He was reincarnated as a fast food flipper, materialized with smelly armpits and probably the ugliest human being ever created. All the years of sparring at the gym, flattened his nose to a skull-like stump which was nothing more than a bulge on his pock-marked face. I don’t know if he ever bothered to shower, but if he did, then he was about two weeks behind schedule.
I was standing in front of the narrow sticky counter of his small fast food joint, which was right on the street; watching him and his ugly mug shovelling burger patties around on a scorching hot black frying plate. Then he leaned to the left; grabbed hold of a dirty metal bucket, filled to the brim with strips of deep fried potatoes, sizzling in boiling cooking oil and gave it all a good shake.
Then he scooped up one of the scorched burger patties from the frying plate; turned around and flopped it onto a small cut open bread bun, that was squashed into a too small white polystyrene burger box, laying on the dirty counter right in front of me.
“So what’s the deal there with my burger man?” I asked him, looking down at the thing he just flopped onto the bread bun.
“I’m not done yet,” he said. Then he ducked down and reached somewhere behind the counter, reappearing with both hands clenching cheese, onions and who knows what else.
He squashed it all onto the burned patty, grabbed a bottle of brown sauce and poured it all over everything, looked up at me and said in a low voice; “OK, …so you got your extra cheese with pepper sauce and a well done patty. I chucked an onion ring on there because I’m in a good mood; and to make sure the whole thing doesn’t smell liked canned dog food, I slapped on a slice of tomato too.” His voice was broken, croaky and sounded like dried ginger.
Then he went and squashed the top side of the bun right down onto the whole mess and I was standing there watching tomato pips and pepper sauce squeezing out everywhere.
I looked back up at him; “Jack, I got to tell you the truth brother; that’s the worst burger I’ve seen in my life.”
“Why? What’s wrong with it?”
“It looks like a chunk of road-kill or something bro, …and that little pepper pip that's dying in the sauce’s over there, has got tiny flapping wings dude.”
“Where….? …Oh….., ….that…?” Then he stuck his forefinger and thumb deep into the pepper sauce seeping out from between the buns; pinched the tiny black thing between his fingers, lifted it to his eyes, then squashed and wiped it all off on his grimy apron. “Oh, ….don’t worry about that,” he said, “….it’s just a bug or something that fell out of the vent....”
Conrad Kruger van den Bergh (Copyright, 2019)