A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


I once saw a fat guy unwrap a burger sandwich with one hand and then devour it in just two bites. And while I’ve been known to embellish a little to garner a laugh, there is no exaggeration in this particular story. This man, whose skin had reached its zenith… his weight well past its apex, had come to me in search of legitimate information, but how quickly a man’s purpose is swayed when confronted by his demons...

His dialog with me started well before entering my site office. His urgency to speak had somehow superseded the necessity to first walk through the closed door in order to be heard. Either that or I couldn’t understand him because his tongue was so thick that Corky from “Life Goes On” took issue with it.

In any event, whatever he intended to convey to me was halted in its tracks by what must have been the simultaneous acts of smelling the burger sandwich and seeing that giant copyrighted orange and white umbrella beacon on the bag, guiding him through the night so to speak.

It just so happened that earlier that morning a vendor brought a bag of Whatevaburger for all the guys on site, a good will gesture for some work we did on the side, and there was extra left over. Anyway the man continued speaking in hebephrenic gibberish, while never making eye contact with me. And I was fully perceptive by now that he was formulating a plot to score one of those left over burger sandwiches. This guy broke into an open sweat (it rivalled a football halftime interview).

And like a Great White that smells blood in the water from miles away, this cat was instantly seduced by the aroma of animal fat, fried in animal fat. I think his eyes were even dilated resembling those “lifeless doll’s eyes” (Robert Shaw, God rest your soul). He began to make these movements with his body that looked like a fiend on the verge of his next fix.

But a closer examination would prove it to be more like a pantomime artist, rehearsing his act… then again, it might just have been muscle memory from the numerous times he’d done what I was about to witness.  He starts by saying something like, “hhuukkrgg… Food… clukkksmakk… have one please?”

Again… the thickest tongue of all time. But it was his politeness that intrigued me, so I broke him off a burger sandwich and half regained my attention to what I was doing. Then the most incredible thing I have ever witnessed started to take shape before my very eyes. He dives into the bag before I can barely finish giving him the ok to proceed.

This clumsy, ham-handed beast obliterates the whole bag, like one of Bill Bixby’s trouser legs after being pistol whipped by the business end of a revolver. His face was pure delight (not Bixby’s). And having found his purchase; he whirled to me to finish what he had come to ask. But I saw through this cheap little diversion and narrowed my gaze.

This mother fucker… with only one hand, skins the burger sandwich alive. The visual is… four sausage like digits on one side of the bun and the “Oy Uncle Charlie don’t stuff that in me”, is on the other side. Needless to say, each finger worked independently of the others during this endeavour to unsheathe the burger sandwich. And I’m not talking about pinned it against his chest and unwrapped it with one hand… I’m talking about him doing this performance with nothing more than just one hand!

Even the hand that played “Thing” on the “Adams Family” must be jealous of this guy’s dexterity. But the amazing part is that, this is a hand that couldn’t even close into its self to make a fist because there’s so much meat in the way. Still it only took the blink of an eye for this portly Copperfield to palm the wrapper in unison with exacting his first bite.

I say “exacting” because obviously his plan was to get this thing finished off in two bites. That first bite must have been like a boxer who sends out a jab to gauge the distance of his opponent before throwing his money punch. He immediately knew what he needed to do next.

Having absolutely no neck too, it was entirely impossible to be sure if he had swallowed the first bite. However he did manage to grunt some rudimentary language at me. All in an effort to dissuade my bewildered eyes and to set them into motion away from his next bite.

For once he was sure I wasn’t looking (oh but I was) he started after the last of the burger sandwich. But this time his eyes were fixated on mine, like how a shoplifter scans the front of the store as he stuffs ghetto apparel into his pants. And as he Houdinied that last wedge of meat and bread into his mouth, he used his thumb (Uncle Charlie) as a type of shoe horn to force it all into that eagerness called a mouth.

