Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Grounded Beef

The price of a McDonald's cheeseburger is one dollar. Not a quarter pounder. No lettuce or tomato. Just an elemental cheeseburger with those tiny diced onions and pickles which you can, by the way, tell the folks at the counter to leave off if that is your druther. Special orders, as it turns out, don't really upset them much at all. It might make the people behind you in line a little upset that they had to wait behind someone who couldn't just take it as the Gods intended, but that's for them to work out. Meanwhile, I am reminded of an evening where I once waited patiently in a Burger King while I watched two young turks order cheeseburger after cheeseburger, and as they remained at the counter, they would take a big bite. "Hey, this one's cold in the middle!" They would shout, sending the polyester clad burger droid scurrying back to the grill to fetch them another. I don't know how many they went through before management had them forcibly removed since I took my order and left before that, but such is the power and allure of the cheeseburger.
Jimmy Bufftett likes his with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes. I used to pick all of that off. Mustard and ketchup for me, thanks. At least that's the way I used to roll, if you'll pardon the sesame seed pun. As I grew older, and started paying for my own cheeseburgers, I realized that there was more food available for those choosing the "with everything" option. It also meant freeing me from the special orders line just behind those two knuckleheads still chowing down, one bite at at time, on those "cold in the middle cheeseburgers."
This is also about the time that the Cheeseburger Renaissance occurred. When every little pub and bistro started making "craft burgers" garnished with arugula and garlic paste. French fries started were now being made form sweet potatoes and the price you paid for all this special attention and ingredients was as ridiculous as the condiments they found to smear upon those artisan buns. This is right about the time that my friends, while trying to connect with me on my level, asked if I wouldn't like to go out for a burger with them. Burger, yes. Hipster taste sensation? No thanks. I would gladly pay just a little less for something that was undeniably bad for me and had no possible socially redeeming characteristics. Kobe beef? I thought he retired.
I know I won't always get my way. I can remember plenty of times I settled for Arby's when what I really wanted was McDonald's, but my parents weren't going to make a special trip to two fast food joints just to please their burger-fixated middle child. Though this did happen on enough occasions for me to feel slightly ashamed. When I drank beer, I drank Miller Lite. When I eat chocolate, I like me some Hershey's. When I order a cheeseburger, I'll have the lettuce and tomato, but can you please hold the pomposity?

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