Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sweet Gluttony

You may know about my obsession with megaburgers (and the women who eat them). So you can only imagine how my attention was piqued when I saw an ad for a new Burger King breakfast sandwich called the "Meat'Normous." It features a lengthy bun, sausage, ham, bacon, an egg omelet and two slices of cheese. I don't eat any of the meats featured in this sandwich, making its name more dee-lish than the sandwich itself.

The Meat'Normous (by the way, I giggle every time I write that name) is the latest in a serious of enormous burgers being marketed by mainstream junk food restaurants. Earlier this year, Hardees introduced the Monster Thickburger, a 1420 calorie behemoth that featured 2/3s of a pound of meat, four slices of bacon, a bunch of cheese, mayonnaise, and a quicker death. By comparison, the Big Mac is a punk-ass bitch, containing a paltry 600 calories.

The megaburgers seem to reflect a reactionary movement led by cynical junk food restaurant executives and Americans sick of an excessive focus on healthy living. Junk food chains have tried for years to make junk food that has less fatty and more healthy. They've tried substituting lard with oils, etc. Unfortunately, lard tastes infinitely better, and those efforts invariably failed. Remember the McLean hamburger from McDonald's? Barely? Sucked, right? Not, perhaps, if you enjoy chewing on sawdust. Now, they have abandoned the lean burger or fries in favor of crappy salads no one buys.

In the last year or so, these junk food chains have shifted gears sensing a reaction building to the healthy living movement and a need to get back to what they do best. On an even grander scale. Maybe they -- like me -- recognized these people who want to live for 95 years for what they are: a bunch of selfish narcissists who want to bankrupt the health care system (especially Medicare) by forcing society to pay for their extra 10 years of chronic illnesses. Stop running, put down the wheatgrass and die already.

More importantly, they probably realized that the majority of people in this country enjoy gluttony. Relish in it, shamelessly. To these people, you're not really alive until you've survived your first heart attack. Megaburgers appeal to those who seem almost proud the higher their cholestrol number is. The people who like to talk about how fucked up their shit is. The subset of those folks who aren't vegetarians anyway.

A few months ago, a buddy and me drove two hours to have what is possibly the best burger within 200 miles of D.C., at Big Jim's in Charlottesville, Va. The burger was big, about 1/2 a pound, perched on a comically small bun. The burger was in turn on a comically big plate filled with fries. Throw in a pitcher of Red Hook, it cost us only $7.00 each. When I got the bill, I almost kissed the shriveled -- yet probably 30 year old -- waitress, but refrained for fear of burning lips on the cigarette dangling out of her mouth.

We didn't talk much. We just ate. And, as my friend and I were licking the grease off our fingers, my friend said, "This was worth it. I mean, we haven't done shit today except drive 150 miles to eat a great burger. I'm not knocking vegetarians, but, frankly, can you imagine a vegetarian driving 150 miles to eat some tofu or shit?"



Blogger Stefanie said...

A real burger is worth the trouble, but these new fast food megaburgers do nothing but tease me. I know that if was starving, I would eat one, but otherwise-
Actualy they just make me feel guilty for some reason. I don't know why. But they're evil.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

Megaburgers are basically a big tasteless "fuck you" to your body. A good burger is a nice "I love you" to your palette.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Chemical Billy said...

Oh, but you have to love the not-even-thinly-veiled sexual references in the names of these burgers. I mean, really - Thickburger? That's not even a little bit subtle.

I used to wait tables at a sports bar called The Ram. Our burgers, including a 1-pound monster, were known as Ramburgers.

Just let that drift gently around your head for a moment...

4:12 PM  

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