Is it just me or has life been different of late? You know, since Burger King let the dogs out?
Who, who, who, who?!
Burger King, that’s who!
Burger King has a hot dog in it.
Lord have mercy on our souls.
100% beef sausage wiener
Splayed out naked on a roll.
I’ll expose the facts
Although it fills me with disgust.
Please excuse the filthy dark details,
And carnal lust.
You guessed it. I had me a hot date with a dog. It went down a little something like this.
I saw commercials for the “Classic Grilled Dog” on TV. Never in my life had I been witness to such sublime invention. A perfectly formed bun of golden brown with hermetically-sealed edges lovingly cradling a piece of meat with scientifically accurate grill marks, and it was all topped with dancing intertwined sine waves of ketchup and mustard, and impeccable sprinkles of relish and onion.
Call me cynical but my spidey sense was tingling. I smelled a rat. I gotta see this for myself, I thought. Thus, a science experiment was born.
It had been three years since I’d “eaten” at Burger King and that was only because I worked across the street. It was a damn convenient way to stuff my gullet hole. It had been even longer for my wife but she decided to tag along. In the name of science.
The plan was simple: Procure the item and perform a comparison test.
The hypothesis: Yeah, right?!
The first problem? We live in Portland’s world famous “Burger King Exclusion Zone.” I calculated the nearest location. We would have to travel. This would not be easy.
The second problem? “What the hell kind of meat is in that hot dog?” my wife asked.
“One hundred percent beef,” I replied, aping Burger King’s promotional materials. But what did that mean?
My wife forbade me to discuss the topic any further because it would be going in her mouth. I was still curious, though. If you think about it, “100% beef” leaves a lot to the imagination. Lips? Parts that you’d throw away if cooking at home? Meat from sick and diseased cows? Who knows? I guess it’s all technically still “beef” depending on your point of view. I’ll shut up now.
Long story short, in spite of the great mystery, we still ate the things. Oh what we do in the name of science.
Finally the experiment was at hand. We arrived at the restaurant. Each window was plastered with a giant picture of the hot dog. Inside was a hot dog sign taller than Kobe Bryant. My wife declined to have her picture taken with the sign.
We ordered two “Classic Grilled Dogs,” a large order of french fries and two cups of water. The dogs were $1.99 each.
While waiting I visited the ketchup station. We’d need some ketchup for the fries. There I learned, while filling 42 tiny little cups (enough for a single serving), that I no longer possess the upper-body strength to pump my own ketchup.
Two helpful millennials took pity on us and graciously explained how to extract water from the giant beverage dispensing machine.
Our number called, I picked up our tray of food and carefully extracted the hot dogs from their bags. Only in a fast food restaurant would they wastefully bag food you are about to eat. They love garbage, I guess.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that we had just been served. Ah, that delicious moment of discovery. Theory confirmed! We had just advanced human knowledge.
We were promised Food Origami and received, instead, a grungy mosh-pit of condiments. It was as if the Hamburgler himself had sneezed on our dogs.
The grill marks were dots. Gone were the sine waves of ketchup and mustard. The bun was damaged. Strangely all of the toppings were skewed to the left. Somewhere in the distance Chef Gordon Ramsay screamed, “These mashed potatoes are bland!!”
After all that science we were hungry so we dug right in. The dogs had no bite. The buns were not toasted and cold. Perhaps they had been steamed? They were actually stuck to their containers. The “grilled” hot dogs were almost as cold with only a hint of warmth.
The flavor? Meh. Not bad. There was just a hint of backyard family barbecue. They were slightly reminiscent of childhood carnival memories.
In the end, perhaps that’s what Burger King is selling. Just a “hint” of something that is “reminiscent” of something else.
We enjoyed the floor show, a maintenance worker lugging his step ladder around the dining area and changing light bulbs, even though it was high noon, and we made fast work of the dogs in about eight bites. Boom. Science done. Scientist still hungry.