The Flat Top Experience

Now that I’m a sophomore, I like to think I have a pretty good handle on what I’m doing with my life. Not in terms of relationships, career aspirations, or anything of that sort. I’m talking about the important stuff, like knowing which foods need to be refrigerated, how to hold my own in FIFA, and most importantly, what to eat for dinner. After living on Upper last year and Coro this year, I consider myself somewhat of a Mac connoisseur (I’m fairly confident I make the best waffles in all of Chestnut Hill). But alas, every hero has his weakness. For Tiger Woods, it’s pornstars. For me, it’s flat top burgers.

Flat tops, Pretzel burgers, throw up burgers, whatever you want to call them come out of the woodwork once a week, and never cease to throw me through a loop. Why? Because with pretzel burgers, the question is never just “do I want a pretzel burger?” Before I make my decision, I have to ask myself, “am I doing any physical activity tonight? Am I eating with people I’m trying to impress? Do I want to feel shitty later?” These questions pull at my brain like a mental tug of war as I shuffle over to the burger line like a stupid idiot. My friends try to stop me, but I’m weak, and something about those magical meat pies never fails to lure me in.

I patiently wait in line, watching all the poor souls in front of me order their bacon and cheese covered concoctions. I want to reach out to them. Look into their eyes and tell them it’s not their fault. Tell them it’s not too late to put the burger down and grab some chicken or a salad, or something even remotely healthy.

But then it’s my turn to order, and all that goes away. The lady behind the station slides one aggressively greasy patty onto a pretzel bun and passes it on to her coworker, who surrounds the burger with fries, always inexplicably soggy. They’re the same exact fries as the ones on the other side of the dining hall, but for some reason they’re wet. Just another part of the experience I guess.

Now’s where the fun starts. I sit down with my Coro pals, and pick up my burger. The first bite’s always the same. In a split second, every shred of doubt and hesitancy that I had going into the meal vanishes, replaced only with satisfaction. “Damn this is awesome. I’m so good at making decisions. I’m gonna be such a great adult” I tell myself. But then it goes bad. The patty starts sliding all over the place, the pretzel bun falls apart, the fries are still soggy. Oh no.

By the time I get to that last bite I remember why they’re called throw up burgers. First my stomach feels terrible, then I feel terrible, and the rest of the night is in shambles. I try to blame BC Dining, cursing Mike at Mac and everything he stands for. But deep down, I know this is my fault. I made a bad call and now I have to take responsibility for my actions. At this point it is what it is. I’ll feel shitty, promise myself I’ll work out in the morning (lol), and then go to sleep.

The Flat Top experience is truly an incredible phenomenon. I’ve lived it for over a year now and still can’t wrap my mind around it. But in reality, the most mind boggling part about this whole thing is that I’m gonna order it again next week, and the week after that, and the week after that until my last days in Mac (or until my heart explodes). Why? I don’t know, I wish I did. To quote Seinfeld, the flat top burger is a loathsome, offensive brute, yet I cannot look away. The mystery of the throw up burger will never die, as it claims its title as the best worst food in the history of BC dining.

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