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Clown Hamburgers

October 15, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

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By Brian Schropp

By Brian Schropp

I was hot and heavy into a mid-day trash run at the ‘Pizza A-Round.’ The newest round of management (in Scott’s absence) was cracking down on some of our ‘lackadaisical habits’ and four days worth of used pizza goods were heading to the dumpsters. It was turning into a one man job, the new manager needed all other help for the lunch rush and said I was the most expendable. This guy for some reason was really cracking the whip expecting correct addresses on phone orders, correct toppings on pizzas and even following all cleaning procedures to health code standard, EVERY TIME!!! He said that ‘once the ship was righted’ he would look into what I really do here and see how I can fit into ‘the new grand plan’ (whatever that means). Anyways, there I was dragging one over-bulging bag after another across the back parking lot hoping none would rip open causing an even greater mess. The new manager was giving me a time frame on getting this enormous task done (which was very short) PLUS expecting no follow-up clean up. So instead of hitting my normal groove (with my headphones jamming away to 102.9, the ‘kooky’ oldies station), I was sweating bullets making myself overly-anxious.

The heat of the afternoon sun started to feel like the sting of my new boss’s metaphorical whip. I stopped to wipe my brow and took a good hard look at the dumpsters– they were filling up fast. Would there be enough room in them? How would this new guy react if there were still trash bags left in the kitchen? More importantly, would he give me a lunch break after this? Would I still be able to make free food now? I didn’t pack a lunch!! I felt I was about to faint from the heat, hunger, and worry to all these unanswered questions.

Scott's sister

Scott’s sister

The screech of tires pulling into the back parking lot brought me back to reality. Once my eyes came back into focus I saw it was Scott’s sister in a bright pink 87′ Neptune! She turned down the volume on the stereo (she was listening to 103.5 ‘The Hammer’). “Hey goofball, Scott needs your help again, get in.” She paused for a moment grabbing something from the backseat. “Put this on, Scott said you would need it.”

Without questioning her, I picked up the adorable pink kitty one piece pajama set (with footies) and put it over my work clothes. It fit like a glove. Opening the car door, I took a look behind me at the open back door of ‘The Round’. I babbled something about making the new manager upset.

“Well Scott is still officially your manager, right? Just let that a-hole know that once you’re back.”

I saw the logic in this and got into the pink Neptune which was already speeding off before my butt hit the seat.

She tapped the glove box with a half-drained whiskey bottle. Inside, I was delighted to find a plastic bottle of strawberry milk from my favorite convenience store. Twisting the cap off, I was about to take a swig when Scott’s sister leaned over to pour some whiskey in making it spill all over my now pink kitty lap. “You’re going to need this once I tell you what’s going on.”

“How crazy is this going to be?”

She took a BIG swig from the bottle before replying. “Pretty damn crazy Bri. Have you ever heard of a place called ‘Clown Hamburgers’?

“That place is real?!!”

The lore of ‘Clown Hamburgers’ is legendary. I thought the place was just a made up urban legend from some school blacktop. Located somewhere on the Western and Southern Lankville border (not far from Highway 71 where real crazy shit happens), this was the place where people who knew they are going to die or just want to die go to have their final meal. Supposedly everything on the menu is so unhealthy that it will help speed up or at times even cause instant death.

It is said the clown idea originated to help the dying have a fun and somewhat joyous final passing but over the years (probably due to being so close to Highway 71) the clowns became more twisted and demonic. I was surely stunned learning this place existed.

“Well we gotta go there because the owner may have information on this bald-headed freak lady Scott is looking for–”

“Lizzie Starlight!!!” I interrupted. I didn’t mean to but I got worked up– I went into the story on how I thought Lizzie was bald from the first time I laid eyes on the woman. Scott’s sister flashed me her version of ‘The Scott Look’ so I took the cue and let her continue.

“Scott and the dude who owns it now, Mack Milford I think is his name, a real sick twisted fuck. Well they go back a long ways, grade school and all that shit. You can say they have a history with each other, some good, most not so good. For whatever reason Mack knows some stuff which will supposedly help my bro but the shit is not willing to give it up so easily. He told Scott the only way he would share this news is if someone he knew came down and endured the ‘Six Foot Special’. This person had to be somewhat close to him but could also either live or die and it wouldn’t matter. Some sick price to pay, huh? Scott said there was no other person alive who could possibly survive that ordeal but you. Scott is in the deep, deep South fighting some cult shit so I am here to take your goofy dumb ass. So, now you know there is a real risk involved, are you up for the challenge?”

​Clown Hamburgers, a place of death

​Clown Hamburgers, a place of death

Indeed a very high risk!! This ‘Six Foot Special’ was just as big of a legend as the place itself. A meal so bad, so filled with heart-clogging fat and mysterious preservatives, it could kill you after only a few bites. Did I have a chance of overcoming it? Imagine if I did, I would become legendary myself!! To me, there was only one answer and the answer was YES.

