A hamburger joint
But alas, I don't eat beef
Turkey burger, please?

This Burger Haiku is dedicated to kthejoker.
Don't take life so seriously, son, it ain't nohow permanent.
Perhaps we all need to give ourselves permission to play here, on E2, a bit more.

I prefer a classic cheeseburger with a little bit of everything on it . You may not like the way it tastes, but that doesn't mean nobody else does.

The parking lot is only about one third full but the drive-thru seems to be doing brisk business. The neighborhood is nice, the neighboring businesses seem to be prosperous. Scattered about the sidewalk out front and in the parking lot are abandoned placards and protest signs. There is a scruffy young man asleep in the little strip of lawn bordering the sidewalk. He is curled into fetal position, sucking the thumb of one hand while tightly clutched in the other is one of the signs. It reads, "EZ SAY HO".

The sign above the restaurant proclaims "Everything!" in proud letters. It has seen better days perhaps. The addition of a big, shiny "2" over the exclamation point seems, somewhat, recent...

Upon approach the door is thrust open and a small gaggle of employees smilingly, greedily, reach out to bring in the newest visitor. Milling about in the dining area and behind the counter are more employees. Most of them are smiling, a few are not. After a hurried welcome the small gaggle vanishes leaving behind a single employee, standing off to the side, apparently willing to help.

Looking about, the interior is obviously in the process of some sort of renovation. Just as obviously, this renovation has been going on for quite some time. Only a small few appear to be working on it though. Another small few are tidying up under the tables and wiping down the glass. They are chatting with each other, arguing over whose job it is to take out the trash this time, laughingly throwing wash clothes at each other. Off to one side it appears about half the staff are on break. They are just sitting around, shooting the shit.

Approaching the counter one becomes aware of a great deal of noise and chatter coming from the kitchen. So, it appears a lot of them are actually busy back there cooking...

At the counter:

"Welcome to Everything2! You want a job?! Or, did you just want to eat something? browse the menu? It's all good by us! If you want an application they are right here." and again, half whispered, conspiratorially, "Don't worry about getting the job, we hire everyone. If it turns out you aren't qualified we'll train you. If you can't be trained, well, we still don't fire anyone. I heard they fired someone a long time ago but I don't know what that was about. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!"

"What's the pay?" one might inquire.

"Pay? There's no pay! You'll learn to cook better maybe."

Contributed from the back of the kitchen, "Ha!"

Off to the side is a long delivery chute. Sliding out from the back of the kitchen is tray after tray after tray piled with every imaginable food-stuff. It doesn't appear as if anyone has actually ordered anything, they are just producing this food on the off-chance someone will come in and take it. The employees are picking up a lot of them, strolling by from time to time to grab a tray and take it back to their table or work group. Occassionally a shout goes up, "This meatloaf is awesome!" As well, they are throwing food out the drive-thru window as fast as they can. At the end of the long chute is a trash can, everything not picked up just falls in...

One might inquire, "So what kind of food do you serve here?" That one would be a fool who didn't read the sign outside before coming in...

One might inquire, "If I come to work here what will I have to do?" to which one will immediately hear a chorus of suggestions. Many of them are crude, some are anatomically impossible, but the overriding ones appear to be "Nothing!" and "Cook something!"

So, you want a job? you want to hang out? you want to sample each item they produce? It's up to you. The owners have abandoned the restaurant to the staff. There's a manager or two about somewhere, they mostly hide in the back office. For all the anarchy, for all an MBA might tell you this is no way to run a business, they are still here, still serving food, still welcoming new employees. It's up to you.

There's this Thai restaurant I found, shortly after I moved to a new area. It's called Cats; I don't know why it's named after an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, but it clearly is, since they copied the logo and everything.

I loved the food there, especially the soup, seriously, if you ever go to a Thai restaurant you should have the soup, it's not like normal soup, it has this weird but really cool taste to it, and normally in restaurants you just think "oh I won't have soup, soup is just soup, I'd rather leave room for dessert" but in Thai restaurants soup is really excellent, and actually the desserts are mostly too sweet for Westerners anyway.

What I'm saying is, I used to think this place was great, and I'd take my friends there when they visited, and my friends would agree that it was great, and I felt kind of proud, like you do when you take someone to a good restaurant and they like it, which is weird because it's not like I cooked the food or anything, but anyway.

However. There was this one time, I took my new girlfriend there, and of course I extra specially wanted to impress her with my nice local Thai restaurant. It was a funny time of day, I think maybe lunch time, or maybe it was evening but earlier than most people normally eat, it doesn't matter. We were the only people in there, which is cool, I don't mind, kind of lacks atmosphere but you feel sort of special.

However. A couple of women, and a small child, came in a little while after we came in, into this empty-apart-from-us restaurant, and where do they decide to sit? RIGHT behind us. So that's already a bit weird, why not sit further away? There's room. So anyway.

They're chatting away, and the kid is doing stupid kid stuff, and it's annoying, but I'm thinking, never mind, they're just people, I can handle being around people, plus I don't want to look weird in front of my new girlfriend.

But then, they start smoking! Waving their cigarettes around, wafting all this smoke at us while we're trying to eat. It's like, I respect people's right to smoke, but why choose to sit right next to other people in an empty restaurant and smoke in their face? Smoke makes me feel nauseous, I think maybe because I used to get carsick, and my Dad would drive, and he'd smoke, and maybe I associate the sensations, and also I get nauseous from the smell of most perfumes and aftershave products, I think because my Dad would wear this strong aftershave while he was driving, and so I have to hunt for perfume-free deodorant or I make myself sick.

