Monday, March 29, 2010

Hamburger Hill.

What has multiple levels, lots of fat and comes at a price? Society? The Woodside building in the city?

For those of you playing at home, both of the above answers would have sufficed if the correct answer wasn't actually Hamburgers. That's right, Hamburgers. Lip-splitting, heart-stopping, artery-clogging hamburgers. The multi-layered cop-out meal for all those times you were in the kitchen thinking "why did i start making this homoerotic casserole when i could be making a hamburger instead" and then you realise you can make a hamburger anyway because hamburgers are everything and they are nothing, all at once. This one time, i was totally starving and on a first date with about twenty models and they were anxiously starving as well. There was literally no food around aside from a half a jar of pitted olives, a box of mouldy vita-crisps and a left over bowl of frosties from the morning prior. Where other men would have curled up into a helpless ball of sobbing and celebasy, i rolled my sleeves up, pulled out the chopping board, got in the car and went and got some burgers. I never saw the models again and it was the coolest afternoon in recent memory.

But where does one go to acquire a burger should they feel the need to satisfy that little voice in the back of their mind that requests the acquisition of a burger? Sure, you could make one, but that would entail manual labour and going against the very essence of the hamburger. Why slave over a hot stove, sweating and burning yourself constantly just so you can eat something that is readily available at least once every five kilometres between your house and the nearest burger joint? Did you know that the latin translation of Hamburger is actually, 'eat, i am ready'? Didn't think so.

As of about a year ago, the only burgers i knew of were Zingers, Whoppers, Big Macs and Gummi. If i felt like a burger, i'd god damn well go and get myself one, always being sure to maintain a strict rotation of the above varieties to avoid any overlapping or digestive clashes. I knew nothing of these 'gourmet' burgers that are so prevalent in our city nowadays and the closest i'd ever been to a 'rocket' or 'tomato' was this one time when i ate a meat pie and watched Apollo 11. Now, you've got seeded buns and aioli at 'Bilby's', grilled chicken with avocado at 'Jus Burgers', pear and parmesan at 'Flipside', angus beef at 'McDonalds' and most recently, tzatziki and harissa at 'Grill'd', all of which i have tested in chronological order.

Speaking of chronological order:

1800's - European immigrants place meat patties between bread. They name them 'Hamburgers' as a play on words attaining to 'Hamburg', their place of origin and 'ers' because there was probably more than one of them. All significant world wars come to an end and Jesus Christ himself regrets not creating them on the 7th day.

2010 - Perth catches on after 200 years. More than 10,000 separate gourmet burger franchises open for business to give the impression that we always knew about them.

With Grill'd being the most recent entry in the race for burger supremacy, i figured i'd go and check them out on account of being hungry and Grill'd being within a 50 metre radius of my being at that point in time. I'm not joking when i say that my friends and complete strangers alike wouldn't stop getting in my face and telling me how good their burgers are, the aromatic wafts of their garlic lamb breath assaulting my senses as they did so. "They've got these buns, man!". "Holy shit, the meat is so succulent and delicious! It's like biting into a newborn calf!" Having become accustomed to such claims whenever a new burger spot opens up, i politely rolled my eyes and refused to pass judgement until i had tasted it for myself.

Upon entry to Grill'd, you can see they take their aesthetic very seriously. They've got tables, walls, a counter and a menu. Having ticked the necessites off the list i approached the counter, dodging a sea of ninjas that i later found to be nothing more than staff members dressed in the unique Grill'd garb; and by unique i mean they wore headbands and by garb i mean a trendy word for uniform. I was greeted by the head ninja at the till and instead of receiving a bow staff to the grill (unavoidable pun), i was politely greeted and asked which burger took my fancy. This being my virgin, make or break visit to Grill'd i ordered their workhorse burger, the aptly titled 'Simply Grill'd'. Beef, salad, relish, mayo, cheese. I asked if the burgers came with tomato inclusive of the salad and the head ninja replied "Yes", to which i responded, "can i have it without tomato please?".

If there's anything i hate more than tomato, it's tomato. Slippery, sour, stale, cretinous weed, ruining everything it comes to rest upon.

I was told my burger would be ready in ten minutes and i immediately felt sorry for whoever it was that had to spend such an unnecessary amount of time on something of such hasty foundations. I walked out for a sneaky cigarette, but not without noticing the uni students and in-vogue eaters who seemed more intent on being seen at Grill'd then actually stuffing their faces full of meat and bread. Eating burgers is the new black, i suddenly felt contemporary.

