Monday, November 19, 2018

Selling Your Metaphorical Cheeseburger and the Philosophical Importance of Pez

There’s one thing all human beings have in common. Sooner or later, we all have to get out there and sell our cheeseburger, so to speak.

It’s sure true that not all metaphorical cheeseburgers are created equal. The divine creator endowed some people with cheeseburgers that are more succulent and alluring than others. All they have to do is put their cheeseburger out there and everyone jumps all over it. Their cheeseburgers practically sell themselves.

But for the rest of us, we have to figure out how to convince others to buy our seemingly ordinary cheeseburger, whatever our particular cheeseburger may be. What strategy shall we employ?

It’s like Pez. Pez is just a shitty little hunk of sugar nobody would buy if it was wrapped in a package like gum. But if you put Pez in a plastic dispenser with the head of a clown or a Marvel comics superhero on top, kids eat it up. I would say Pez proves that what matters most is not what you’re selling but how you sell it. But that blanket conclusion may not withstand deep philosophical scrutiny. Would the dispenser be as effective if it was full of broccoli?

But for the most part, successfully selling your cheeseburger is in the delivery. Here in Chicago we have one of those Rainforest Cafes. Right outside the entrance are a couple giant plaster toadstools. Inside the Rainforest Café it’s a climate-controlled jungle, with plaster elephants and such. It’s all the fun stuff about being in the jungle without the scary stuff. There aren’t venomous snakes slithering around your feet or anything like that. The Rainforest Cafe is pretty hoaky, but who can blame whoever thought it up? It's all just an elaborate strategy for selling a cheeseburger. Desperate times require desperate measures.

It’s like this Abe-Lincoln-themed restaurant I went too once. The décor was pseudo 1860s and the menu items all had a Lincoln twist, like Mary Todd fries. I resisted the urge to ask the hostess if I could sit in the John Wilkes booth. I figured she’d heard that one a million times before. But in an Abe-Lincoln-themed restaurant, you can call a cheeseburger something like an emancipation burger and that makes it special, even though it’s still just a cheeseburger.

Comparing living life to trying to sell a cheeseburger may seem like a cynical outlook to some. But I disagree. At least I didn’t compare it to trying to sell broccoli.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)

ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.