The Parable of Milwaukee Burger

What if Harley Davidson sold burgers instead of motorcycles?  Harley Davidson has become like a greasy, family owned fast food joint that tries to offer fancy four star large franchise restaurant service at four star large franchise restaurant prices without ever upgrading the beat up old shanty that they use to make and serve burgers in.  Let's call this make believe burger joint "Milwaukee Burger".

Milwaukee Burger has been around since the early part of the 20th century.  It is an American icon, their menus are slathered in American flags as is their establishment.  It originally started out with two friends making hamburgers in their garage.  The garage didn't burn down, so they somehow figured that indicated that they had the right stuff to make burgers.  Milwaukee Burger was one of the first burger restaurants around and outlived all of their domestic competition.

There is no dress code for Milwaukee Burger and MB does not care who eats at their establishment, as long as you bring money with you, and lots of it.  They don't care if you eat there once or every single day, just get your money out and order from the menu.  They'll even mail you a menu if you want.  You can dress in jeans and sneakers and a T-shirt to eat there, they're open 24/7.

Expect to pay upwards of $30 a person for a meal there and that's just for starters.  Extras like fries, a drink, and condiments will all have to be produced exclusively by this fast food chain, and you'll have to buy them for super inflated prices.  It's like paying $10.00 for a tired old no excitement single little burger no bigger than the size of a biscuit, adding in a $3.00 small order of fries and another  $3.00 on top of that for a small drink (refills cost as much as the original drink did, even if you bring your empty cup back up to the counter because nothing is free at Milwaukee Burger!). Your condiments, all officially licensed and endorsed and enclosed in collector packets, will include Ketchup, Mustard, Salt, and Pepper at $1.00 a packet.

Although you could use condiments from outside the restaurant, that is frowned upon because these are genuine Milwaukee Burger condiments, and their nostalgic burgers are worth you putting only the best on them.  Remember, price is the first indicator of quality, or so says the management at Milwaukee Burger.

Pickles, Onions, Tomato, Lettuce, and Cheese, are also available at $2 a slice, again subject to the above criteria.  If your burger isn't dressed completely, with all the fancy fixings, then you obviously are too poor to eat there and you're just jealous of those who have the money to do so.  Oh, and hope you're not really hungry, because you're probably going to have to wait in line for a long time as each burger is hand made using old food parts stored in food bins in the back, and Milwaukee Burger only makes a limited amount of burgers each day.  There is a long waiting list to be seated at Milwaukee Burger, there's even a line outside. 

They also sell T-shirts, jackets, drink mugs, etc. for the whole burger-eating experience and they expect you to dress in Milwaukee Burger (MB) jeans, MB boots, MB belt, MB leather vest, MB bandannas, MB shirts and T-shirts, MB hats, MB leather jackets, etc. and to pay for your meal using money from your MB wallet on a chain.  You might can even get designer MB checks and a MB platinum VISA card!  MB slathers their name on any product that will carry a profit.  Shamelessly.

One enterprising employee there will break off from MB and start his own fast food franchise called Buell Pizza.  He'll use some of the same ingredients as Milwaukee Burger, and will attract a few interested customers who are looking for something more than the tired old burger.  This employee will later get in some financial trouble and MB will buy out controlling share in his company.  Soon the patrons will be confused.   They'll be able to get a Milwaukee Pizza and a Milwaukee Burger, often at the same Milwaukee Burger restaurant,  but since Pizza isn't what Milwaukee Burger is known for, it will be a different experience and not entirely comfortable to long time patrons.  If you buy a pizza from Milwaukee / Buell Pizza, you can sit with the patrons eating in Milwaukee Burger, but they'll sometimes look at you funny, and not really know what to make of you since you are eating something different than they are.  Some of the condiments won't work on your MB Pizza either, they'll just look strange there on your pie so you're not going to be able to get the full and rich experience that is Milwaukee Burger if you decide to branch out and try a Milwaukee Pizza.  But since Milwaukee Burger almost owns Milwaukee Pizza, everything is officially licensed and endorsed, and supported by Milwaukee Burger.  Still, the traditional customers are confused...

