Junk food guns down the burger
HEART attack food . . . all that yellow and brown deep-fried stuff made from batter, fat, gristle, and body parts that pigs, cattle and sheep use for seeing, hearing, excretion, secretion and procreation, is in my humble, anthropological opinion, responsible for the demise of the hamburger.
Yes, the burger we once knew and loved lies six foot under in Takeaway Land’s Boot Hill, gunned down by the merciless killer, Joey Junk Food.
I have a theory that junk food in all of its evil and beguiling manifestations made the takeaway food industry lazy and opportunistic.
Look at it like this. A guy runs a servo on the Bruce Highway. What’s he want to do? Cook you a burger for $ 6 or sell you the Summer Special Chiko Roll and large chips ’ n’ gravy package with a ‘‘ free’’ can of Coke thrown in for $ 7.49? You don’t have to be Gyro Gearloose to work out he wants you to roll toward the Summer Special. It’s easier for him and he makes more moolah.
You buy a burger now, what’s in it? A microwaved frozen pattie is what’s in it. And what’s it taste like? It tastes like a microwaved, frozen pattie. You ever asked yourself what’s in a frozen pattie? I got one word of advice for you. Don’t.
Dead, too, is the chicken sandwich. Gone the same way as the hamburger. Now we get frozen cubes of menopausal, battery farm hens whose best egg laying days are behind them. When they stop laying eggs, it’s headsoff time for these old boilers. There’s no glory ride to hen heaven for these old girls. They enter the after-life as grey cubes of flesh between two slices of three day old bread.
Gone, too, is the toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich. The thin, shiny ‘‘ ham’’ can only be a blend of offal and membrane scraped from abattoir floors by first-year apprentice butchers. And the cheese, surely, was never made from anything milked from a cow.
I unwrapped a toasted, ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich one night outside a roadhouse near Bowen. I was in my car and the cheese glowed yellow in the dark. It wasn’t a cheese yellow, it was a chemical yellow and it glowed. It was like a sandwich from Cafe Russki in downtown Chernobyl, except there I was, not far from Bowen. And, as anyone with a reasonable grasp of geography knows, Bowen is a fair gallop from Chernobyl.
Visions of golden burgers made with homemade rissoles on toasted rolls with lashings of fried onion and grilled cheese, bring back memories of sunny days at the beach, and of long drives home, tired, beat, and a bit hung over, after fishing weekends with mates.
It’s all over now, burger, old friend. It’s time to let go. It’s time to say goodbye.