warning signs were there all along: that the grease had seeped through the foil wrapper, through the napkins, and through the paper bag, should have alerted my dumb-ass self that trouble was ahead. but like a lumbering dinosaur on meteor day, I shambled onward in my quest for consumption.
maybe it was the terrible rap thumping in the car. maybe it was the wild night of drinking just a scant 14 hours earlier. maybe it was the – somehow, from a franchise known for being staffed by foodies and stoners – saltless fries that everyone in the city knew to avoid. but before I even unwrapped the burger, my future was already written.
i’ve eaten a lot of burgers in my life; it pains me to admit that some of them have not been very good choices. i started out this morning, for example, by eating a mushroom soup/cold porkchop burger on rye. day before yesterday, i made an inverted chicken burger, with the entire “patty” consisting of pickle. my greatest feat last year was finishing the largest combo burger at Fatburger in under five minutes. so yeah, i’ve got proper burger credentials. to my eternal shame. i still haven’t lived down the time i combined a papa burger from A&W’s with two breakfast burgers and downed it with a massive milkshake (that entire escapade was five years ago, cost me $35 dollars – an entire month’s worth of entertainment budget – and i still went to my factory job after consuming it at 5:40 AM. i was young once, you know.)
but this burger.
it was a bad decision.
so anyway, back to the burger.
the triple is a big burger, almost a full 6″ tall. it was so big, that even with my two hands depressing it, I could not fit it into my enormous maw. because the fools at wendy’s don’t believe in properly baking buns – or in properly girthed buns – the bottom bun immediately dissolved in a spray of juice and onion, sprinkling my very serious vest and letterman sweater. i even found meat in my massive disheveled intellectual hair. meat that I know was from the burger, because it did not turn up when a lovely lad with big glasses was running his hands through it at the party. what i’m saying is, it was a bad idea.
the burger wasn’t very salty. while there was some meat flavor, it was overwhelmingly grease that i sensed. grease and sesame, a classic album and combination responsible for more disappointments than I was to my teachers in high school.
it took far too many bites, and far too many casualties. i spent the afternoon in my own bed, curled in the fetal position, clutching my phone until I, like it, lay dormant and unfeeling.
why do restaurants and chains offer a triple burger if i can’t even enjoy it? who exactly is this burger for? when a burger dissolves its own bun, is it still a burger? no, it has ceased to be a burger and has become, instead, a salad composed of meat, butter, and sadness. i hate salads; why subject perfectly good vegetables to a slow death by drowning and murder by lettuce? and do not get me started on ‘asian salad’ or ‘grape salad’ – i will end you by feeding it to you until you, like me, expire.
when i think of the burger, i think of the lesson i learned that day: three patties is one too many, and to never eat at restaurants that can’t even salt fries properly. even mayonnaise-dipping crawfish-chomping Tennessee trailer-dwellers salt their food. salt is the basic building block of life. put salt in your food, you pretentious jerks. burgers are not a high art. they are not a fine cuisine that demands to be enjoyed bare, and presented with pomp. fries are to be consumed – they are to dive into the gullet, to glide like eagles of satiation.
i’m not quite sure why i wrote this. my drafts folder is full of depressing pieces detailing how society is, in so many ways, doomed. a dozen unfinished videos sit on my desktop, begging for my attention and editing. treat your burgers with reverence. they can, in fact, have a little bit of meat – as a treat. but do not overload your burgers. and for heck’s sake, bake the buns.
one day this column will haunt me, a ghostly reminder of the time i ate a bad burger. ok, the many times i ate a bad burger.
maybe it’ll be cited in court, read aloud by a disbelieving judge, then read aloud again by stunned journalists pouring through transcripts of said court at a later date. it will definitely be used as proof that the writer (yours truly) is not very good at writing, and is in fact, not entertaining.
fine. go and read some of my more serious writing instead. follow the deadspin vets on twitter . hire them.
the world is on fire. like me, seek joy where you can – but not in triple burgers, which are gross and not good at all.
This piece originally appeared on squintermedia.com and has been republished with the author’s permission.
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