm that has never held a victim or comforted a hurt friend. I took it out and the space it left in my chest was sutured tight like the skin of a drum.
I find this simultaneously very weird and very, very cool. We can’t really complain about people reading more, can we? However, if you’re wondering who’s killing the independent bookstore, now we know that it’s not Amazon— it’s the burrito.
Vivian Kane is going to throw away her library card. Thanks, Chipotle!