CoffeeBeer >> Cheeseburger Letters


The Cheeseburger Letters

An e-mail discussion of the origins of life,
the universe,
and twenty-year-old cheeseburgers

 

TO: MISTAH RICK
FROM: JC
DATE: 6/20/97 8:19AM

Here's an interesting tidbit forwarded to me this morning (From Ovi's World of the Bizarre (June 3, 1997 Update 1)):

"An Australian science student is impressed with McDonald's preservatives. He stored a cheeseburger in his desk drawer for one year and had this to say: 'Not a skerrick of mould.' Although the burger is dry, the student assumes it would be as good as new if microwaved with a glass of water."

TO: JC
FROM: MISTAH RICK
DATE: 06/20 8:39AM

So cheeseburgers outlast Spam? Hard to believe. Even the bread? So a live-action cheeseburger decay camera would make a pretty dull web site. Maybe they'd have to do a time-lapse sequence over a decade or so to see if it crumbles to dust.

I talked to an old friend a couple weeks ago. When we were students he worked at McDonald's in Glendale, and he recalls the day when Frank Zappa walked in and ordered a couple cheeseburgers. I wonder if those very cheeseburgers contributed to his untimely death some 20 years later.

TO: MISTAH RICK
FROM: JC
DATE: 6/20/97 11:17AM

Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer, didn't he? I suppose the cheeseburgers could have killed him if they'd fallen off a high shelf and landed on his head. Of course, a 20-year-old McDonald's cheeseburger probably doesn't weigh very much. So it would depend on the height of the shelf, the relative height of his head, and the resulting velocity achieved.

I'll bet if two 20-year-old cheeseburgers were tossed from the top of the Empire State Building they'd cause quite a bit of damage.

TO: JC
FROM: MISTAH RICK
DATE: 06/20 1:44PM

You don't think cheeseburgers could sow the seeds of prostate cancer? It probably depends on what you do with the cheeseburger. Cheeseburger suppositories might cause rectal cancer. And radioactive cheeseburgers could cause cancer anywhere.

TO: MISTAH RICK
FROM: JC
DATE: 6/20/97 3:47PM

Hmmm, radioactive cheeseburgers...would those be Plutoburgers? Years ago Max and I thought that would be a good way to recycle nuclear waste. We were all ready to open up the first Plutoburger stand right in Golden Gate Park. Were you with us when we thought of that? I can't remember... Perhaps the time has finally come: with the Cold War over the world needs plutonium burgers!

And now you've got me wondering: does having sex with too many different cheeseburgers at an early age cause squamous-cell cervical cancer? Would smoking too many cheeseburgers cause lung cancer? Will eating cheeseburgers with a glass of wine every day cause liver cancer? How about spreading cheeseburger juice all over yourself and then going out in the sun? Will that cause melanoma?

It could be we're on to something big. Perhaps we're closer than we think to wiping out such diverse diseases as breast cancer (caused by infants nursing on ground-up cheeseburgers instead of mother's milk), diabetes (brought about by the inability of the pancreas to process cheeseburgers), AIDS (spread by unsterilized cheeseburgers), cholera (caused by water polluted with cheeseburgers), rabies (carried by cheeseburger fleas), and typhus (caused by the fouling of food by cheeseburgers and by the feet of cheeseburger-eating flies).

But are we talking about 20-year-old cheeseburgers, or are 10-year-old and 5-year-old cheeseburgers just as dangerous? And has anybody ever looked into the severity of injuries suffered when a 20-year-old cheeseburger collides with a small child in a car seat? What about a 10-year-old cheeseburger and a 10-year-old child? I wonder how many children have choked to death on small parts of cheeseburgers? Is it possible that cheeseburgers, when enclosed in a well-insulated room, could emit dangerous levels of radon or carbon monoxide? Should all cheeseburgers be equipped with safety alarms and air bags? Should we ban the sale of cheeseburgers to minors, or should we just go ahead and register all cheeseburger sales?

I wonder if anybody's ever seen Joe Camel's face in a cheeseburger -- or Mother Theresa, for that matter. If you load a cheeseburger on your turntable, what kind of music will it play?

TO: JC
FROM: MISTAH RICK
DATE: 06/20 4:35PM

Did you hear that once again people are demanding bigger and bigger cars? But Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards set by the EPA require that the median miles per gallon of all cars sold by any manufacturer exceeds a certain threshold, which is much higher for cars than for trucks. So Ford and perhaps GM have announced plans to introduce new maxi-vans that are bigger than anything seen before, nearly 20 feet long with three rows of seats plus plenty of cargo space. If a desiccated cheeseburger traveling at highway speed collides head on with one of these, I expect the transfer of momentum will send the burger beyond earth's orbit and out into the distant reaches of the solar system.

