The Cheeseburger Manifesto
Dear Dr. Salam,
I remember you telling me I was supposed to do those assignments, but in reality the cheeseburger got me. How could I stand a chance at writing when faced with the menacing glare of a greasy stain on a brown bag? How could I survive the aroma of freshly fried french fries swishing through the air? It pulled me with more force than a pen ever could.
You constantly tell us writing is something that feeds your soul. Well, I am not concerned with my soul- I am, number one, concerned with feeding myself!
That $7.50 I should have spent on Angela’s Ashes, I found as an important lever for sustaining physical survival in an ever demanding world.
Where hunger reigns, strength abstains, but how often does this one hunger become an absolute obsession with a particular victimized object? I almost sympathize with the extravagant work of calorie inducing art. It had no choice in the matter. The cheeseburger was the real victim here, not me.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was becoming increasingly apparent that I was going mad over this. I already knew nothing good was going to come out of this, but natural instincts took over and there was not a single thing that I could do to stop it. I was becoming a beast, an animal, all due to the absence of a number 4 at Burger King or a 2 at Carl’s Junior. The number really does not matter; it’s that single piece of melted cheese on top of a juicy slab of beef that got me.
Apart from what people may tell you, going insane isn’t all that bad. In fact, I think it almost enlightened me. I began to realize the world was after me. All of these cheeseburger industrialists are trying to hold the one thing that’s near in dear to my heart over my head. For what? For money.
I was more broke than what it would take to sleep under a bridge. Every last dime, penny and nickel I had was spent on food. More and more I purchased while the more and more I grew hungry. Eventually I was not able to find scraps of change. My credit cards were declined one by one. I think the high school dropouts behind the counter were beginning to talk about me. Beginning to be afraid. Maybe they should be afraid, I am just a tired and hungry man, if cheeseburgers are the only thing I am living for what right do they have to to take it from me!
At that time I took things into my own hands. I decided that if they were not going to hand me one over the counter, I was going to go in and get one myself. Can you Imagine the surprise of the rather bear-sized woman when I leaped right over the counter and tackled her. Line a running back in high school football, or a thug running away from a 7-11. I grabbed as many cheeseburger as I could flew right out of the drive window, over car, jumped into the back of a moving truck. It was a clean get-away, and I had 14 of the little beauties to myself.
He who knows enough is enough will have enough. With that same thought process, I decided I needed more control over my situation. I needed to make sure that no one else could take the beautiful, amazing cheeseburgers away from me. For every store that I ransacked, I burned it right to the ground. All over Houston, havoc was being raised, thousands of buildings up in smoke, soccer moms worrying what to feed their children, all whilst I had hijacked a garbage truck to hold all of my cheeseburgers. It was a smooth process, satisfying and simple. First Houston, next the world.
The official police report says I was foaming at the mouth. By this time several police officers began to join me in a rather daft high speed chase through a residential neighborhood. One of the cops swerved in front of my truck and tazed me through my rolled down window. I knew there was no more hope. I jammed on the breaks and sharply turned the wheel. Right through a nearby playground my garbage truck acted as a meteor would coming to earth. Children screaming, toys and sand flying. The truck came to a stop crushing the slide and jungle gym. Turned on its side, my truck acted as a launch pad for the police cars that couldn’t quite stop in time.
It was a pathetic sight. This peaceful playground, destroyed by a so-called madman and his cheeseburger truck. Cops everywhere, several cop cars lodged in the trees, the cities fast food industry destroyed. And to what avail? I couldn’t help but notice, while I was being put in the back of the cop car, driving to the station, that I was feeling rather peckish.
The government decided they didn’t want the news to come out that they couldn’t stop my quest for cheeseburgers in time. Instead, they decided to form a convincing argument to the public and simply call this catastrophe a “Double-dip recession”. FEMA passed out blankets, and attendance to local churches reached an all time high. And me? I was in an interrogation room. The man in front of me was telling me about all the bad stuff I caused. “Thousands of people don’t have jobs anymore.” and “Carl’s Senior is blowing up their phones wanting us to hang you on spot for what you did to his sons restaurant.” and finally, “Crap, now people have to eat healthy!”
I refused to answer any of his questions. I was too hungry even to speak. The man reached for his pocket and pulled out a round object, elegantly wrapped in paper, with splashes of its colored contents seeping through it. On top was a single sticker that read “Cheese.”
“You must be hungry, son,” the officer said. “It’s been a long day for you, hasn’t it?”
I couldn’t take my eyes off the paper.
“Why don’t you answer my questions and you can have this little guy.”
I didn’t say a word, just looked up at him with disgust.
“No? Oh well…” he began to unwrap my cheeseburger, leaned back and took a huge bit out of it.
That’s when it all came back. I remembered my mission: my soul-splitting longing for a sesame seeded bun, freshly cut tomatoes, limpy lettuce and pickles. Although I was absolutely exhausted and confused from the day’s events- a matter of fact, the past 18 hours had been a complete blur- now I suddenly began to wake up. I was a marked man, with a cheese filled manifesto; sanity didn’t matter. It never mattered. I knew that this man had to be stopped. Suddenly, I snapped.
I snapped completely out of it. Back into a familiar world. One with relief. With an appreciation for anorexia, I realize that I have absolutely no clue what the assignment is, would you mind another extension?