An Open Letter to the Cheeseburger Link

  • An abomination.
  • A monstrosity.
  • A sign of the apocalypse.
  • It looks like Mr. Hanky!  (In case you’re not aware, Mr. Hanky is, well…poop.)

As I look around the Internet, these are the words and phrases used to describe perhaps the most misunderstood culinary item of our time:  The Cheeseburger Link.

Even though the Cheeseburger Link has been around for at least the better part of 20 years, I’ve noticed that people are still shocked to see it while perusing the fare of the interstate truck stop or local convenience store.  “Ewwww, that looks gross” are words that are commonly voiced when patrons are checking out the roller grill.  Looks of utter disgust and disbelief are traded amongst the many who have, by their own free will, chose to dine in a gas station just off of I-65.

As I observe the lack of appreciation for this staple of the trucker’s diet, I can’t help but think that the Cheeseburger Link is being unfairly scrutinized.  So in order to show my support, I’d like to address the Cheeseburger Link directly.

An Open Letter to the Cheeseburger Link

Dear Cheesburger Link,

I know you didn’t choose this life.  I know you didn’t sign up for ridicule every time someone lays eyes on you.  The scathing comments that are made at and about you every day should not be wished upon anyone’s worst enemy.  

I just want to let you know, I understand you.  I get you.  I realize that comparing you to a Nathan’s hot dog is not only unfair, it’s ridiculous.  You weren’t born as Kobe Beef.  You weren’t the prime rib of an Angus steer.  You weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth.  God only knows what part of a cow you were made from.  But you do have a purpose.

You were made not as another tubed meat option with the sausages that share grill space with you, but you were created to be an alternative to them.  You’re a cheeseburger, although oddly shaped, trapped in a land where hot dogs and sausages are abundant.  Abandoned in a place where the only other option for cooked ground beef with cheese has a different address and requires a wait.  But that’s why you’re here; to fill that void.

You’re a cheeseburger, if dressed in the correct condiments, that would rival anything served to us in a school cafeteria.  A cheeseburger, because of its odd shape, is convenient for those truckers to grab and go in a timely fashion.  It is because of you, that these men can deliver their goods when they are needed.  You truly keep the business world moving.  

Others will say, “I wouldn’t walk across the street for a Cheeseburger Link if they were giving them away for free”.

But not me.  In fact, despite almost being hit by a ’78 AMC Gremlin,  I did walk across the street today for you.  No, wait…for two of you.  And I paid for you!  (You were 2 for $3 by the way.  Not too shabby.)

And I’d do it again tomorrow, Cheesburger Link.  Well, provided I’m in a hurry.  But I’m sure I will be in a hurry again sometime.  

I won’t subject you to unjust comparisons and lofty expectations.  I will accept you for who you are; the blue collar cuisine that isn’t entirely disgusting.  

In closing, I just want to say that I appreciate you, Cheeseburger Link.  When the Polish Sausage on the roller grill is looking pretty gnarly, I know I can always count on you.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Tony