Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Burger King

Have it Your Way

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Add the Mayo
Add the Cheese
Have it Your Way
Pretty Please

“Mommy, Mommy,”
Kids Do Sing
“I Want Me
Some Burger King”

“No, No, No
That Food is Bad”

“But Didn’t I See it
On Your Ad?”

Are you sure mothers using BlogHer ads want to be advertising Burger King value meals to other busy mothers in their sidebars?   Frankly, I like Burger King Whoppers, much more than Big Macs, but I don’t have a childhood obesity problem — only high cholesterol.   At least In-N-Out gives me some old-time religion with my burger!   Burger King doesn’t even get the good movie tie-ins.

What Did You Have For Lunch?

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“Your posts this week have been the WORST,” said my blog editor/separated wife, Sophia, speaking on the phone from New York. “And stop writing about blogging. It is SOOO boring!”

There were other words exchanged during this conversation, mostly about my fear of putting advertising on my blog, but I’m going to avoid retelling some of the more “colorful” expressions she used to describe my “artistic integrity.”

I agree with Sophia that my posts have been lousy this week. I blame it on that video where I’m dancing with the mop, which premiered on October 13th to critical acclaim.

You know how some authors write a masterpiece for their first novel, but their second one sucks? After that video, I figured that I could just lie back and take it easy, but I was wrong. Modern readers are fickle. One false move and they’re off to read the blog of the latest young hunk right off the bus with a Dell laptop under his arm.

Looking for inspiration, I was intrigued by this new book titled “No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog,” written by Maggie Mason, who also has a popular blog titled Mighty Girl. (via Fussy)

A reviewer on Amazon described the book like this:

“Mason is thrilled at the opportunities that blogs have given the average person for self-expression, but laments that too many blogs are obsessive navel-gazing exercises that hold little to no interest over time. She wrote No One Cares as a way to help you come up with creative and new ideas for blog material that can lead to unusual material and interesting insights to the life and world of the writer.”

The book sounded interesting, but I took strong exception to the title, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch, even if the author is being tongue-in-cheek.

Think about the gullible young blogger out there who might read this book and accept this notion as a blogging “rule.”

In my opinion, blogging about your lunch is EXACTLY what you should be doing. This was what Sophia was trying to tell me on the phone. Is there anything more human, more sexy, more filled with human drama… than lunch?

Remember those cool lunch-boxes in elementary school? Remember grandma’s tuna fish sandwich? Remember having a romantic picnic lunch with your beau? Isn’t it true that the minute you get to work at 9AM, you watch the clock for three hours, waiting for what…? LUNCH!

When I finish my blogging primer, I’m going to title it “Write About Your Lunch.”

Of course, by the time I get around to writing it, no one will be blogging anymore because the fad will be dead. I’m always behind the times. (but please remember to buy my new book coming out in January, “The Dummy’s Guide to Making Money with Enron Stock.”

Sophia — today’s post will be about MY LUNCH. I want to prove to others that eating your lunch can bring about as many philosophical insights as reading the greatest philosophers.

Here we go —

Around noon today, I had a hankering for a hamburger. I felt like I deserved a treat because my cholesterol levels had fallen dramatically recently, thanks to my pills. I jumped into my car and headed for In-N-Out Burgers, but half-way there, I felt a nagging guilt. I suddenly remembered that I had eaten two slices of pizza for lunch the day before. I already had my “unhealthy” treat for the week.

What should I do? Go with desire or reason? I thought about the ancient Greeks. In his theory of anamnesis, Plato preached mastery over the body through reason. Did I really need this hamburger?

Thomas Aquinas, the medieval theologian, once said of Gluttony: “Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire… leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists?”

I decided to find a balance between the two extremes — hunger and hamburger, much as in Hermetic Philosophy.

The solution: A Gardenburger!

I once had a pretty good veggie burger at Burger King, so off I went to see the King.

At my local Burger King, I was greeted by a slightly frazzled teenage girl, who took my order for a veggie burger, a side salad, and a cup of coffee. The bill came to $3.50. I looked at the receipt, puzzled. The Gardenburger alone was supposed to be $3.50. The girl had clearly charged me $2.00 less than what she was supposed to!