The burger itself was good without trying to be. I chose the Panini bread because i didn't want to look like a rookie, the decision paying off later as i bit through the sturdy roof crust and gentle insides. Once i'd breached the soft entrance, tender beef greeted me as if i'd been there before, lightly seasoned with highly visible herbs that assured me what i was eating didn't come from a plastic bag. The relish was tangy and fresh, the tomato chunks large and recognisable enough for me to discard without causing a scene. The serving size was absolutely perfect as well, i didn't feel sick like i thought i was meant to after consuming a burger, but i was full to the point where the pre-burger jitters i had were but a distant memory. At $10.90, i didn't feel ripped off, but i couldn't help but wonder how i would've felt if i got the burger for free. All in all, i didn't hate it, which is great because i try and hate new things whenever possible.

Don't take my word for it though! Here's a testimonial from someone who may or may not be a representative of the Grill'd conglomerate.

: First of all, what do you think of this gourmet burger fad sweeping our quiet town?

I can't complain, it pays my bills.

: I understand you've been employed by one of these burger spots recently?

Anonymous: I have, although i find the workload given to me is far too heavy.

Me: You have to be happy while you work. Did you ever taste a Grill'd burger during your brief tenure?

Anonymous: I tasted many a burger. Every five hours worked is one free burger and after that they're only about four dollars each.

Me: Are you serious? That's like an Alf Barbagallo salesman getting a free hooker for every car sold. And of all the burgers tasted, what was your favourite and why?

Anonymous: Luckily I get to make my own burger so I can pick and choose what ever I want, but I'd say Baa Baa + bacon takes the cake.

Me: And what about the headbands? How do you feel about the headbands?

Anonymous: Personally I find it degrading of the other staff members.

Me: Do you think gourmet burgers have already gone mainstream? Or is it still underground?

Anonymous: I'd like to think it's underground but I feel the local burger joint is definitely going the wrong way.

Me: We'll leave it there.

So not only are Grill'd excelling in the realm of what they specialise in, but they also give their staff free burgers ALL THE TIME, which is pretty much the most important and vital piece of information gathered from my interview. The only thing better than a free burger is getting paid to eat one, which is essentially what all Grill'd staff are doing if they eat while they are working.

As far as marketing goes, Grill'd goes the extra mile. I've never heard of a burger joint with a twitter account, a facebook page, a regularly updated website and a flickr account, but in these tech-savvy times where life is lived online, Grill'd know exactly where their customers hang out and haven't spared a single drop of html letting them know just that. You know what would be totally sweet though? If a burger was running the twitter account and the facebook page.

At the end of the day, you really do have to imagine a little burger just sitting in front of a keyboard replying to messages and posting status updates like "wow, i'm a Grill'd burger and i'm so damn tasty", typing with some little capsicum arms.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grand Theft Auto: Swan Andreas

Consider this an official proposal for Rockstar Games to release a GTA IV add-on titled 'Colin Little Test Drives Some Cars and Runs Really Fast'.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spare Change: Part 1.

I was just standing around thinking about awesome stuff the other day and this thought popped into my head pertaining to baddies. I'm not talking about villains or people you know and hate for reasons legitimate, I'm talking about REAL baddies.

REAL baddies: A grown or growing adult permitted by the state and it's various laws and sanctions to stop me at any point in time during my travels and ask me for money, blood, semen, more money, my soul or participation in a survey. REAL baddies are unlike homeless people in both appearance and the way that they are sponsored by a collective and given actual incentives to pester me for my income or bodily fluids instead of working purely on commission, like homeless people. REAL baddies are professional beggars for hire who will stop at nothing to strip you of your right to walk anywhere for their own financial gain. They are the real life manifestation of Lucifer himself. They do not care about the cause they are promoting.

You've all encountered one at one or more stages of your lives. Blood donations, deaf appreciation societies, disability recognition, war widow organisations, heart foundations, seeing eye dog chew toy sponsorship, chew toy repair monthly installment plans, World Vision. If it exists, there is someone out there asking you to come out of pocket for it and if you aren't quick enough you'll soon find that your entire weekly wage is paying for new hearing aids for disabled war widows with bad hearts and unsatisfied seeing eye dogs that live in third world countries. Not that there's anything wrong with that. There is so much wrong with that.

