I want a burger like THAT picture in the window!

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Like a moth drawn to a flame, I just can’t resist pulling into the drive-thru to get my hands on the latest big, boisterous Double Extra Deluxe Bacon Gobsmackenator pressing its epicurean appeal against the glass of a fast-food emporium.

Still-sizzling bacon ripples muscular and reaches far beyond the bun… I see the entangling arms of an octopus grappling to pull me in. Tomato slices the size of pizzas are red as my raging appetite. Mounds of crisp curly lettuce heave the bun to dizzying new heights. And to think that it’s all provided just to deck out those slabs of fat-glistened beef beckoning through the looking glass.

A plump juicy heart attack is my brand-new heartthrob.

But like Charlie Brown whiffing at Lucy’s retracted football, I’m always left flat on my back in shame that I fell once again for the ol’ switchceroo.

For too long I’ve just nibbled on the disappointment I was actually served, swallowed my pride, and scurried off in disgrace instead of storming right back to the drive-thru like a real man.

One day I swear I’m going to return and blow my top, spewing ketchup-tinged spittle like a raging drill sergeant: “I want a burger that looks like THAT picture in the window!” And I will sit there until I get a burger best described as “unwieldy.” I don’t care if the honking hordes behind me eventually evolve into a flock of angry giant geese. They can migrate to some other establishment instead of waiting where meek little me is finally inheriting his piece of the Earth.

I don’t think I’m asking too much. I could care less that the tomatoes seem to have been run through a flavor extractor so the company can sell their zest to Mexican tomato-extract cartels or whatever they do with it. But knowing I’m paying extra to cover the wages of a Sumo wrestler employed to just sit around–on top of the burgers–doesn’t sit well with me.

The amputated bacon, rather than grappling for me, struggles to reach the light of day. It’s 99 percent fat but thinner than a 97-pound weakling. “Ha! Take me if you can,” I say. Instead of heaving the bun to dizzying new heights, wilted wisps of lettuce cower far inside the boundary of their known universe. And the patties–not big; not beefy; not boisterous; not double-extra either–seem cut from Lucy’s football.

It’s false advertising hopped-up on bovine growth hormones. And it’s a real ball-buster when it happens to you.

For decades corporate giants have gotten away with their gastronomic bait-and-switch. For too long Americans have just sat in their car, unwrapped in disgust, and taken it. They pick up those three fugitive scraps of lettuce because they know they’re probably half the total. They pry up the pancaked bun and slide the pretense of a patty back toward the center from where it was slapped down well outside its target area. They strategically place the green tidbits and lower the bun. With a sigh, they hold their petite project up to the heater vent or maybe lay it on a hot dashboard.

The burger has now recovered a bit from the mess thrown together under the nose ring of some teen vegan contemptuous of carnivorous cravings. But still, we fast-food junkies will stare through welling tears and press our hands against its sides, turning the poor forlorn thing, attempting to plump it into some semblance of sanity.

All is not doom and gloom, though. Having revealed the travesty of underdeveloped burgers, I will now, as conservatives always do, present the solution:

What this country really needs is another protest movement. Power to our greasy and gluttonous good cause! It’s one that pits the heart attack and soul of America against corporate avarice and greed. Our chant is this: “I want THAT!”

“I want that big beefy boisterousness! I want that rippling muscular octopus bacon! I want that crisp heaving lettuce! And I want that pizza-sized tomato… but it’s okay if it’s been flavor-extracted.” (No reason to be unreasonable.)

Now, to launch a massive movement, we must make a massive march, brandishing banners and our own little flags. Being fiscally responsible, we’ll each just tape a fast-food napkin to a straw for our flag. Remember though, we shouldn’t take any more napkins than needed for a meal; that would be stealing. But let’s make lemonade from that lemon: If everyone wipes their mouth artistically, we can each have our own fancy design. BTW, has anyone noticed how much the napkins have shrunk over the years?

Also because we’re conservatives, we’ll dispense with the foamy-mouthed hatred and leave the looting and chaos to the counter-protesters.

Because we’re so smart, our march will be on a steep downhill grade the whole way. What could be easier? And what could be smarter? The pudden-head libs–shoulders slumped and banners dragging–will be all tuckered out from struggling uphill by the time they confront us.

Please join me in my parade for the right to beef, bacon, cholesterol, and the American Way… I’ll need someone with a good strong grip to hold back my hospital gurney.

And except for the guy gripping the gurney, we’ll wave our flags in the struggle for big, boisterous burgers like the pictures luring through the looking glass.

P.S. Next month we march for bigger napkins!


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