TO: MISTAH RICK
FROM: JC
DATE: 6/21/97 8:52AM

...and centuries from now, as the Sun expends its final stores of energy in a spectacularly fiery finish and the planets disintegrate into frozen chunks of debris, billions of years later those chunks will have drifted to the farthest reaches of the universe, perhaps slowly forming new galaxies where an entire solar system -- or perhaps even a new universe -- may sprout from one microscopic yet densely petrified fragment of McDonald's cheeseburger...

TO: JC
FROM: MISTAH RICK
DATE: 06/23 8:20AM

Worse yet, what if an alien race -- arriving too late to intercept our Voyager with its Chuck Berry CD -- collected the Cheese Burger instead, interpreting it as a specimen of the best our race had to offer? What if they cloned it in massive numbers and sent the copies back to earth to preface their arrival? The planet might plunge into yet another ice age, precipitated by the cloud of FO2 (fromage dioxide) formed when bajillions of Cheeseburgers from Outer Space (probably manufactured from extraterrestrial isotopes of cheeseburger molecules as we know them) plunge into the atmosphere.

For all we know, this may already be happening. What if the holes being punched in our outer atmosphere -- detected by that scientist, Louis Frank, who is finally getting recognition for his discovery of house-sized snowballs pelting the earth-- what if the source is not snowballs, but cheeseburgers? And if they don't decay at sea level and at room temperature, perhaps they won't even decompose on reentry. Out in the desert, or at the bottom of the ocean, the earth is gradually being perforated with cheeseburger craters. Our planet may be fated to end up looking like the surface of the moon. Oh my god! Could it be that the moon's abundant reserves of green cheese date back to a period of bombardment by ancient cheeseburgeroids?

TO: MISTAH RICK
FROM: JC
DATE: 6/23/97 11:37AM

Perhaps the real reason the dinosaurs became extinct is because the earth's store of cheeseburgin -- an important fibrous protein created by cheeseburgeroid bombardment -- was destroyed through freezing. Since the herbivorous dinosaurs depended on this important protein in their diet, they suffered terminal malnutrition; this, in turn, left the carnivorous dinosaurs with nothing to eat.

Perhaps there are still traces of cheeseburgin to be found in the earth's crust, down where temperatures are warm enough to sustain it. I wonder if anyone's ever thoroughly analyzed the earth's fossil fuels for evidence of cheeseburgin. Perhaps if we could find even minuscule amounts of this powerful protein we could add it, like sourdough starter, to present-day cheeseburger detritus and create a fresh, vigorous supply of cheeseburgin. By means of this important new protein we could wipe hunger off the face of the earth.

TO: MISTAH RICK
FROM: JC
DATE: 6/25/97 5:37PM

Here's the beginning of an intriguing article from yesterday's Chicago Tribune (by Tom Hundley):

****-

"KIEV, UKRAINE - On May 24 McDonald's opened its first outlet in the Ukrainian capital.

"Exactly one week later, after five years of squabbling and six official postponements, Russian President Boris Yeltsin finally came to Kiev and signed a Russian-Ukranian friendship treaty.

"Coincidence?

"Not according to the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention. Serious students of international affairs have noted -- tongue only partially in cheek -- that no two countries with a McDonald's have ever gone to war against each other.

"The basis of the theory is that the presence of McDonald's means a country has achieved a level of economic maturity and consumer comfort it would be unwilling to jeopardize by engaging in armed conflict with a neighbor."

****-

The article goes on to say that the Kiev McDonald's recruited 80 management trainees from Ukraine's large pool of highly educated and underemployed workers, "virtually all of whom have impressive university degrees in fields such as chemistry, physics, and engineering. The trainees were put through an 8-month crash course in burgerology at McDonald's franchises in Poland and the Czech Republic."

So what would the study of petrified cheeseburgers in the Moon's crust be called? Lunar burgerology? Would the charting of ancient cheeseburger crash sites be meteoroburgerography? And would the study of the global economic impact of cheeseburgers be international burgeronomics?

Perhaps these Kiev scientists-cum-burgerflippers will someday be able to answer some of the questions we've come up with in the past week. Could it be that the secret to the universe lies in a yet-to-be-discovered subatomic particle called the burgeron?

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