Another thing I liked about American-style eateries was that they weren’t exactly fast food, but they produced their meals considerably more promptly than your hoity-toitier restaurants. And so it was, less than fifteen minutes later, I was looking down at my first ever commercially-produced ramen burger.
There was something very wrong with what I was seeing, and it took me all of about two seconds to put it to words. The ramen burger had buns made out of noodles.
Now, even the laziest of introspection will tell you this is wrong. We don’t call hamburgers breadburgers, do we? We don’t call a cheeseburger a cheeseburger because its bun is made of cheese. We don’t call a nacho burger a nacho burger because its bun is made of nachos. A burger is named after what’s inside, except in weird cases like the rye burger or the sourdough burger, and we’re not going to get run over by that crazy train.
No, there was most certainly something deeply and profoundly wrong with this picture, and I realised – still in my crystallised moment of frozen, instinctively-revolted contemplation – that the backwards-named incorrectitude of the ramen burger’s description and assembly was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The tip of the iceberg, and the vital clue as to the mystery of the awful thing’s existence.
It was, I realised with a sinking sensation, an escapee from some sort of nightmarish Opposite Land universe, where ice cream was hot and gumbo was smooth and burgers were sandwiched between two wads of whatever they were named, and I just shuddered to think what other horrors had crept through whatever portal this creation had used to infiltrate our unsuspecting reality.
Unaware of my lips drawing back from my teeth, I reached for a knife as the ramen burger – its deception unveiled and its cover blown – uncoiled its noodles and wriggled them ferociously towards me.