Sunday, July 17, 2005

Cheeseborgie, Cheeseborgie, Cheeseborgie!

Perhaps it’s isn’t necessary to point this out, but I more or less define myself as a Liberal.

I’m down with the program. I’m down with the giant anti-capitalist puppet head protests, the grudge against Big Oil, and I believe in global warming.

But to paraphrase Emma Goldman, if there’s no cheeseburgers at your revolution, then I don’t want to be part of it.

I have many vegan friends who have managed to quit meat for various reasons, some for health reasons and others because they simply don’t believe in it anymore.

I’ve never been able to reach this plateau. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that if the terrorists ever want to break me, it wouldn’t take much more than a salty, greasy cheeseburger.

In my defense, I should say that I eat much less of this sort of thing today. I do try and avoid it now, but there was a time when I haunted the fast food emporiums. I could tell you what the free toys were in the kid’s meal at McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King on any given day. When we still had a White Castle here, I was a daily visitor.

The other day the wife and I sat down and watched a good hunk of that McDonald’s documentary by Morgan Spurlock, Super Size Me. You know, the one where he eats nothing but Mickey D’s for a month and demonstrates the health problems it can cause in only 30 days.

Now certainly, if anything is going to turn you off eating fast food, it’s this thing. You’re introduced to this guy who claims to have eaten 19,000 Big Macs and you just want to swear off the stuff for life. And certainly it made me think twice of all the damage I’d probably done during those years of ingesting it so enthusiastically.

Well, the next day we run into this documentary about hamburgers, the type the public broadcasting stations run when it’s Pledge Week. It took you all over the country to see all these various hamburgers and how they were made. There were cheeseburgers with green chilis from New Mexico, hamburgers topped with peanut butter, and cheeseburgers from Memphis that were deep fried in 90 year old grease. Each one seemed to get progressively more obscener, until we got to the Butter Burger, which was a cheeseburger that was finished off with a huge glob of soft butter smeared on the bun before being placed atop the burger.

They showed you people sopping up hunks of the burger in the melted butter that lay in pools on the plate.

"We’re never going to get to go there…are we?" I asked.

"This is like porn for you, isn’t it, dear?" the wife said.

I excused myself quickly and got in the car. I drove until I found a Wendy’s and pulled into the parking lot. I ordered, not a single, nor a double, but a triple burger with cheese. I had only had a triple once before, but somehow I sensed that nothing less would do. When I got it I sat down, quickly removed the lettuce and any other offensive looking vegetables, and salted the meat. Then I bit down, every mouthful a greasy, salty explosion of ecstasy that was probably shortening my life with every swallow.

"Better?" the wife asked when I wandered back into the house, my shirt tails half in and half out of my pants, stained with grease from where I’d wiped my fingers.

"Better," I said.


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