You Can Never Go Back
The photo above is of burgers that were purchased two years previous to the photo being taken. Note there has been no decomposition or mold...
The older I get the more I realize that time is meant to go in one direction and one direction only. Sure we are fond of things from our past that made us who we are today, but we can never really go back and it is best we don’t even try. Sometimes I think it would be fun to revisit some of the places I’ve been or the things that I’ve done. However when I do succumb to the temptation; more often than not I find disappointment in epic proportions.
I recall when I was in my 20s living back east, every Tuesday night me and a bunch of friends would go to Fuddruckers. It was a noisy burger joint with indoor neon signs. When you entered and got in line to order you stood next a large glass window where there were several beef carcasses on the hook and there was a butcher cutting and grinding meat. This showed the product was fresh, though many Americans like to disguise or not recognize that their meat comes from animals. This was in your face.
Whenever I drive North on I-5 towards Portland I see a Fuddruckers just off the Lake Oswego exit. I’ve been tempted to stop but never have until last week. Fuddruckers promotions say they sell the world’s greatest hamburgers. The building looked like other Fudd’s I’d been in before except the butcher shop no longer had beef on the hook. Instead there was a tray of large raw burgers that were probably previously frozen, or even made of plastic for that matter.
Everything was familiar at the counter where one places their order except the prices have risen drastically since my last visit. Once you get your order you go through a fixins bar that had tomatoes without flavor or texture of anything that was once living. The lettuce was iceberg and everything else was about as interesting as a recycled cardboard.
I now must say that this was not the world’s greatest hamburger. It wasn’t great at all and even the on-site baked burger buns couldn’t save the experience. Furthermore the noise that I found charming in my 20s was now annoying. I realize not that the acoustics in there are poor just to distract the senses so you don’t realize how bad the food really is.
The 30 years that are now behind me from my 20s makes me question if this place was ever any good. Maybe in retrospect the only competition back then were places like McDonalds and Burger King that sold and still sells indigestible plastic that they call beef. Compared to that the Fudd’s burger was good, but now it seems to fall in line with its former competitors.
Like time, I’m going to move forward and am no longer going to look back. I want to shield myself from any more disappointment. I have so many fond memories of my youth and I want them to remain as fond memories. I don’t want to expose them as anything different with the spot light of reality.