Pull up to a Wendy’s drive-through window and you can get a Baconator and a side of fries in 131 seconds. But if you try ordering an upright bagless vacuum cleaner, you can wait forever and Wendy’s won’t be able to accommodate you — and neither can McDonald’s, KFC, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, or any other fast-food chain in the land. But is there any good reason that we have dozens of places where we can procure deep-fried animal parts without exiting the soothing cocoons of our automobiles but must battle for parking spots and bushwhack our way through maze-like department stores whenever we need a new pair of crew socks? Earlier this year, the Sears Holding Corporation introduced a new concept store in Joliet, Illinois called Mygofer that addresses this weird imbalance of modern life. It is the world’s first drive-through department… More…

I imagine that one of the most universal but least discussed rites of passage is the discovery that the house you grew up in has a very distinct smell, and that it wasn’t just everyone else’s house that smelled peculiar. Recognized only on return from your first long time away, this is typically not the romantic smell of baking pies or pipe tobacco, but neither is it anything foul, like a backed-up septic tank or mildew. It’s instead something that defies description, a complex olfactoral web that is unique to the group living under one roof. Like snowflakes, no two are ever alike.

It is for this reason that I never plan to start a family where I currently reside. I live next to a Wendy’s fast food restaurant, and the smell of my home is very describable: It’s the smell of Wendy’s food cooking. The last thing I want… More…