A tale of two burgers, one which wasn't and another which was

May 7, 2022

The pot I piss into is plastic, watertight, and works fine, but it's translucent — you can see when it's full of yellowy liquid. Being a delicate flower of masculinity, when my door opens and the piss pot is visible on the table, or when I'm carrying it across the kitchen toward the bathroom, I'd prefer a piss pot that doesn't announce it's a piss pot.

Your suggestions are invited: My new and improved piss pot needs to be watertight, obviously, with a screw-on not a snap-on lid. It needs to be unbreakable, so let's rule out glass, ceramics, and porcelain. And the less it weighs the better, because I'm wimpy.


I should be on a diet, and I'm trying.

Also I should be on a budget, and I'm trying.

I'm a fat guy, though, so when I see an interesting restaurant and the prices aren't too high, I'll probably eat there eventually, especially if there's a big sign that says "Burgers."

At Coastline Burgers in West Seattle, the sign that says "burgers" is big indeed, and brighter than the sign that says "Coastline." That has to be a good omen, right?

Another sign at the door says "No cash accepted," but it also explains how they do business — you can tap this, swipe that, use fingerprints, retina scans, or rectal imprints, but they also take credit and debit cards. I have pretty good debit, so I stepped inside.

No humans were at the counter, only electronic devices. Oh, this is very sci-fi, I thought, but I love Doctor Who, so I walked up to one of the devices where the screen invited me to order. The options were burgers, sides, shakes, seasonal specials, kids, and sauces.

I clicked "burgers," which took me to a page with pictures and descriptions of several burgers, and I selected their namesake Coastline Burger. "Add to cart." Mmmm, lunch was coming soon.

I clicked "sides," which took me to a screen offering only one choice: french fries. Darn, that's disappointing. I'd rather have onion rings, but fries are OK if they're done right, so fries it was. "Add to cart."

Where's the "drinks" button, though? I wanted a Diet Coke, but didn't see "drinks." I looked again, because my wife used to say I could miss anything, even if it was right in front of my face, and yup, found a button that said "NA Beverages". Can't guess what NA means, but OK. (Thanks, Stephanie.)

They sell soda in cans, a local brand called "Seattle Soda," made with cane sugar, it says. There's one diet flavor, which also says it's made with cane sugar, but it's moot because all four flavors were marked "out of stock." This is a burger joint with no soda?

Well, here's a button that says "Shakes." I'm lactose intolerant — dairy makes my farts radioactive, and gives me loose, liquid poops — but I still love a good milk shake, so I clicked it, and it took me to pictures and descriptions of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate milk shakes. Strawberry is my favorite, vanilla my second choice, but both were marked as "out of stock," so I sighed and clicked chocolate, added it to my cart, but—

They've invested in three or four high-tech devices to take people's orders, at a restaurant where the only drink they're selling is a chocolate milk shake? That's my least favorite milk shake, and anyway, what is this, the Soviet Union? Screw it.

Couldn't figure an option to cancel my order, so the burger and fries were still in my "cart" when I left. Maybe I'll try a Coastline Burger some other day, but not today, not with second-choice fries and a third-choice chocolate shake.

The next afternoon, still yearning for a good burger, I found myself in a different part of town, and walked into Smokey's Char-Broiled. The sign doesn't say what's char-broiled, but I'll tell you: it's burgers.

Smokey's is the kind of place my Dad took us for burgers when we were kids (but not often enough). It's been in the same building since hippies roamed the earth, and there are chipped bricks on the wall, a menu board with plastic letters and numbers, and mounted photos of burgers, faded by decades of weather. There are no screens. They take plastic, but also take cash. To place your order, you speak to an employee. Imagine that.

As you might guess, the burgers were sloppy, greasy, and marvelous, with all sorts of slop on them — lettuce, mustard, ketchup, ample onions, and mayo was in the mix, or maybe it was some super-secret sauce. Eating it was like an out-of-body experience, without the hassle of getting out of my body.

There were onion rings, and they were hot, crispy, and delicious.

Smokey's has about a dozen flavors of milk shakes, none of which were "out of stock." Mine was pineapple, and it was perfection, with bits of actual pineapple. It was absolutely worth the lactose-fueled farts and explosions that came a few hours after.

Here's a tip, though — with Smokey's milk shakes, don't bother with a straw. The shake is thick, baby, and you won't be able to suck it up. Drink it, or spoon it.

Fair prices too, and the guy taking your order tells you how long the wait will be. After saying thanks, his last words with me, with every customer, were always along the lines of, "That'll be $9.70, and it'll take about five minutes." My meal arrived right on schedule, too.

Now I have a diner (Mrs Rigby's) and a burger joint (Smokey's Char-Broiled) in Seattle. I'm still looking for some good, reasonably-priced fish'n'chips, and Smokey's has fish'n'chips on the menu. I'll try 'em the next time I'm there.

Actually, even though I was full and belching, it took all my limited willpower not to walk back in after eating the burger, and order the fish'n'chips.

Speaking of restaurants, here's a firm rule, never violated unless someone else is buying: If there's no menu posted outside, I'm not going in. 

Every affordable eatery, and even many expensive restaurants, post the prices outside. If there's no info on pricing until you've stepped inside, it's overpriced.

Meet Sir Matthew Hale, the 17th century misogynist that Justice Alito mentioned 9 times in his leaked SCOTUS opinion 

Why didn’t Congress codify abortion rights?  

The criminalization of abortion: What to expect in a post-Roe United States 

The end of Roe would lead to more laws that recognize the rights of the fetus over those of the pregnant person. As a result, people across the country could be prosecuted for activities they engage in while pregnant, including smoking weed and refusing to follow a doctor's advice. This sort of criminalization is already happening in states where the woman’s right to choose has long been legislated into nonexistence. Over the years, women have been deprived of liberty because they were accused of harming or endangering a fetus, and the pace of these prosecutions is rising: 413 such cases took place between the passage of Roe in 1973 and 2005, whereas 1,254 of these cases have been identified between 2006 and 2020.

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Providence gears up to provide reparations to Black residents 

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Anna Jarvis, who founded Mother's Day in 1908, passionately opposed its growing commercialization and eventually campaigned against the holiday. 

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Supreme Court leaks are good, actually. Let’s have more of them 

So should the Supreme Court, virtually alone among core public institutions, be entitled to say, "We'll show it to you when we're ready for you to see it?"

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A California startup is offering cocoon-like pods to allow 14 residents to share a single house as an escape from soaring rents and real estate prices 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

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The End
Judy Henske
George Perez

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...


  1. Good show, lots of inspiration up there in every day life...

  2. Thanks for the Judy Henske obit. I was a fan of the Greenwich folk scene and a particular fan of The Mayor of MacDougal Street, Dave Van Ronk, but I'd forgotten about Judy. She was present at the creation and very much one of the creators. Like Malvina Reynolds in the San Francisco scene, she was older than most of the other performers, but she used that maturity wisely. We all end in dust, but Judy ended in smart dust, which is the best anyone can do.


    1. Smart dust is my greatest unfulfilled aspiration...

  3. Get some cheap paint and swirl it around in the piss pot to coat the insides.

    1. Hmmm. Seems cheap, easy, workable. I'd thought of painting the outside, but painting the inside with the lid sealed, it would be impossible to make a mess and there'd be next to no clean-up needed...

    2. If "The Chef" feels he can add garlic others' food at whim, perhaps you can add urine to his.

    3. It would be quite easy, now that you mention it. He never uses lids for his leftovers, and the fridge is right on the way to the bathroom when I'm dumping my pisspot.

      I have these annoying scruples, though, so I couldn't do it.


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