It took little effort to prod the meat and bun into the waiting pockets of his cheeks… and it all fit. And then, as some sort of secondary chewing force, he began bouncing up and down as he shifted his weight back and forth on his feet. It almost looked celebratory… and still… his eyes never left mine.

Then it struck me. It became so clear as to why he had felt the need to decimate that wad of food in this manner. The plot wasn’t just to procure one burger sandwich; it was to score him a minimum of two burger sandwiches.

The speed, at which he had formulated this idea, simply astounded me. His deceptive plan was to dispatch of the first burger sandwich at just under the speed of sound (to go full sound barrier, which he was fully capable of I’m sure, would have brought undesirable attention to himself and ultimately foil his plan and only net him one burger sandwich) and then to grab another burger sandwich to play off as the original one.

Now… it’s obvious to me that this man has put in a lot of hard work to become this large. Because if he would only put this much effort and brain power into his job, he wouldn’t have to be in my face asking me for information all the damn time.

It’s also fair to say that in this guy, I see the future of competitive eating. The days of mindlessly shoving wieners chased by lemon-aid down your gullet are long gone. It’s a future where, just like the televised Gladiators, you have to run through a gauntlet of obstacles that amount to a series of gadgets and brain teasers, a labyrinth of silent alarms tripped by laser beams.

And just like every movie involving a heist, at the end there is a burger sandwich in a glass case that you have to switch out with a bag of sand of equal weight. Dr. Indiana Jones might think it’s a real bitch, but this guy would have no problems.

Anyway, as I stared incredulously at this behemoth, this hulking man, he began to enact the next phase of his master plan. Like a somnambulist, he made his way towards what use to be a bag and clasped another burger sandwich between his middle and index fingers. Like a surgeon or a card shark, he masterfully slid the parcel of meat to the edge of the table and picked it up. He performed the same one handed manoeuvre as before, only this time it wasn’t speed that he was showcasing, it was his deceptive silence.

To make this second burger sandwich look like the first, he had to unwrap it and give it the appearance that it had been bitten into. Like the Great White shark referenced earlier, this time his eyes rolled back in his head as he sank his teeth into this gristly slab. I could tell that most of the excitement had already left him soon after the decimation of burger sandwich one... he was on auto-pilot now. Having thought that he had seduced me into thinking he had only gotten the one, was enough to produce a little orgasmic aftershock to last all day. He had won… his God given gifts had seen him through.

And then his demeanour started to change; it was now an air of superiority or cockiness. He thought to himself about going for three, just to prove to himself that he could. He wasn’t full, Heavens no, not even two burger sandwiches mixed with the rich sweetness of victory could sustain him.

So he decided he would do it anyway (which wasn’t a surprise to either of us); he would go for the triple. He ruined the story at this point though. I was waiting for him to dazzle me with another one of his feats of misdirection coupled with the hand wizardry matched only by the blind dude who did the glass orb tricks on “Labyrinth” for David Bowie.

But no, he was a lazy fuck and seeing as he already blown his wad two minutes earlier… he had no appetite for any more showmanship. He just feebly decided to half ask/half inform me that the rest of the bag was coming with him. School yard bully and shy introvert sharing a paradoxical space you could say.

But for me he had earned it, so what the hell, I let him have it. It wasn’t without reward. I now have the eternal memory of this fat guy and the burger sandwich incident. He left me feeling like half a fag or something; and he didn’t even bother to stay for the answer to the question that he had originally come to ask.

So next time you’re at a fast food joint, I suggest you don’t hesitate to try and see if you can first peel a burger with one hand and proceed to down it in two. You might just have what it takes to become an expert like him.

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1 Comment:

  1. dragonfly emerging said...
    being a big girl myself, i find this picture confronting... the person you have described here is someone with a food addiction... it is hard for other people to fully grasp their situation... unlike with AA or NA etc, you cannot just simply stop your substance abuse, as food is your substance and is required daily to help keep you alive... with drugs and alcohol you simply abstain form using or drinking... that cant happen with food... keep in mind, not every over weight/obese person is going to have a food addiction... just a personal insight into what i read here

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