Three Daily Arts writers in varying states of mind go to try out Blimpy Burger.
OK, so I’m in line at Blimpie Burgie. And, all right, I think I have this down. I need to say three things … number of patties, right. And the bun? What’s the third? Crap!
Noah, to my right, is visibly swaying back and forth. And when he doesn’t hear the grill cook ask him what burger he wants, the guy shouts. “Hey, burger! What kind!” Noah jumps and runs down to answer. Shit … what was that third thing?
“What do you want fried?” the guy asks, throwing me off. “Onions!” I blurt out. Good, my reflexes work fine. And I’m left with a nice, juicy burger at the end of the ordering process. I pay the man and join Noah at the table.
First, the burger … it’s a revelation. With the fried onions and cream soda, I can die happy. Just let me finish this burger first. It’s gone before Brianne and I can convince Noah that Stephenie Meyer isn’t a very good author. And then …
OK, so maybe I’m just paranoid; I know I get paranoid a lot when I smoke. But seriously, Noah is shouting about drinking and drugs — and there are children everywhere. I can clearly see the man and the boy to my left trying to ignore it.
Shit, the fuzz! OK, Brianne and Noah aren’t noticing this, but a police car is right outside with its lights on. Noah, seriously, stop waving your canteen of alcohol around.
“Are you almost done with that?” I ask abruptly, as Brianne casually munches a fry. “Oh, yeah, I guess so!” Good. I’m out the door and disappear into the night before they’re finished throwing away their trash.
Oh … just someone getting a parking ticket. Well, you can never be too careful.
— Daily Arts Writer
If this grease were an alien, it would have already taken over the world. I didn’t notice before, but it has already colonized me and now it’s spread to my keyboard, and I don’t want to fight it because it’s like the Imperius curse — it just feels so good — and YOLO, so let’s order another four patties, come on, they’re not that big anyway, what have we got to lose, just add another three miles to our workout regimen tomorrow. I bet I could eat around 20 of these and have room for the fried vegetables. I am the grease whisperer. The grease says, “I would never lie to you. You want me in your belly.” And it’s right, I do. Ritually sacrifice my good sense and beatify my health, sweet Blimpy, on the altar of the grease gods. I belong to your cult now.
The only reason to come to this place is if you’re with friends and someone says, “Hey, let’s get Blimpy burgers!” and if that happens it should be illegal to say no. There doesn’t need to be a functional justification, you don’t need to be hungry, you just go, you eat, you joke, you eat more. College has an unwritten exam, and that exam is experiences. Blimpy is a question on that exam, and the answer is yes. If you say no to Blimpy, you can get all the As you like, but there will always be a stain on that social transcript. A grease stain, forever reminding you of the jokes you couldn’t laugh at because you were too sober and the foods you couldn’t eat because you were too worried about your six-pack.
Do better than me, reader! Get five patties! Order them with an egg! Don’t shy away. This is what you’re here for. Even if the food isn’t great, Blimpy’s is a worthy reminder that sometimes you are not supposed to be a good person. Make a fool of yourself and dive into some finger food. Because the grease gods are watching.
Like a good student, I did my homework. Like a sober, anxious Blimpy “virgin,” I really, really did my homework. With 30 minutes to spare, I studied the burger joint’s website, memorizing its menu and saving a list of condiments to my phone. Greasy gods forbid I step foot into Blimpy Burger without a clue … or a shot (or three). But with two intoxicated writers in tow, I was ready — and hungry — to be put to the test. Between the clangs and sizzles of typical restaurant clamor, three bearded men in aprons scurried before the counter. “What do ya’ want from the grill?” one asked.
To my right, Noah wavered — literally swayed like a burger stacked too high. He sputtered chunks of sentence; “ketchup” here, “lettuce” there. No, Noah! Didn’t he read the directions? Condiments come last! I braced myself for taunts and good-natured grimaces. The man yielding the spatula just rolled his eyes and flipped another patty. Huh.
Maybe this won’t be so bad, I thought. “No matter what she says,” Noah slurred, wagging a finger in my direction, “Give her four patties. She wants two, but give her four!” The message was passed down the chain of command, and I, well, I lamented my loss of agency. That is, until my mouth embraced (yes, embraced) the grease-soaked goodness — grilled egg and provolone oozing in, out and between tomatoes, beef and bun — that was my first Blimpy burger. Forget choices, forget the menu: I’ll eat whatever these diner henchmen tell me to eat — even if it does come with a side of sass.