At a previous job, I had a co-worker who ate car burgers.
"What's a car burger?" you ask.
Well, my boy, come over here and sit down (as I pat on a chair) and let me tell you a story.
Back in the late 90's, I had a co-worker who, on a number of occasions, would toss his hat into the ring to get lunch at [insert hamburger joint of choice here] for he and his co-workers.
What a guy!
Then, out of the goodness of his heart, he'd take our orders, collect our money and proceed to hop into his car and head out to [insert hamburger joint of choice here].
Very nice guy, right? Yes. Yes. A very kind and generous person indeed.
But wait, there's more!
For any other co-worker, a normal trip to Wendy's or McDonald's - which was only about a mile or two away - would take everyone around 10-15 minutes to complete. This particular co-worker, however, would take close to an hour.
"Where the hell is he??!!" my co-workers would scream as they impatiently glanced out the window with grumbling tummies. "Jesus Fucking Christ!" they would shout. And, about the time we would reach our breaking point, our rotund friend would swing open the office door with bags of food in hand and a giant smile on his face.
"Sorry, I'm late," he'd say nonchalantly. "There was a big line."
And, like a mom who had just given birth to a newborn baby, instead of getting pissed of and berating him, our subconscious minds would erase the entire pain process that we entailed in this past hour. Instead, we would focus on the task at hand, which was gobbling down our hamburgers and chicken sandwiches like a bunch of hungry raptors - and getting back to work.
That is, until...
One fine day in the spring, all of the above steps were repeated by our co-worker. He would fall on his proverbial sword, announce he was going to [insert hamburger joint of choice here], take orders, head out onto the road and then disappear for approximately one hour.
However, during this particular occasion, we asked another co-worker go on a little reconnaissance mission. After our little Hamburgler left on his one-hour journey, our spy exited the office and hid out in the parking lot behind a tree anxiously awaiting his return.
Time passed and he was almost going to through in the towel. When, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the Hamburgler's Lincoln Continental roll into the parking lot, where he proceeded to park it really, really far away - out of eyeshot of our office window.
That's when it happened.
While sitting in the car, the dude rummaged through the various bags of food, pulled out his hamburger of choice and started to chomp away to his heart's content - all the while shoving fries into his mouth like Kobayashi. After about 20 minutes passed, he exited his car and walked up the steps.
"Sorry, I'm late," he said like clockwork. "There was a big line."
He handed out the sandwiches, then sat down, pulled out yet another hamburger. "Man, am I hungry," he said looking around the room going toe-to-toe for Daniel Day Lewis in the Best Actor Category.
"No you weren't," our co-worker operative screamed behind, as he slammed the door and pointed at his face. "You were eating a Car Burger!!!"
And that, my friends, was how the term "Car Burger" was born.
So, I bring up this story not to make fun of my former co-worker. Well, not entirely. However, I bring up this story, more so, because (and I'm ashamed to say this) I myself have been pulling the 'Car Burger' caper.
For the past couple months on my way home from work, I occasionally careen into a local Wendy's near Twinsburg, Ohio, and take advantage of their $1.29 Junior Cheeseburger Deluxe.
"It's got lettuce, tomato and onion," I always say to myself totally ignoring the calorie-ridden beef patty, cheese and mayonnaise. "So, it's got to be good for me, right?"
Then, like a husband who just cheated on his wife with a dime-store hooker, I drive home in a shameful funk. With my belly full and my hunger pangs a thing of the past, I trudge into my house with my head hung low, say hi to the kids and eat my 'real' dinner - all the while thinking about the tasty burger I sexually assaulted with my teeth a mere hours ago.
Look, I'm a pretty fit guy. I try to run 2-3 miles a day. I try to eat right. I drink fruit and veggie smoothies every other day. And I force a V8 down my gullet almost every day - even though I still can't stomach the taste. Oh, and I eat salads. Lots, and lots of salads.
But, just like my little portly co-worker way, way back - not to mention my puffy friends - those car burgers can really put on the pounds - especially during the winter.
Two months ago, I visited the doctor and weighed in at a stealthy 189.5. Two months later, during Car Burger Gate, I hopped on our scale at work and am now looking at 197 pounds. The scale at home has also corroborated my bulging waistline.
I'M THREE POUNDS SHY OF 200! GULP! HOW CAN I STOP THIS NONSENSE?
Well, reader, there is a way to stop this. And it's not going to be easy on my end.
The Car Burgers Must Stop. The after-work trips to McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, Arby's and Wendy's dollar-menu, drive-thrus must come to an end.
Sigh! Goodbye Car Burgers. It was a fun ride. And, I can totally see why my co-worker way, way back used to partake.
But, I need to lose these five pounds. I can feel my pants tightening and my shirt bulging. I can feel myself turning into Fat Axl Rose.
And, let's be honest, I'm not Fat Albert, The Nutty Professor or The Fat Guy from The Meaning of Life.
I think when the cold spell starts to break and I'm outside moving around in the warm sun mowing the lawn, doing yard work and chasing the kids around - it's not going to be a problem to lose those extra five+ pounds.
But, if there is anything to learn from this story it's BEWARE THE CAR BURGER! As tasty as they seem, they're going to bite you in the end - or in this case, they're going to bite you in the gut.
Also, while I'm at it, I guess I should probably cut back on some of the high-calorie beer I've been drinking.
And the pudding. Yes, the pudding needs to stop.
Oh, and the Double Stuf Oreos that my wife buys for the kids. I must stop eating those at night as well.
And the Hebrew Nation hot dogs. And bologna sandwiches. And the cookie dough from the refrigerator.
And the M&M's at my in-law's house...