I went into a silent panic, mixed with glee. I enjoyed saving the two bucks, but I felt guilty about my moral stance. After all, I was stealing! I knew she had made a mistake, but I was intentionally remaining silent. What would the Talmud say about this? I certainly know that Immanuel Kant, the 18th Century writer of “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals,” would be shaking his head in shame.

Clearly it was my moral duty to speak up and say, “Young lady, I think you’ve made a mistake.” Think about it: What if I knew that her boss was going to dock her the two dollars that she lost — would I speak up then? What if she was fired? What if she quit school because of my action? What if, because of me, I knew she would eventually BECOME A PROSTITUTE?!

But, I wanted that two dollars. I kept my mouth shut. I pocketed the extra money, waited for my food, then headed for my table without ever saying a word.

There was no thunder. No lightening struck me down. As I sat down, holding my tray, I rationalized my action. I was a Robin Hood fighting an evil fast-food corporation. Even Michael Moore would be proud of me!

But I knew this was a lie. I knew I was never going to give any of my two dollars to charity. I was going to keep it. I was going to blow it on an ice cream cone on the way home, my cholesterol be damned.

And I was enjoying acting like a selfish criminal.

I was like motherf***ing Samuel L. Neilochka!

I ripped open the paper wrapper and took a determined bite of my sandwich. All I received was a mouth full of soggy lettuce and wet bread.

I looked down at my sandwich and opened up the bun. Inside was lettuce, a tomato slice and a piece of pickle. There was no Gardenburger! No meat! Nothing!

Soon, it became clear to me. At Burger King, if you ask for a “Veggieburger” rather than a “Gardenburger,” you get this ridiculous “veggie” sandwich with nothing on it except soggy lettuce, a sliver of tomato, and a tasteless pickle slice for $1.50!  There wasn’t any two dollar mistake. I was the idiot who made the mistake. I ordered a sandwich with NOTHING on it.

Have it Your Way! Right-O.

Do I even need to bring up the Eastern concept of karma?

So, what do you have for lunch?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A New Hobby

What I Had for Breakfast Today

Every once in a while, I stop in this local Korean-owned deli here in Los Angeles for their “egg on a bagel” and coffee.  The first time I went there, I was very impressed.   First of all, they had good bagels.  Then, the owner upgraded my coffee to a cappuccino “on the house.”  He instantly won me over as a customer.  On subsequent visits, he paid less and less attention to me, sometimes making me wait for five minutes as he prepared a pile of sandwiches (he makes most of his money from lunch delivery).  Today, out of protest, I decided not to give him my business.  I drove by, my nose in the air.  I passed by a Burger King and decided to give them a try.  I haven’t had breakfast in Burger King in years.

I decided to order an egg sandwich in Burger King, but their “Sourdough sandwich” also contained ham and cheese.  I’ve been trying to watch my cholesterol since my doctor said it was getting too high.  I remembered that Burger King was the “have it your way” place and asked if I can have the sandwich without the ham and cheese.   “Sure,” said the girl at the counter, and then proceeded to ring me up.

When I saw her ring in the full price for the sandwich, I thought about it for a second and decided to be assertive.  Shouldn’t the price be less than for a full sandwich?  After all, I’m not getting the ham or the cheese, and those are probably the most expensive parts of the sandwich.  If I wanted extra cheese, they would charge me more.  So, if I don’t get the cheese, they should charge me less.  She didn’t understand English that well, so I gave up.  So much for being assertive.   Not wanting to get ripped off by Burger King, I compromised and took cheese on the sandwich, but told her to “hold the ham.”

Next, I ordered a cup of coffee.  When the counter girl rang up the total, I noticed that the price for my sandwich and coffee was pretty much the same as the “combo” breakfast they had advertised overhead.  In this combo breakfast, you get the sandwich, the coffee, and one of those fried potato thingamajigs.  I don’t particularly like those greasy things, and I’m sure it isn’t good for my cholesterol, but it was steaming me up.  Burger King was practically forcing me to buy it!  If I didn’t get the combo, I would be feeling like a sucker, and it would ruin my whole appetite.  So, I ordered a Sourdough Sandwich combo, including the sandwich (hold the ham), potato thing, and coffee.

As I ate this awful meal, there was a crazy homeless guy at the next table singing “Sweet Home Alabama” to himself.

That was my breakfast today.