THE great Aussie monster works burger presents considerable challenges to eat with any class or dignity in public.
They often loom as large as the residential towers proposed for inner-city Newcastle. And you hope they’ll have the same revitalisation powers.
Medically, the jury is still out on whether it is a good idea to unleash as much protein and carbs as such a burger possesses in one hit on an unsuspecting digestive tract. Like an atom bomb.
But the truth is, at these particular moments when you need such a burger, you probably can’t handle the truth. All you know is, as they say in the dietary manuals, you require fire in the hole.
And it becomes apparent very early on when you see the size of the sucker that if you don’t bring your game face, and mouth, there will be blood. I mean beetroot. Mainly on the footpath. Possibly egg, bacon and other ingredients too.
It got me contemplating burger design the other day as I ploughed into a local behemoth. Mass x momentum x fluid = mess. That sort of thing.
I hoped there would be some allowance from nearby diners for spillage, because the great Aussie monster works burger is, after all, a cultural icon. And people make exceptions to uncouth eating behaviour in these cases. Like slurping and noodles in some Asian countries.
But quite rightly there are limits to public eating indecency and I started thinking burger makers owe the world a duty of care to make their products hold up during consumption. In the interests of laundry if nothing else.
(I’ll be pleased to take some feedback on this subject at a later date.)
Quite rightly there are limits to public eating indecency and I suggest burger makers owe the world a duty of care to make their products hold up during consumption
Before proceeding, let’s backtrack to the sauce, I mean source, of the problem.
There’s no escaping culture these days: sports bonding dinners, craft beer festivals, days on the green, nights on the turps, long lunches, longer dinners, 21sts, 30ths, 40ths, 50ths, 60ths. They all take their toll.
Time heals most things and paracetemol can assist with the rest. But sometimes a metabolism-jarring works burger is the only miracle that can really sort you out.
A chicken schnittie, eminent as it is, won’t do the job some days because probably you don’t feel worthy of white meat.
Which gets us to the burger.
Boasting all the ingredients of greatness – beetroot, bacon, beef, cheese, pickles, sauce, lettuce, carrot, egg, pineapple, TLC, OMG and a hint of RIP.
Skill and determination are required.
Not to mention a distendable jaw. And a palpable hunger and desperation.
Asset management is critical because if the burger hasn’t been cut in half, or there’s no skewer, or scaffolding or concrete reinforcement, load movement is inevitable.
Which gets us back to that duty of care mentioned earlier. Burgers need to be stable, unlike their eaters.
In the meantime you need both hands on the wheel. You bite from the right, and things slip to the left. You come at the problem in the opposite direction and now you’ve got the wobbles.
Your hope is that you can keep the situation in check with some modicum of decorum. But because all mustering is being done with the mouth, decorum is relative.
Like, if the whole kit and caboodle doesn’t drop in your lap, that’s decorum.
All the while you’re trying to describe events of the weekend to your friend, who has the unenviable privilege of watching, and more to the point, listening to you eat.
Audible slurping may be evident, which is perhaps unfortunate dining, as you are, al fresco in fashionable East End.
Which gets us back to duty of care again. Some works burgers have too much moisture under the hood.
Modern trendy condiments, unless suitably braced, run too easily down the hands, the wrists, the elbows, creating in some cases the infamous gloves of grease. Not ideal if you’re hoping to appear less despicable than you feel.
Pretty soon the burger can start dictating terms. And fair enough. You knew you’d have to answer to someone eventually. And credit where it’s due; the burger is soaking up a lot of the sauce. But that’s only accelerating the break-up of the bun.
Before you know it, the integrity of everything is compromised – pretty much how you feel.
And so you have to eat harder before everything goes to mush. And there, perhaps, you have a metaphor for life.
You’re going down, it’s going down – hard to tell who’ll get there first.
It can’t be that pretty for your mate who’s doing his best to keep you supplied with serviettes as you crane forward over the table trying to spare your work shirt.
But you appreciate the gesture.
Eventually, against all odds, the beast is tamed. The python has ingested his crocodile. Nearby diners breathe relief.
Amazingly you do feel somewhat better.
But like decorum, ‘‘better’’ is a relative term. You felt dead before, now you feel slightly better than dead.
Placebo effect or scientific fact? Time will tell. It’s been emotional, psychological but most importantly nutritional.
All hail the modern Aussie monster works burger. It really works, particularly if followed up with an ice slurpy.