Food at Milwaukee Burger will include such lovely names as the American Burger Ultra Deluxe Soft Wrap, the American Wide Patty Hard Box, and other such obscure names.  Your manager will be named "Bones" and the persons in the rear grill area who actually work on your meal will have tattoos up to their shoulder blades, and go by names such as "Skeeter" and "Skinner".  Every now and then, Milwaukee Burger management will introduce a new variation of the same tired old burger.  It will have maybe the lettuce in a different place, or more Ketchup and less Mustard.  They'll rearrange the name of the burger from American Burger Ultra Deluxe Soft Wrap to something like American Burger Deluxe Soft Ultra Wrap and you'll be lining up to fork your money down on it.

Hollywood will show famous actors with Milwaukee Burgers.   Unbelievable stunt scenes will be filmed involving Milwaukee Burgers surviving unscathed while other brands of burgers are left in flaming pieces all around.  The fact that the Milwaukee Burger had to be glued together one piece to another until it would break a window if you threw it at the glass is ignored.  It's the action, it's the intensity, it's the dynamic nature of having a Milwaukee Burger!  It's advertising, and everyone wants a Milwaukee Burger because Milwaukee Burgers are tough, you're a bad ass if you go to Milwaukee Burger and walk out with a American Burger Ultra Deluxe Soft Wrap combo special.  People will respect you.  You must be strong to lift that heavy meal deal.  And financially well off to eat there!

Recently Milwaukee Burger tried to copyright the sound of their burgers sizzling on the grill.  Other companies were also producing burgers similar in design to Milwaukee Burger, but Milwaukee Burger wanted the sound of their burgers trademarked so that no other company could produce a burger that sizzled like Milwaukee Burger did.  Milwaukee Burger claimed that it was the SIZZLE of the burger while it was on the grill that was so essential to the rich experience of enjoying a Milwaukee Burger and that sizzle was something that only Milwaukee Burger had invented and could hold full legal rights to.  They wanted to be able to walk in to other burger joints and bring down the power of the law on anyone found to be producing burgers on a grill with a similar sizzling sound.  Ultimately the high courts of the land laughed at Milwaukee Burger and dismissed the case.

Milwaukee may have even tried to copyright the design of the Milwaukee Burger, that is, the lower half of a bun on the bottom, a big piece of fatty meat in between, and the top half of the bun over that.   Milwaukee Burger wants to be exclusive.  They want to be the only maker of burgers in the land.  You can have your pizzas, your tacos, your fajitas, and your fresh wraps.  Who wants those?  Americans, REAL red blooded Americans, want a Milwaukee Burger and Milwaukee Burger should be protected from copy cats and imitators, even though the competition makes a much better burger at half the price that is far more healthy and is served complete in a third of the time it takes for Milwaukee Burger to get around to serving you.

Now imagine going to this make-believe restaurant, imagine your life revolving around not only eating a Milwaukee Burger, but bragging about it to other people who do not eat or enjoy Milwaukee Burgers.  For you, going to Milwaukee Burger will be a rite of passage, something to set you apart from the rest of the crowd, and show that you are better than all the rest.  You simply won't be able to understand why people don't see Milwaukee Burger for the beauty of the traditional American burger and the enjoyment of consuming such a magnificent piece of culinary delicacy.

You will live to consume Milwaukee Burger.

Your life will revolve around it.

It will be the only perfect burger in the world.

All the other will be imitators.

Because it takes you forty minutes to get a burger, fries, and drink at Milwaukee Burger, you will laugh at others who claim that they got their burger at another burger joint, ate it, and were back at the office in half the time it took you to get your Milwaukee Burger.   You laugh because you didn't choose to go to Milwaukee Burger for quick, convenient, inexpensive service.  You chose to eat there because of the joy of the experience of having a Milwaukee Burger.  Besides, the Milwaukee Burger is the greatest burger in the world, says so right there on the menu in big bold letters.   And above the register.  And on the door to the bathroom.  And on the stall in the bathroom.  And on each sheet of toilet paper that you use.  And above the sink where you wash your hands with genuine Milwaukee Burger brand officially licensed and endorsed soap and each paper towel that you use to dry your hands.

Imagine having MB collectibles all over your desk at work, in your home, and MB stickers on your vehicles.

Imagine getting together in large groups for huge Milwaukee Burger cook outs in some far away location.

Imagine people who actually buy Milwaukee Burgers and then put them away in storage because they think they will be a good investment at a later date.

Imagine people paying brand new prices for Milwaukee Burgers that are ten or twenty years old.

