shouldn’t have tried to be fancy

Being an old pro at visiting burger joints, shacks and shanties, I should have known better. It was an amateur mistake, and it led to my not having any lunch yesterday.

Here’s the deal. I needed to hit an old school and previously unvisited (by me) burger stand so I could gather information to write a profile about it for a client. I’m the perfect person for this job, no? A few coworkers came along for the journey. It was a pretty, breezy day, just right for sitting outside and chomping on a burger.

It happened so fast. The menu (multiple pages) was plastered on the window of the stand. Too many choices. Tacos, burgers, fried shrimp, tortas. There were people in line behind me, so I didn’t have the luxury of perusing my options. I had to go for it. This is where I went off script. See, they had a sign proclaiming the arrival of chicken strips, which they seemed to be very excited about. The excitement was contagious because out of my mouth came, “Chicken strips, please” instead of “cheeseburger, all the way.” And that’s when the train went off the tracks.

Don’t know if the chicken strips they’re so excited about are good or not because that is not, in fact, what was in my bag when they handed me my order. I ended up with fried chicken. On the bone. Though I’m an avowed meat eater, I draw the line at eating things on the bone. The act of ripping meat with my teeth grosses me out. A silly thing, but a thing just the same.

I tried tearing bite-size pieces of the chicken off with my fingers, but the skin was so greasy and hard it was an impossible task. The pigeons that quickly surrounded our table seemed pretty interested, but I don’t feed bird to birds. I looked at the fat pigeons that were so barrel-chested I doubt they can fly anymore. I looked at my chicken, which was of a similar size. I made an uncomfortable connection between the two. I gave up.

The lesson here? When visiting a burger joint, don’t try to be fancy or you might end up with an order of fried pigeon-chicken.

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