[by Micah, with follow-up by Erica]
Before I launch into this, I should give you some context, as it really doesn't make any sense without it. Therefore, it's really a shame that I'm not going to give you any. If Erica wants you to know what this is about, she can type something up. I'm not your monkey.
A is for Arby's, American Fare
B is Bojangles, get breakfast there.
C is for Chili's, burgers galore
D is for Denny's, pass out on the floor.
E's Econolodge, a place you can stay
F is TGI Friday's on every day.
G is Golden Corral; it is wafer-thin!
H is Home Depot, DIY yourself in.
I is the IHOP, a faux foreign partner
J, Jack-in-the-Box, an artery hardener.
K is for Kohl's, with its too-frequent sales
L is for Lowe's, selling hammers and nails.
M is McDonald's, that bastion of taste.
N: [nothing here yet; just holding its place.]
O is OfficeMax and its stationery
P is PierOne; you can be sedentary.
Q is for Quizno's, with hot toasted subs
R's RadioShack's strange collection of plugs.
S is for Starbucks, the king of caffeine
T: you want Taco Bell? That's what "yo quiero" means.
U, 'cause U-Haul to a new neighborhood
V is Verizon. Can you hear me now? Good.
W, Walgreen's coupon advertising
X is sort of for Exxon, whose profits keep rising.
Y and Z will go in here, discovery pending
But for now, we've got nothing, so that's how it's ending.
[Erica's note: "Cookie Cutter City" is what we have been calling the loose collection of 15 or more chains that populate most highway exits, north, south, east and west. It is disappointing to find that you can cross an entire country to find exactly what you left on the other side. So far, the only places we have found that do not contain some version of Cookie Cutter City are west Texas and the Californian desert outside of Los Angeles. It takes work to avoid Cookie Cutter City, but that's exactly what we've done.
Some chains not used above: Appleby's, Auto Zone, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Bennigans, Best Buy, Blockbuster, Burger King, Chevron, Chik-Fil-A, Circle K, Comfort Inn, CVS, Dairy Queen, Days Inn, Dollar General, Domino's, Dunkin' Donuts, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Family Dollar, Flying J's, Hampton Inn, Hardee's /Carl's Jr., Holiday Inn, Hollywood Video, KFC, Knights Inn, Krispy Kreme, Linens 'n' Things, Long John Silver's, Microtel, Motel 6, Movie Gallery, On the Border, PetSmart, Popeye's, Red Lobster, Rite Aid, Ross, Ruby Tuesday, Shell, Sherwin Williams, Sonic, Staples, Subway, Super 8, Target, TJ Maxx, Wal-Mart, Wendy's, Whataburger.
Exotics: Doe's Eat Place, Southwest Milk Logistics, Mr. Appetites Go Fish Trucking]