An Excrusion to the Bruger Joint

by I. M. Nottghey



Crazy times we live in, I tell you. It isn’t possible to live in such a modern and young and culturally diverse city as Madison, WI without coming unscathed from clashes with the bizarre on a nearly daily basis. Hell, even a simple trip down to the local bruger joint can go in such a fatally unpredictable manner that it can leave one scratching one’s head and questioning the nature of reality and the validity of the senses.

This is all prefaced by a related story, of course. Just this afternoon I decided to take a stroll down to the 5 Guys Bruger Joint (all innuendos aside, please) against my better judgment, given how I’ve been having take out far too often as of late, but under the stress of finals and social activity, I figured I could use a nice, juicy stress reliever. So I walk downstairs, out the door, and half a block down the street to the red overhang and artery-clogging relief.

Given that the 5 Guys color scheme is a rather minimalist red and white, you can imagine my surprise as I walked inside only to be bombarded by an explosion of glittering pinks, blues, oranges, and all ranges of pastel colors. Momentarily blinded I was, though I regained my bearings soon enough to ascertain that the source of the vehemently colorful attack was several dozen high-school aged boys and girls, dressed to the nines, for what looked like a prom social gathering. I looked at the veritable army of metal-mouthed, pock-faced tweeny-boppers in their adult-looking clothing, unaware of the horrors and hardships that awaited them only years from now when they are thrust headfirst into the adult world without a hand to guide them, and while thinking of the character traits and mindset one would have to possess to think that going to a greasy bruger joint for a prom dinner would be a good idea, and I weeped silently for the state of the youth of tomorrow.

Nevertheless, I persevered, taking care not to step on the elegant and flowing dresses that wandered throughout the store, unwittingly collecting peanut shells and cigarette ash in their wake. The line had come to an unnatural stop and the queue began to pile up. I glanced sideways to try and pinpoint the location of the blockage in the flow, but I barely had to do even that to spot it: only a few people ahead of me sat a gargantuan beast, a veritable titan of a man sitting in a power chair, easily 800 pounds and with a girth so mighty he needed two seat belts to prevent him from rolling out of his mobile fortress. As the cashier handed him his receipt I noticed that it looked long enough to encircle his entire circumference, and I shuddered in horror as the beast circled back around to the waiting area, the gears in his power chair moaning painfully, sweat forming on his brow from the unfathomable amount of energy it must have taken to move his tree trunk-sized fingers, eyeing the other patrons with a look I could only compare to that of a half-starved hippopotamus. The workers behind the grill must have noticed this as well, for I saw them flipping and scraping and salting away as if their $8.00 an hour lives depended on appeasing this fellow, for fear of the repercussions of leaving his stomach unsatiated. I quickly made my order and retreated to the farthest end of the waiting area it was possible to occupy without climbing up the very walls.

Despite the amount of workers in the bruger joint, it was evident that the order was of an insurmountable size, and it would test the limits of their strength, speed, and teamwork to get it out the door in a manner fit for a king of such a throne. Minutes passed, and my stomach growled. I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch yet today, and I felt a hunger to rival that of an entire family in Ethiopia. Though eventually, a massive paper bag was brought out, mounted on the back of the Bruger king’s iron throne with the assistance of several workers, and he went about his way, without incident. The atmosphere in the joint lifted instantaneously, and everyone breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

But my problems were not over just yet. For when the time came and my order had finally been prepared, it was placed alongside several other orders and called out. I dashed to the counter to pick up the stained brown bag of glory, only to encounter a wall of hungry patrons scrambling to grab their edible heart attacks and leave this godforsaken place. When the scramble had succumbed, I was left with one bag, and as I looked to check its number, I saw with horror that in the confusion, the cop who had been in line behind me had stolen off with my bruger. I was heartbroken and outraged, at the cruel ironies of fate and the evident failings of the system at hand. My own meal, snatched by a cop! How cruel you are, fate! Though fortunately, my order was remade posthaste and I was given an extra side of fries for the inconvenience.

As I sit at home now, eating my bruger and writing this all down, I cannot help but marvel at the nature of how incredibly strange it is to be alive in our universe, and to ponder the nature of cause and effect and chance encounter, the extremities of which I have come to know like a close family friend. I cannot imagine how much more productive the philosophers of lore would have been had they had access to the modernities of the fast food system to kickstart their thinking processes.