Mark Guthrie Muses About a Burger Superhero
Nagtropolis. The city that rarely sleeps. Another day draws to a close and the sun slips behind the glittering skyline. Long shadows cross its law-abiding citizens as they make their way home, and the seedy underbelly awakens.
It is an ordinary evening for Bruce Waite-Gayne as he sits on the balcony of his Freebell Mansion, surveying the city below. But Waite-Gayne is no ordinary resident of Nagtropolis for, while by day he is a mild mannered English teacher, by night he is the protector of the city he loves. By night he is Burgerman.
Things had not always been so. He had been just an ordinary child, born on a distant planet made entirely of minced meat with orbiting concentric onion rings. But his parents, the Imperial rulers of Hamburgia, jettisoned him to the safety of planet Earth as their meaty paradise became enslaved by the wicked armies of the planet Vegetariania. He was again orphaned when cattle rustlers murdered his Earth parents on their way home from the opera, on the very same night that he was bitten by a cow with Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, a cow that had escaped from a laboratory of the nefarious Bedlam Sciences Corporation. Now he was equally cursed and blessed with a super Beef Patty power.
But, just as with a great burger comes great side dishes, with great power comes great responsibility, and Waite-Gayne had sworn to use those powers to protect the city he loved. And right now, it needed his protection.
Waite-Gayne’s burger-senses were tingling. Nausea. A crushing pain in his chest. Darting pains in his left arm. He knew that someone needed his help.
He sprang into action and heated his frying pan before plopping two extra-large patties into the grease. He followed those with bacon and then topped the burgers with cheese. Waite-Gayne knew that there was not a moment to lose, that someone was in desperate need of his help. So instead of preparing salad, he put the burgers between buns and ate them at lightning speed.
As he ingested them he could feel his powers increasing: a shortness of breath; sweating profusely; extreme indigestion. Only stopping to belch loudly, he pulled his superhero costume from the bottom of the laundry basket, scraped some encrusted mayonnaise from the crotch and squeezed his glistening bulk inside the spandex. He was ready.
He dashed as quickly as the chafing of his inner thighs would allow him to the Freebell Diner, where he could tell by his heavy panting and aching bowels that danger was afoot.
“Never fear, Burgerman is here!” he bellowed as he stumbled into the room.
“Burgerman,” swooned the waitress. “What the hell do you want this time? I’m not giving you anything for free, so you can piss off!” she flirted outrageously.
Burgerman used his flowing cape to wipe a glisten of perspiration from his upper lip and stood heroically. “My burger-senses were tingling, so I came as quickly as I could. What’s the problem?”
“Well,” admitted the waitress, her eyes drawn to the throbbing bulge of his spandex belly, “I did burn a couple of burgers about fifteen minutes ago, but I threw them away.”
“Aha!” Burgerman cried triumphantly. “I must save those poor helpless meat patties!”
“You mean you want me to take them out of the bin?”
“Um, yes. It is the only way I can rescue them. Perhaps if you put a bit of salsa on them. And some gherkin. Yes, that will do nicely.”
With the unfortunate burgers saved, Burgerman waddled heroically into the Nagtropolis streets, where he saw, illuminated in the sky, the silhouette of a triple bacon cheeseburger, a signal that someone, somewhere, was in burger-related strife. As quick as a flash he summoned a taxi and squeezed his monumental girth onto the back seat, barking orders at the driver between mouthfuls of charred meat.
“Never fear, Burgerman is here!”
“I’ve told you before, you’re barred!” said The Corner’s waiter, glowing with admiration for the hero.
“A burger is in trouble… and there it is!” And with that Burgerman dashed across the restaurant to a table of customers, the level of fear and concern on their faces a barometer of their anxiousness over the state of their meal.
Burgerman, panting majestically, swept a plate from the table, just before a fork plunged deep into its sesame roll. The tomato had slid dangerously out from its place upon the bacon, but what concerned Burgerman most was that the eater had intended on using his cutlery rather than the paper burger holder.
“Here, good citizen,” Burgerman announced. “By placing your burger in this custom-made napkin, you can hold it in your hand without it falling apart, like so,” and here Burgerman took a hefty bite.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” said the customer with gratitude. “Stop eating my bloody burger you fat oaf!” he added, thankfully.
With the burger devoured, and The Corner’s patrons shouting and shaking their fists in thanks, Burgerman once again stepped into the Nagtropolis streets. Now his burger-sense was tingling so much that it felt as if there were an elephant sitting on top of his ribcage.
“Someone must really need my help,” he announced, only burping twice as he did so, and he stumbled off to the subway with haste.
Layer’s Aloha Dining was a place that Burgerman knew well, and though he battled burger felony there on a nightly basis, he knew that as long as crime did not rest, then nor could he.
“You can bugger off right now,” exclaimed the waiter, his hands curling into fists of appreciation. “I’m calling the police again if you don’t!”
“That’s a wise move, good citizen, for I may need some help from Nagtropolis’ finest if I am to overcome the wicked deeds of the magnitude that lurk on every table.”
And with that, Burgerman sprang into action and seized a sandwich from a plate. “Just as I expected!” a triumphant look of disquietude on his blubbery face. “Some fiend has been putting pineapple on these helpless burgers. There is surely no greater evil known to man!”
“But I keep bloody well telling you, it’s a Hawaiian restaurant, of course it’s got pineapple!”
“Well worry not, for Burgerman will protect you poor people,” and with no thought for his own safety he shoved the defiled burger into his mouth, before spying another pineapple attack on a second table.
With the stealthy grace of a three-legged pregnant hippopotamus he snatched up the sandwich and again faced the pineapple peril, swallowing it whole.
Seeing Burgerman’s heroic deeds, the Nagtropilans leapt to their feet cheering, and so overcome were they by their gratitude that they forgot to open their fists as they patted him heartily on his back and head. “No need to thank me good citizens,” boomed Burgerman as the relieved people hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried him out into the street.
Eventually the crowd ceased in their vociferous thanks, leaving Burgerman alone once again, and not a moment too soon, for Burgerman’s burger-sense was going wild. The agony in his chest, the shooting pains down both arms, the blinding headache could mean only one thing.
“My arch enemy, Heartdiseaseman. We meet again.”
Without warning, Heartdiseaseman struck, knocking the hero to his knees. Burgerman struggled back to his feet, but the cunning Heartdiseaseman sent further pain to his chest, sending the caped defender crashing to the ground.
Burgerman struggled with all of his might, but unable to breathe in Heartdiseaseman’s vice-like grip, his strength soon waned and he was left incapacitated, defeated. Vanquished.
Is this beef curtains for the corpulent crusader? Is his bun well and truly toasted? With Heartdiseaseman having run onion rings around him, could he relish a new challenge? Tune in to find out next time. Same burger time, same burger channel.