The Taste of Betrayal


Impossible Whopper at Burger King

If you’re anything like me and you’ve binge-watched ‘Community’ on Hulu, then you have probably been inundated with ads for Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper. A veggie burger that tastes just like a Whopper? Could it be so? I had my doubts. I’ve already lived through Wendy’s Asiago Ranch Chicken fiasco of 2014. Who doesn’t remember that redhead actress pretending to be the real Wendy screaming “Asiago!” passionately while roaring down the open road on a motorbike that all but screamed freedom and America?

Did I know at the time that Asiago was a type of cheese? No, I did not. Did I know that my soul wouldn’t be at peace until I tried one for myself? Yes, yes, I did. Did it disappoint me? Yes, it did, and since that day I haven’t trusted another living soul. So when the Impossible Whooper fever seized me, I was nervous. I had sworn I would never love again. Yet I couldn’t deny it; thoughts of the Impossible Whopper awoke feelings in me I had long thought dead. The last time I remember feeling like this was when I noticed David Bowies’ bulge in ‘Labyrinth’. Needless to say, I needed the Impossible Whooper all up in my mouth.

There was only one problem. It had been many years since I even tasted a traditional Whopper. Could I truly trust myself to remember that the Whopper Sandwich is a quarter pound of savory flame-grilled beef topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles and sliced white onions on a soft sesame seed bun? I couldn’t risk it, there was too much at stake. I didn’t want to diminish the flavor explosion I was sure to find in the Impossible Whooper so I needed a normal Whopper as well to properly compare the two. That is how I found myself in a Burger King with my lovely fiancée. She was mainly there to support me. She had been adamant that the Impossible Whopper was sure to disappoint me and was undoubtedly filled with an obscene amount of chemicals. It was the only way to make a veggie patty taste like beef. I couldn’t allow myself to believe her. I’d lost too much. Santa Claus had been stolen from me and with him my childhood. Season three of “Legend of the Seeker’ had been denied to me and with it my faith in humanity. That harrowing day in 2014 at a Wendy’s still held a piece of my soul. There was no way the universe would be so cruel as to deny me anything less than the succulent taste of a Whopper but in veggie form.  

As I sat down in our booth, I examined our order with anticipation. My fiancée and I had ordered one classic Whopper meal and one Impossible Whopper meal. She’d paid because she’s a peach and I couldn’t be bothered with earthly concerns such as currency, not when my ascension was so close at hand.

My fiancée had a fun idea. We’d open both burger wrappers and she’d switch them around and that way I wouldn’t know which one was which. I am a 1000% confident we are the only couple in the world to even consider this game-changer move. I eagerly closed my eyes and my nostrils were filled with the flame-kissed scent of Whoppers. She told me to open my eyes and for the briefest of moments, I remembered the joy of being a child on a snowy Christmas morn. I had a 50-50 chance to face my destiny.

I picked the burger on the right; it just felt right to me and as I brought it to my lips, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Was this to be the veggie patty that made me a man? The first sensation that hit me was the smell. It smelled… weird. Not like a good weird, when you convince your fiancée to try stuff outside both your comfort zones. More of the weird when you let one of your friends bring their weird friend to your party and he keeps saying weird stuff about his weird bottle collection. A weird smell is fine, I told myself. I smell weird all the time and I’m pretty cool. Then I tasted it. It did not taste like a Whopper. It tasted like the feeling I got when my dad told me he would never love me as much as my sister because she was an athlete and I wasn’t. I couldn’t even finish it, so my fiancée did and I was left to eat a boring old regular Whopper. I’d never felt more alone.

I needed to share my pain, my disappointment, with someone else. Then I remembered. The couple who had gone before us had ordered four Impossible Whoppers. They had to share in my disappointment. So, I asked them, “You got the Impossible Whopper? What did you think?” They then talked for an uncomfortably long time about how much they liked it and told me the backstory of the product I never needed to know. They then dropped the bombshell: he was a vegan and she was vegetarian.

I learned three things that day. One, always listen to my fiancée. Two, never love again. Three, while I respect and honor the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, I feel terrible for their taste buds.