Like the vast majority of people in the entertainment industry I've done my time in the restaurant industry, probably more time than most. As a result I can testify to the fact that all those fucked up stories you hear about what goes on beyond the view of patrons.....IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE!!! Here's just one example.
I was in a band at the time, we had promise and caught the attention of a few notable people. Anyway, as a band we were family, and that stretched to include a small number of people not in the band. One of these people was the girlfriend of the other guitarist (from here on out referenced at "the guitarist"). To this day she is still like a sister to me, despite the fact that I'm lousy at keeping in touch.
I know. Right about now you're asking yourself, "geez, what the hell does this have to do with burgers?" Relax, you'll see.
Just like in any family, sometimes shit hits the fan. Someone does something really fuckin' stupid and needs to be punished. The guitarist was, I don't know, I guess getting bored of the relationship with his girl and started treating her like shit. Shortly after, he broke up with her and continued to treat her like shit. On several different occasions I had to sit with her as she cried on my shoulder because of the things he was saying about her to other people.
Now I was raised right. I might have my moments, but there are some things that just aren't acceptable. The little fucker crossed the line. Being that I considered both of them family I went to talk to the guitarist. When I brought the subject up he told me to fuck off and that he didn't care what I thought. At that point it became apparent to me that a lesson needed to be learned.
I worked at a burger place....kind of a family place with a build your own burger theme. You know, the ones with the open kitchen behind the cashiers where you can see all the cooking going on. Well, at least you think you can see everything, LOL. The guitarist was a regular customer of the restaurant. He always came in and ordered the same thing, 1/2 pound burger cooked well. Knowing all of this provided me with an ideal canvas on which to illustrate his lesson. The next time he came in I was waiting for him.
The grill we cooked burgers on was huge, and we cooked a ton of burgers on any given day. These flat-top grills have to be cleaned frequently during a shift. A scraper is used to get some of the gunk off and a pumice stone, sort of like sand paper, is used to remove the really stuck on stuff. All of this....um.....residue is pushed into a gutter at the front of the grill that runs into two large vats underneath both sides. This is also where all the fat and grease from cooking all that meat goes. Those vats sit under the grill all day, the contents swirling and festering like the brew in a witches cauldron. Mmmmmmm.....yum.
So in walks the guitarist with a bunch of his friends and I see him. Time to teach the lesson. I've had one particular burger sitting in a corner of the grill where the temp is low. The burger started out medium, but over several hours has slow cooked to the consistency of shoe leather. The only reason it still looks like a burger is that it's been marinating in a puddle of grease and fat that it was left in. This was the beginning of the lesson. When the guitarist placed his order, I slid the burger into the middle of the grill to warm it up a little, and let him pass the point where he could see what I was up to. I then lifted the burger up with a spatula and proceeded to reach down and submerge it in one of the vats under the grill. I let the burger sit in the vat for a couple of minutes to soak up anything that it could. I then placed it back on the grill to heat it up. My buddy was working the other flat-top toasting the buns. I asked him to make a special one for the burger and he was more than happy. Normally he applied a special....um fake butter to the buns to toast them. Not this time. He proceeded to hork up every bit of smokers phlegm he had in his lungs and apply it to the bottom part of the bun and put it on the grill. The top was placed on the floor to soak up the spilled fake butter from there (He was able to pull this off easily because the buns were actually kept underneath that grill and pulled up when needed. So it looked no different from the other side of the counter where the customers were.) When the bun was toasted and on a plate, I lifted the burger and quickly slid it onto the bun and passed it down the line for delivery. After the guitarist picked up his order I asked one of my waitresses to keep an eye on him and make sure he enjoyed his burger. A short time later she returned to inform me he had eaten the entire burger and was happy with his meal.
At this point it's important to understand that his lesson is only half over. You see that burger was like a time-release pill, working it's way through his digestive system. All the fat, grease, oil and pumice residue turning his intestines into a fire hydrant just waiting for it's cap to be loosened. When he wasn't at school the following Monday, I knew the lesson was a success. A couple days later I was talking to a mutual friend and I heard the whole story.
In the evening after eating the burger the guitarist ended up taking a new girl to the movies. I guess somewhere near the end of the movie the guitarist must of tried to sneak out what he thought was a fart.........the cap loosened. Apparently the smell all but cleared out the entire theatre. His new girl bolted, dry heaving. The movie was cut short and when the house lights came on my mutual friend said the guitarist looked like he was sitting in aftermath of a mudslide. After crafting a large jumpsuit out of a trash bag to prevent any more, um, leakage from escaping his pants he left the theatre.
Holy shit!!!!! I so wish I had been there to see all of it. I guess he thought the cause was the fake butter in the popcorn he ate because he ended up calling the health department and reporting them.
Now I know this wasn't really an effective lesson because he couldn't possibly have made the connection between his rectal explosion and his poor treatment of women, but it made me feel like I was a participant in Karma's biting him in the ass. I saw him come into my restaurant a couple more times before I quit that job. I never fucked with his food again, but every time I saw him it made me laugh a little inside.