Several months ago, a friend of mine who we’ll call Greg (Greg by the way has been begging me to put his name into this column ever since he realized people read it) invited my family and I to his house for dinner, burgers he said. I loaded the family into the car and off we went, expecting burgers because, well because he said burgers. When we arrived at his house I was surprised to see him mixing a concoction of ground turkey and beef. “What’s this?” I asked in disbelief. He explained it was burgers and I would love it. I looked across his table and saw these unleavened buns that looked much more like bagels than typical hamburger buns. “What’s this?” I asked, my disbelief growing by the minute. He attempted to explain that those are the buns in which we would be eating our “hamburgers” (quotes are mine not his). This “dinner” (again my quotes) was beginning to become too much. My anger at this meal was not just that I was now going to be forced to eat some sort of turkey burger on some multigrain, bagel like substance but that I was sure my wife was now going to try and use this tiny foothold to push me up the mountain of better eating—secretly mixing turkey burgers and whole grain into my carefully arranged diet of red meat, chocolates and complex sugars.
Yesterday, while eating a breakfast burrito at lunch that consisted of a burrito shell wrapped around eggs, onions, cheese, sausage and peppers and topped with more cheese, sour cream and salsa I was shocked when another of my friends began describing the burgers he would be making later that night. It was a mixture of ground turkey and beef on an unleavened bread. What the hell?! Neither of these two friends are the type of guys you’d expect to see dining on twigs and berries. I’ve watched both down a good steak in no time and gulp their way through several real hamburgers. What makes both of these stories even more shocking is that they learned about the recipe they use and the so-called buns they put the wrongly named burgers inside of from another friend of ours. This guy is an ultimate fighter. He’s a man’s man, he’s the last person I’d expect to be mixing turkey with anything!
Like our forefathers who mourned the passing of the Victrola while vinyl was still in their hands, I feel that my beloved food choices are being pushed farther and farther out of my reach. As much as I think all hamburgers should be made exclusively of ground meat and by meat I mean beef, from a cow, that bleeds, I believe even more that most of my food tastes so much better with trans fat. I know, it’s a dirty word to most but damn do I miss them. Have me close my eyes, give me a sample food and I can tell you both what it is and if the trans fats have been removed. There isn’t a product that wasn’t better with trans fats—Ho Ho’s, every donut from Dunkin Donuts, Kentucky Fried Chicken, every fast food French fry, all tasted better with trans fat. Look, it’s not like by removing the trans fat we’ve made any of these foods healthier. Let’s not kid ourselves, we’re killing ourselves just as quickly, now the food just tastes worse.
Before I write these next sentences let me set your mind at ease. I believe in global warming and think humans are the cause, I think that our food causes cancer, I’m not the typical guy that sits in a man cave on the weekend drinking beer and watching sports and yet…So, here’s where and why I know I’m getting old. I think the world is a better place with Styrofoam. I love trans fats and complex sugars that won’t break down in my system ever. I enjoy eating red meat. I can’t think of a better product to fry anything in than animal fat. I believe everything tastes better deep fried. If you try to convince me that a Ho-Ho not wrapped in aluminum foil or a Big Mac in a paper wrapper tastes better than its predecessor I swear to god I’m going to punch you right in the face.
I can’t convince my friends that they’re wrong about mixing turkey with beef. Society has convinced them that they’re making good choices and that they’ll live longer. I can’t make them understand that whole grain anything only serves to make whatever it’s a part of taste like cardboard. I can’t force them to fry their french fries in liquid Crisco. I realize that I’m yesterday’s model, an out of date suit whose only hope is to be sold on clearance. All I can ask of anyone is to either set aside from ground meat when you have me over for burgers. Don’t mix it with turkey, leave it to the side, I’ll cook it myself. If you can’t do that then don’t call it burgers, call it by its correct name, new age crap you’re going to force down my throat and try to convince me that I enjoyed it. The other option is to not have me over at all. That might be the better choice, I won’t bitch and you won’t have to hear me bitch. If you’d like to discuss my eating habits feel free to stop down to my local diner. I’ll be eating my usual—two eggs, sunny side up; a few mancakes (pancakes a little larger than usual); two kinds of fatty meat– my choice either ham, bacon or sausage; toast slathered with butter; coffee and a glass of orange juice, my lone concession to healthy eating. Be forewarned though, if you’re going to convince me that turkey can or should ever be in a burger we’ll be fighting and I’ll win because I have the protein of a red meat diet to sustain me.
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