I’ll Take the Burger in the Picture, Please

barry currin, beaverdamusa.comI wish one of those professional photographers who takes pictures of fast food hamburgers for advertisements would come make a picture of me.

I would tell him, “Start with some Clooney, add a little JFK, and make sure to highlight my Elvis snarl.

It would be nice if I worked that way, but I have a pretty good feeling I would still look a lot like myself only with better lighting. I am sure I would hear the term “soft focus” after this guy sized up his subject matter.

So how do those photographers make fast food hamburgers look the way they do?

You know the picture. The buns are flawless and golden brown, with sesame seeds spaced a perfect 0.125 inches apart. Hints of pickle and onion sink into a thick, slowly melting piece of cheese. Mustard and ketchup intertwine hand-in-hand around the edge of a thick, juicy, steaming piece of sumptuous tender ground beef.

The next time you get a fast food burger, take a good look at it before you attack it. One pickle is under the bun completely. The other is quarter-moon shaped with a curvature that resembles the shape of the guy’s mouth in the kitchen who may or may not be chewing something.

The mustard is all glopped on one side, the bun has a big thumb-shaped indentation on top, and the tomato is the color of a kitten’s tongue. The cheese looks pretty good, and that would be fine if you had ordered cheese.

All-in-all, it looks like somebody threw it out of a car window at 60 mph and hit a deer crossing sign with it. Then they backed up, ran over it, picked it up, took a bite of the pickle, slammed it in a box, handed it to you, took $2.49 and asked if you wanted to buy a coupon book.

And we go back, again and again; billions and billions served.

I understand marketing. You wash your car before you sell it. I get it. But we must have limits.

Back in 1968, in one of the first false advertising cases, Campbell’s soup was sued because their advertising agency put marbles in the bowl of soup so the vegetables would be floating on top when they made the picture. I learned that in an advertising class in college. Apparently, the Future Burger Photographers of America weren’t in there, though.

Don’t get me wrong. I dearly love a good McSomething with fries and a shake. And, I am in no way advocating suing the burger joints just because they Photoshop their product photos.

In our buyer-beware society, we already know the burger doesn’t really look like the one they show on television. Imagine how super sized we would all be if it did.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him: currin01@gmail.com

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