So I decide, let's just move! I ask the waiter if we can move away to another table, and we move to the front of the restaurant, and we enjoy the rest of our meal.

Until! The women finish before we do, and they have to walk past our table to leave, and as they walk past, right, one of them puts on what I think she thinks is a "posh voice", and she's like "ooooh, we don't want to sit with the common people, we're too good for them, we'll move to another table," and I think that she was making FUN of me, because my accent is kind of posh compared to hers, but then anyone's would be, because, and I'm not a snob, she WAS common as muck.

So I think "rise above it, rise above it," and I refrain from turning around and pointing out that it's not that I'm a snob, it's just that I don't like to eat with someone blowing their SMOKE in my FACE in an EMPTY RESTAURANT that we were in FIRST and they just DECIDED to come and sit right NEXT to me.

So the thing is, a Thai restaurant is a lot like a burger joint. And, you know, E2, it's a lot like a burger joint. In many ways I think, E2 is like a Thai restaurant. Sometimes it might seem like a good idea to go into E2 with your new girlfriend, but then some people might sit near you and smoke, and then totally take the piss out of you on their way out. On the other hand, the soup at E2 is really good, so it's probably worth going back some other time when there aren't any smokers there, like after they introduce the smoking ban, which actually I can't wait for.

This is why I've decided to quit E2.

I'll still drop in every few hours, and you'll see me in the chatterbox, and writing the odd node, but in essence, I am quitting. I just can't deal with the smokers any more, even though I like the soup. I always said I'd never write one of these dramatic "good-bye" nodes, but I realised that what I had to say about leaving is actually important.

Take care, everyone.

/me misses TenMinJoe

With much interest I have read the information about comparisons between this website with hamburger restaurants. I wonder if the comparison is between that of the website and a hamburger restaurant of some level of respectablity or one that is awful and run by poorly washed ragamuffins who wear the same sweater every time they go to a sweater-requiring function of some kind or another.

I have often ordered a hamburger with onions. Also, cheese is added at times. Cheeseburger.

I like to compare E2 to Faidley's in Old Baltimore.

There is a lot of personal involvement here. Often a user named paraclete asks me to marry her. I worry that she is shaved of head and on pills like Britney Spears. When I was younger I heard that girls put out at hamburger joints but never saw this in action.

So here is my requested poem for this section of website which is long overdue as there has been to this point a real dearth of pages making comparison between this website and hamburger joints. I am unable to find another one.

Hamburger, cheeseburger
Crab cakes and lemon wedges
Little girls putting out
In the parking lot of The Lord
Watching over the fryers
And the liars and the cheats
My wife had a lover for many years
I made his car payments for him
While my wife went down on him
And I watched Magnum, P.I. alone
Alone and so lonely
I longed for the Berlin Wall
Where I came of age
And now I turn the page
Because I love the Everything2 website
It is quite a sight to see
As websites go it is pretty cool
Moreso than Big Sausage Pizza pornography
Here we have real life and poetry
And the freaks are pretty cool
Even if half of them are communists

So today I went into this hamburger place that I don't normally go to. The first thing I noticed was how well dressed most of the people in the middle of the dining area were. All 3 piece suits and evening gowns, most of them sipping expensive beverages, but there probably wasn't more than 15 people in the place, even though it had seating for 60. But looking closer I noticed several lesbians, a few monkeys and William Shatner sharing a table off in one corner. I sort of broggled at that for a moment, shook it off and then mosied on up to the counter.

The counter was made of marble, but upon closer examination you could see that it was just hastily installed over a cheap harvest gold laminate countertop, and the marble was already cracking in a few places. The menu board was hanging slightly crooked, revealing the old menu board behind it, all I could see on the old menu board was a soy burger and a Butterfinger McFlurry, but the new menu board was full of expensive sandwiches, some of which had things on them I had never even heard of. The smallest one weighed over a pound.

The kid at the counter must have been almost 30 years old, he had a suit jacket on, but underneath it he was wearing a Brian Eno t-shirt. He welcomed me to the place and asked if he could take my order. I ordered a soy burger and a Butterfinger McFlurry. The kid looked really nervous and told me that they didn't sell those anymore. I caught a quick glimpse of some monstrous thing back in the kitchen before pointing out to the kid that I could still see those items up on the menu board. He told me that the new menu board kept slipping down, that it was a problem they were having.

I finally gave up and ordered a two pound burger with shrimp on top and a side of brie. As I went to sit down I saw the kid arguing with the people back in the kitchen, he finally said he couldn't take it anymore, and threw down his suit jacket and left.

None of the posh people in the dining room actually seemed to be eating anything, all they were doing was sitting around and talking about how great the restaurant was, meanwhile off in the corner I saw one of the lesbians smack William Shatner with a large flat piece of wood, knocking his McFlurry to the ground. I wondered briefly how he managed to get one when I couldn't.

I ate a bit of my food, but I found it to be a little rich for my taste, on my way out the door I noticed that the kid behind the counter had been replaced by another one, this one wearing a proper shirt under his jacket. There were a few maintenance men trying to fix the menu board, but they didn't seem to be having much luck at it.

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