Having dealt with real baddies for most of my life (I recall being stripped of my first ever pocket money by a clown with balloons disguised as a member of Telethon, the distribution of balloons a noticeable absence from the transaction) and have gained what some mortals would refer to as a 'seventh sense' for dealing with these snakes in the grass. You can't just walk past them, they'll follow you to the ends of the earth. You can't iDeny them with your headphones, they'll shout, knowing damn well that you can hear them and making you feel like a human stain for not hearing them out. Cross the road? Congratulations, there's more on the other side. I once tried to cross the road after seeing a band of Greenpeace beggars in my path and one of them signaled to a female one and she actually crossed the road and followed me. She was stocky in appearance, her bulging leg muscles a testament to how long she'd been in the begging business.

"Trying to avoid me were you?"

I threw everything I had at her, my kids were in the car, I only had a five minute lunch break, i'm on my way to visit a dying relative, i already work for Greenpeace, i'm deaf and can't hear you. My words bounced off her like Nerf darts on a Challenger 2 battle tank.

"Do you know about Greenpeace?" she casually queried.

I spun quickly and directed a roundhouse sweep towards her shins, she jumped as it rushed past her lower body, leaving me open for a response of the left jab nature. Greenpeace had trained her well, this was not going to be a simple transaction. As i repositioned myself in wake of the roundhouse, I saw a split second window to dodge the fierce left, it's slipstream brushing the right of my face with the speed of an endangered Asiatic Cheetah. In the midst of her attempt I took advantage of her vulnerability, not to launch a second attack, but to locate a point of weakness. As I scanned her short, generous figure I noticed a small cylindrical object cradled under her right arm akin to an emptied out Golden Circle peach slice tin, only covered in pious Greenpeace paraphernalia and slogans in place of Golden Circle's usually approachable imagery. Atop this tin was a small slot fashioned for the deposit of currency no larger than a $2 coin but no smaller than a 10c piece. If i could somehow distract her for long enough i'd have clear view of the tin and a direct shot at her life force.

We were both facing each-other in the middle of the road now, the scene set for our final showdown. A crack of thunder announced an impromptu forecast of rain, lightning and an epic metal soundtrack that was completely necessary. As tumbleweeds rushed past us through fear of becoming caught in the onslaught, Greenpeace lady casually asked me "Do you know the story of the endangered white collared lemur?". Before i could even muster up a thought-provoking response, our swords clashed in an explosion of sparks and sharp sound effects. We had swords now and it was epic. We both jumped back, separated now by two metres of cold, wet tarmac and endless sheets of face-melting sideways rain. We were now strafing to our respective rights and lefts in a circle of instinct and longing for upper hand as I serenaded her with a riddle of my own.

"Do you know the story of not stopping me in the street and asking me for money?".

A powerful wail of the guitar punctuated my statement more than any exclamation mark could ever hope. My words of truth penetrated her shield of denial, sparking blind rage and the fury of a thousand Peter Garretts. Another clap of thunder triggered what would be her final attempt at my demise, her vision clouded by the A-game i had brought to the table on this particular day. As she viciously and carelessly swiped at my being I timed a perfect left roll and before she could even say "dreadlocks" i was on one knee ducking, directing a barrage of currency missiles towards the silo that was her coin tin with unfathomable accuracy. As the coins penetrated the sharp metal mouth of the stronghold, her gun fell to the floor (she had a gun as well), the skies cleared, the guitars faded and the eternal struggle between extinct animals and my weekly income had been dissolved for the time being.

Don't you hate it when people ask you for money?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I love the smell of scandal in the morning.

As i stepped out into the morning's cool embrace like i had done so many times before, an indescribable feeling of loss and unfamiliarity swept over me as a broom would an autumn leaf collage. After a quick examination of my surroundings and a light scan of my memory bank, i realised this sensation was coming from a foreign, yet suddenly life-threatening variable. It was as if i was still the same person, but something terrible had occurred on a universal scale, something that not only affected me on a personal level, but an event of such immense proportion that it had momentarily paused space and time and threatened to send the human race into a downward spiral of conflict and eternal damnation. I felt sick to my stomach as the contents from last night's meal threatened to flee my digestive tract, somehow excusing itself of the moral implications i soon found myself contemplating. I slumped against the cold brick wall of the carport in a sweaty, trembling mess and in one fell swoop the truth hit me like a tonne of the very bricks that were supporting me.

Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle are no longer together.

I awoke to the sounds of chaos and human suffering, the rushed drumming of high heels and leather oxfords on a background of assorted cries for help. Most of the surrounding buildings were now ablaze, the light downpour of unsent faxes a ghastly reminder of human reflex in the face of danger, abandonment of all hope and a single, overpowering instinct for survival. Smoke entered my lungs and nostrils with no remorse as it reduced the once almighty sun to a faint downlight in the black noon sky. My visibility was minimal, an ironic benefit as i was blinded to the omnipresent desperation and fear that had attacked the peace so stealthily, so ruthlessly. The faint scratching of an abandoned car's stereo carved it's way through the surrounding ruckus and pierced my ear as if to deliver a message constructed only for my awareness. It was an Australian accent, not unlike the rambling, truth-dodging rhetoric of our Prime Minister.

" the wake of this tragedy.....imperative...remain not leave your.....once again...confirmed......Bingle.....Clarke have......separated"

The pieces, while broken, formed a crystal clear picture of the truth. Cricket star Michael Clarke and supposed model Lara Bingle had divorced, bringing with them the apocalypse and the most historically significant event ever to occur during our time on this planet. The thought of tribes gathered around campfires and telling the story of this fateful day brushed my conscience, the concept of future generations existing after this providing some relief in the face of impending doom and the collapse of our society. Voices broke my daydream, they were frantic, yet somewhat assertive and echoed reason amongst overwhelming surrender.


"WAS SHE NUDE?" another, younger voice bellowed.




The two men brushed past me, their intention to preserve life an almost selfish ambition amidst the scores perishing around them. The ocean i pondered. When all else fails, look to the ocean. With my last ounce of strength, i wiped the dust from my face with blood-soaked hands. I stared at them for a moment, the focus leaving my sight in waves of blurriness and nausea, the fatigue becoming almost too much to bear. Life or death, the decision a man should never had to make was now the only certainty in my thought process. As i scanned the once bustling metropolis that was our city for one last time, taking in what i could withstand through the thick smoke, i became aware of my destiny.

It's one thing to prosper in the face of death and destruction, but a world where Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle are separated is a world not worth rebuilding.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thought for the day.

Liking stuff that is cool, but unnecessarily hyped = Conformist.

Something you're into is being hyped up with millions of dollars worth of advertising, explosions and morning show banter? Stop liking it. Because of all that advertising reaching out to the general public whom were once unaware of this particular thing, you're only conforming by enjoying it as well. Time to move on and start liking something that is cool, but still underground.

Liking stuff that is cool, but still underground = Conformist.

Think you're killing it by being aware of something that others aren't aware of? Fill out your membership and join the club, conformer. If you aren't responsible for it's conception or not directly related to it, there's a high probability that you aren't the first person to ever like it. You're the guy that listens to a pop group, reads their biography, finds out who their inspirations are, reads their biography, and evenentually tunnels so deep into the background of said pop group that you end up back at world music, which is the most conformist brand of music of all time. May as well go back to hating everything that you and everyone else used to like.

Hating stuff that everyone likes = Conformist.

It's a little known fact that if you enjoy something, you'll tell five people, but if you hate something, you'll tell ten people. Way to advertise that thing you don't like, conformist douche. Take the easy way out and stick to what you know, hating stuff that begs to be hated on.

Hating stuff that sucks = Conformist.

You know what's more original than hating something that is shit? Not being a conformist chimney sweep butt cleaner.

Liking stuff that sucks because no one else will like it because it sucks = Conformist.

Damn, you almost had it. In your journey to become a non-conformist supremist shitdick, you made one elementary mistake. Liking ANYTHING is conformist, even if it sucks and no one else likes it. You know why it sucks? Because there is a hatred collective that has made it so. You're part of that collective and conforming harder than the kind of conformists that claim non-conformism to appear non-conformist.

Hating everything/Emo = Conformist.

By associating yourself with the Emo lifestyle, you're admitting that you have emotions to begin with, or enjoy music that celebrates and/or shows disdain for emotion. Associating yourself with something that everyone else experiences makes you a conformist sheep asshole. Ps. Emo's aren't even around anymore so not being an Emo is also really conformist.

With all that said, i thought Alice in Wonderland was really good. Johnny Depp is a great actor who is really versatile.