Johnny America


Truth in Advertising


Eileen gave a dis­gust­ed glance at the enor­mous burg­er that flashed across her tele­vi­sion screen. The rest of the room was dark, and the col­ors of meat filled every hid­den cor­ner of the room as the sand­wich ro­tat­ed slow­ly over man­ic blink­ing red and yel­low back­grounds. It sud­den­ly ap­peared in a young mod­el’s hand, trav­el­ing slow-mo­tion to­wards her shin­ing, lip­sticked mouth.

Eileen found she could­n’t look away. The mod­el’s bite was de­nied, as the com­mer­cial now switched to the burg­er nes­tled be­tween a glis­ten­ing, con­den­sa­tion-drip­ping so­da and a pouch over­flow­ing with gold­en yel­low-brown fried pota­toes. Her sali­va­tion was con­trary to the feel­ings in her stom­ach, which felt like it had been flipped on end. Eileen’s fin­ger­nails scrab­bled across the mi­crofiber tex­ture of her arm­chair as she stared at the mes­mer­iz­ing sand­wich, head pressed as far back in­to the head­rest as it would go.

The burg­er re­sumed its ro­tat­ing as the an­nounc­er’s voice im­plored view­ers to count the num­ber of meat pat­ties in­clud­ed. Eileen con­sid­ered the pos­si­bil­i­ty of vom­it­ing. The price of the burg­er ap­peared in gi­ant script, while fire­works strobed be­hind it and four small­er ver­sions of the burg­er danced in the cor­ners of the screens.

Then the com­mer­cial end­ed as abrupt­ly as it had be­gun, and the room fell dark for a split sec­ond. As the open­ing cred­its of E.R. lit the room, Eileen slumped for­ward in her chair, sweat­ing and try­ing to catch her breath.

Filed under Fiction on July 11th, 2005

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Reader Comments

reynaud wrote:

This, once again, is the ill-conceiving.
Emi­ly, I am liv­ing in Paris en­core. Per­haps you should live in Berlin?

Emily wrote:

Well if it is­n’t Rey­naud, full of his false-Frenchy non­sense! What an ab­solute­ly un­pleas­ant sur­prise. Why, pray tell, would I want to live in Berlin? Is this some sort of round­about ref­er­ence to the meats of Hamburg?

Jay wrote:

Could you two just make out, already?

Emily wrote:

Rey­naud can­not stop talk­ing long enough to make out.

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