Hey, remember that awesome time back in the 19 Double Os in that quaint little area of Chicago, where all the immigrant men got together and engaged in God’s work, the backbreaking labor in unventilated rooms, standing on floors knee deep in blood, urine, meat scraps, and foul water. And how they even brought their wives and children, who helped out 14 hours a day, making sausage and canning meat for whopping 9 cents an hour! And remember the lost fingers, the skin disease, and tuberculosis, and the spitting up of blood! And how there were no toilets, so workers just pissed on the bloody floor! All in the vicinity of the meat the rest of America ate. Those were the days! Oh, and oh! Remember that guy who fell into the lard vat? And spent days in the vat until he was fished out, and there was nothing left but bones? And how that man became just another ingredient in Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard! Now with 100 percent more human flesh!
That was a taste of the Americana described in Upton Sinclair’ novel, The Jungle, which sounds like a great idea for a movie. And who would we get to direct such a sweeping romantic epic? Well, David Schwimmer, of course. Because he was in “Friends,” and “Friends” often took place in a coffee shop, and think of poor Gunther, whose lot in life was not that dissimilar to the immigrant families who were evicted from their houses after the bread-winner got an axe to the face when he slipped and fell on a puddle of blood while chopping up a pig. Making espresso drinks is hard, y’all. Remember that time Gunther spilled hot coffee in his lap because his got lost in Rachel’s cleavage? So hard.
And of course, when I think of Jurgis, the main character in The Jungle, the shoveler of guts who lost his wife, his family, his job, and his house after he was injured on the assembly line, my first thought runs instantly to Ross from “Friends,” the director of Run Fat Boy Run and Karen’s boyfriend in “The Wonder Years.”