Between my friend Steve's blog and my own, the topic of fast food restaurants seems to have been popping up frequently, which reminded me of my own stint in the burger flippin' business. Yes, like so many Long Island teens in my decade, I paid my "It's time you got a job" dues in the ever-so-pleasant service industry of fast food. My chosen poison was the home of the Belly-Bomber itself... White Castle. For those that don't know WC, Let me sum them up this way: a square burger less than half the size of a standard burger with five holes drilled into it, steamed on a bed of onions underneath their dinner-roll sized bun, usually with such a disproportionate onion-to-water ratio that it almost always turns out to be a soggy slopfest.
And it's very probably the world's most perfect fast food.
Being so small, they're incredibly cheap; a poor slob on his way home from a night of bar hopping can stop in and order 2 or 4 burgers just for himself, depending on how much change was left in his pocket. If he was with 3 friends, they could easily order 30 burgers or more and plow through them in a drunken rage.
They're also incredibly quick to make. You can order a value meal of 4 and, assuming a grill has already been made, be sitting down eating them quicker than you can say "would you like fries with that?" (Sorry Steve!)
They're also incredibly bad for you. There's nothing at all redeeming in them, they don't even make an attempt to healthy them up by adding a slice of tomato or lettuce, just the above ingredients, topped with a pickle slice, some salt & pepper, ketchup and, for the ultimate slider, a slice of cheese.
Because of their uniqueness, White Castle is the fast-food equivalent of George W.: You either love em or you hate em, there is no in-between. And just like with our selected official, those who say "nay!" often pick on everything done wrong, and sometimes start rumors to defame the idol of others.
Of course, in Bush's case, it's all justifiable.
So where am I going with this? Like I said, all this talk about fast food got me reminiscing about those days, and I was reminded of a conversation I had with my friend Rich long after I had dropped my last basket of fries. You see, one of the 'rumors' going around about White Castle hamburgers was that they were made from kangaroo meat. Ludicrous, to be sure, but I was constantly being asked, "Hey man, is it true they're made from kangaroo meat??" I assume this was to infer that they were so cheap they couldn't afford real beef burgers. At the time my answer was real simple. "Well" I said, "it says 100% Beef burgers on the side of the box of frozen patties, so I'm guessing it's real beef!" It wasn't until the conversation with Rich years later when it dawned on me how ridiculous that rumor was. Kangaroo meat?? Of all the things they could have picked to replace beef with, why kangaroo meat? I don't think kangaroos are that much more plentiful than cows that it would be such a drastic increase in their profit margin. In fact, I would think it'd be a lot more expensive to ship in kangaroos from the outback and butcher them up in top secret kangaroo-processing facilities, threatening their employees with bodily harm if they ever spilled the beans and paying off the officials to look the other way. A hell of a lot more expensive. You might as well just develop your own dinosaur-cloning facility, genetically grow a bunch of fattened-up T-Rex's and grind them up for some delectable dinoburgers... I can see the rumors now... "Hey, you know why White Castle's are so cheap and crappy? They're made from dinosaurs, man! No, really!" Sure, why not, that'd be REAL cheap!
"Here's your order of Velaciraptor Fingers, don't forget your Dinosauce!"
(Slightly off topic side note: When confirming the spelling of Brontosaurus using Dictionary.com, I noticed how completely useless it was as an actual dictionary. The definition of Brontosaurus, according to the site, is "An apatosaur."
Thanks for clearing that up, fellas.)