“Good.” Scott’s sister gave a slight smile. “You really didn’t have any choice in the matter.”

With the place being still a few hours away, we had plenty of ‘down time’ in the car. Pretty much after she said her peace, Scott’s sister turned the radio back up and was content drinking her whiskey along with smoking some sort of foul-smelling cigarette. Her flip phone rang incessantly but she ignored it. The scenery of the Northern Lankville super-highways passed by quickly.

After the buzz of my strawberry milk wore off, I turned down the volume for some much- needed small talk. “So, how is Grandma, and your folks?”

“Grandma sends her love.” She paused for a second before cracking up. “Just kidding, she probably doesn’t remember who the fuck you are. Daddy had a few days of acting ‘normal’ then decided he needed to be all crazy again.”

“Is he hiding a cake?”

“No, this time its Ma’s recipe for her ‘Tuna Surprise’. Shit was hitting the fan right when I was leaving but this thing for Bro’ was a more pressing matter.”

There was a long awkward silence before she spoke again. “What the fuck is that smell?”

“Oh, I think it’s my Pizza A-Round clothes.” I went on to explain how I was doing the trash run before she came and how I thought this new interim manager was being unfair about a few things. I think she lost interest quickly because she soon turned 103.5 ‘The Hammer’ back up to full blast. For the sake of my sanity she did produce another strawberry milk and with a nice touch of whiskey I was good again.

As any alcoholic will tell you, with a good buzz on, time flies quickly. Soon enough we were pulling into the parking lot of Clown’s Hamburgers. We were greeted by a pretty creepy clown named Sydney (we would soon learn he was Mack’s ‘main clown’). I will admit, I was pretty taken aback by the large axe he was carrying. Scott’s sister didn’t seem so phased, she turned the radio off and rolled down the window. “I’m Scott’s sister, where the fuck is this Mack douche.”

“Ah!” Sydney gave an evil grin while pointing his axe. “Mr. Milford is expecting you. Just drive around back to his personal residence. And please, have a very merry death!!”

“Go to hell you stupid fuck.”

Pulling around back, we found that his ‘personal residence’ was just a broken down trailer attached to the restaurant. Scott’s sister checked her guns before getting out. “Come on Bri, let’s go show this shithead who’s the boss.” I still had a good buzz on so I was strutting slightly, feeling a little like a ‘bad ass’ even though I was wearing the pink kitty pajamas (which I knew by now was her own personal joke). Sydney was slowly creeping around the corner humming a show tune with the axe over his shoulder. Scott’s sister gave off much the same confidence as her brother so I wasn’t really that afraid.

​Mack Milford and family plus Sydney his 'main clown'.

​Mack Milford and family plus Sydney his ‘main clown’.

Not even knocking, she kicked open the screen door and walked right into the living room. Mack Milford was with his family enjoying a game of wall checkers.

Mack gave a warm smile. “Welcome!! Come on in!”

Scott’s sister was taken aback slightly by the cheerful greeting. “Do you know who I am?”

“Of course!! Sydney and I can communicate telepathically.” He said this like it was no big deal. Sydney came in behind us still humming his show tune. The room was filled with a deep, dark presence. How did I keep ending up in these metaphysical food-related situations?

His kids started tugging on his pant leg. One asked, “Who is that big silly stinky pink kitty?”

“I think that thing is here to try the ‘Six Foot Special’ at Daddy’s restaurant. Do you think the stinky kitty could survive that?”

The kids giggled and shook their heads. Mack turned to his wife. “Get their highchairs ready dear, they will want to see this.”

Scott’s sister was trying to regain her composure. “So we got a deal, right? This goofball eats the special and you spill the beans on the bald chic.”

“How do I know this fool in the outfit is close to Scott anyway?”

“The goofball works for him at the pizza place.”

Mack squinted his eyes “Wait a sec, you’re Brian Schropp, that food writer.”

I nodded my head in pride. My name was really getting out there!!

“I love your stuff.” He turned to look at Sydney. “Guess since we have THE premier cuisine reporter on our hands we will have to double the special plus add some extra cheese and bacon to the mix.”

The main clown dropped the creepy act and became all too human. “Wait a sec—listen Mack– you can’t do that, there’s no way the kid is going to make it!!”

“Oh, I’m serious.” He gave a little wink to his kids. “I’m DEADLY serious!!” Mack and his offspring were getting a good evil giggle out of the comment. “Come on gang, there is no more time to waste!! Let’s head over to the restaurant and get this show on the road!”

Scott’s sister turned to me, shrugged, and mouthed, “I’m sorry.”

How, my dear gentle readers, how was I going to make it through this?!! Well, check back for my next thrilling article for all the exciting details (and no, I’m not ‘clowning around’). Until next time my faithful, keep your mouths and minds open to new ideas, Happy Eating!!-Bri

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