MEATAMORPHOSIS

One morning, Greg Sampson awoke to discover he’d been transformed into a ginormous cheeseburger. “What a catastrophe,” he thought. “I can’t be a cheeseburger, my parents will kill me!” But he was, in fact a cheeseburger, with a ground beef patty, melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup and mustard, all sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. There was no doubt about it.
He thought hard about what could have caused this cheeseburgical transmogrification. He hadn’t consumed any chemically altered foods or been cursed by a mystical vagrant, at least that he was aware of. It was a mystery. And an inconvenient one at that. Greg planned on running away, and had a packed suitcase under his bed. He’d dreamt of flying away the night before. Now, who knew how he’d get out of there?
He considered his new form in the mirror above his bureau. It reflected back a cheeseburger the size of a monster truck’s tire. “Weird,” he said, for it was. Even weirder was the fact that, when Greg had said ‘weird’, the top bun of the ginormous cheeseburger flipped up and out came his voice, deeper than normal. “I can talk,” he said, and the bun flipped up again. A large pickle flailed up and down when he spoke. Greg presumed this was now his tongue. No wonder there was a sour taste in his mouth.
There were three sharp raps at his door. “Get up, boy, time’s a wasting. No more laying about, you layabout,” his father Frank yelled.
“Uh, in a minute, Dad,” Greg said. What now? How would his parents react to his cheeseburgification? Would they flip their parental lids? Would he be sold to a fast food chain as a living mascot? Would they freeze him and feed off him from now until Lent? Greg’s parents already didn’t approve of him in human form. They often remarked that God gave them a son as opposed to something useful, like a tax return or hot water heater.
“What’s the matter with you, boy? You sound different. Beefy, even,” Frank said. “You’re not ill, are you? I won’t stand for illness in my house. Did you get beefy overnight?” Greg stumbled for a response. He was used to stumbling, being what his friends, family and teachers charitably called a klutz and a clod. This is why he played no sports, entered no academic clubs and generally kept to himself. His greatest asset was being invisible, which his recent meatamorphosis hindered greatly. As did the fact his father was about to enter his room.
“Dad! Don’t come in!” Greg yelled, but it was too late. Frank caught a glimpse of his cheeseburgated son and gasped, eyes practically propelling from their sockets.
“Guh-Guh-Greg?” he managed to stammer. “Is that you, my boy?” Greg attempted to nod, then realized he had no head or neck, and said yes. “What-how-why-when-who… Wife!” Frank shouted. Greg’s mother Nadine ran into the room, her hair still in curlers. Curlers she wouldn’t have needed once she saw her son.
“Land a Goshen!” she exclaimed, slapping her hand to her face in shock. “Where did you get that ginormous cheeseburger?”
“It’s-it’s…” Frank attempted.
“It’s me, Mom. It’s your son. I’m the ginormous cheeseburger.” Nadine goggled, as did Frank. “I don’t know how it happened,” Greg continued, “last night everything was perfectly plain, then this morning…” Greg meant to gesture to himself, but without limbs this was impossible.
“Enough insolence, change yourself back, boy, post-haste,” Frank said, regaining his composure.
“I don’t know how,” Greg said.
“Don’t talk back to me, son!” His father huffed.
“But it’s true, how am I supposed to turn back into a boy when I don’t know how I turned into a ginormous cheeseburger?” Greg asked.
“Frank, we may be overlooking something,” Nadine said. “What if our prayers have finally been answered?”
“I don’t think so, Francine, we’re both still irretrievably ugly,” Frank said, which was true of the warthog-esque duo.
“Not that prayer!” Nadine yelled, slapping her husband. “The one about the boy!”
“You’re right,” Frank said, grinning mischievously and steepling his fingers as he did when thinking up a particularly gruesome punishment. “The question is, how do we take advantage of the situation?”
“I’ll call our accountant, he’ll know what to do. Raspberries!” she exclaimed. “I think I lost my phone.” Greg sighed in relief. He knew the day would come when his parents would sell him for beans or find some other means of exploiting his admittedly limited talents. Now that this extraordinary cheeseburgening had occurred, Greg had something to contribute to the world. The trouble was he’d much prefer to keep to himself.
“I have it!” Frank cried. “We’ll create a shrine and charge admission for all to see the Ginormous Cheeseburger Boy. We’ll make millions! It’ll be like that giant umbrella, only we’ll make people pay to see it.” Frank was referring to the Crusoe Umbrella, a large statue by Claes Oldenburg in downtown Des Moines, which Greg loved and his parents hated and constantly complained about. They thought it was a humongous green monstrosity, and didn’t understand how an umbrella with four triangular holes at the top would keep you dry. It reminded Greg of Christmas tree branches, for some reason.
“Genius,” Nadine said. “Let’s get started right away.” They both grabbed an end of Greg and lifted him from the bed. Since he was so large, they had to turn him on his side and roll him out the door, through the hallway and into their weed-laden front yard. Finally, they dropped him unceremoniously in the center of the driveway.
“I envision a gazebo, with a velvet rope and- hey!” A ginormous hawk swooped down and snatched the Gregburger in its huge talons, lifting him into the sky, up, up and away to who-knows-where. Greg’s parents watched as the ginormous cheeseburger disappeared over the horizon.
“Oh, well,” Nadine said. “At least we’re rid of him. Let’s rent his room.”

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One thought on “MEATAMORPHOSIS

  1. I think Frank Costco couldn’t have said it better.

    Frankly, I don’t think Frankie even tried.

    Given the choice between a cheeseburger and a Frank, well, frankly I don’t pretend to appreciate the bluntness of a Frank, but the frankness of a blunt is beyond me as well.

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