Imagine the aftermarket for officially licensed and endorsed products; you'll be able to buy a Milwaukee Burger license plate and window decals in any gas station in the land.  Even if you don't ever go to Milwaukee Burger.  It's free advertising for them and maybe people will think that you really do eat at Milwaukee Burger.

Imagine people owning a Milwaukee Burger T-shirt, or having the Milwaukee Burger car tag and window stickers in their vehicles yet never actually going to Milwaukee Burger.  Imagine these people, never having consumed a Milwaukee Burger, acting like experts on burgers and telling other people that if "they ain't eating at Milwaukee Burger, they ain't eating shit!"

Imagine that the Franklin Mint will hand craft several copies of the famous Milwaukee Burger, each detail lovingly duplicated, and each hand crafted reproduction available for four easy monthly payments of just $49.95.

Imagine Mattel coming out with a whole series of Milwaukee Burger based line of Barbie and Ken dolls, complete with all the officially licensed and endorsed MB apparel from the shoes, to the jeans, to the T-shirt, the jacket.   The actual Milwaukee Burger itself will be sold separately, and will cost about 30% more than any of the dolls.  According to toddlers under the age of five who somehow manage to get the Barbie Milwaukee Burger into their mouth, the plastic imitation burger will have the same taste as the real Milwaukee Burger.

Imagine that Ford will even offer a Milwaukee Burger edition of their F150 truck.  Perfect for going to Milwaukee Burger in.

Imagine a thirty year old Milwaukee Burger going for twice the price of what a new Milwaukee Burger will cost you.

Imagine looking down on anyone who goes to McDonald's or Wendy's or Burger King and pays $5.00 for a much better, larger burger that is part of a complete meal deal and all the fancy fixings and the condiments are free for the asking.

Imagine telling another person who is eating and enjoying their burger from another franchise that they aren't eating a REAL burger, and that they don't know what a REAL burger is!

Imagine looking down on and sneering at anyone who patronizes another 'un-American' burger institution, and who doesn't cover themselves so richly in the grand regalia that helps to support their choice in eating establishments.   You'll laugh at someone wearing a McDonald's shirt, or a Wendy's shirt, while you are dressed head to toe in Milwaukee Burger officially licensed and endorsed action apparel.

Imagine having saved up a long time so you can eat at Milwaukee Burger and then getting your very first Milwaukee Burger, and it being ice cold in the wrap, or missing some of the extras you ordered or it's leaking Ketchup on your leg out of a hole in the wrapper.  Imagine you having to wait back in line, and then paying someone in the grill to fix your Milwaukee Burger.

Imagine that Milwaukee Burger just introduced the double patty combination burger. Something that every other burger joint has had for decades.  And it still doesn't compare to the double patty burgers at other fast food joints, but Milwaukee Burger claims it is superior.

Imagine that Milwaukee Burger jointly develops a faster burger by working with McDonald's.  This new burger is called the V-Burger.   It's still expensive as a regular Milwaukee Burger, but you get it in one third quicker time for service.  Traditional Milwaukee Burger patrons aren't sure of this quicker burger, they think it might be an attempt to copy the 'drive through' window type service that other burger joints have had for years.  A Milwaukee Burger that is stronger than the other traditional Milwaukee Burgers and yet is quicker off the grill?   It doesn't even have the same proud sizzle!  The patrons are confused!   Milwaukee Burger could never have designed this burger without the help of McDonald's.  They don't play that part of the package up very much, though.

Imagine what a crock of shit that Milwaukee Burger really is and what level of retardation it would take to eat exclusively at Milwaukee Burger or sing its praises.  That is what Harley Davidson has become, in a nut shell.   Harley Davidson is Milwaukee Burger.

Thanks to Doug Coffey for the following submission to the MB Parable! Outlaw Burger Gangs!  Bwahahahha!

How about the lawless gangs of burger eaters that only eat at Milwaukee Burger. Of course they only eat the burgers after taking the top of the bun off and they claim the burger is just raw material for building a truly outlaw burger.

They buy condiments from aftermarket burger companies that only make condiments for Milwaukee burgers. Hotter ketchup, crisper and louder lettuce etc.

These same gang members thumb their noses at Milwaukee Burger and some even sew their MB patch on upside down to show their disdain for the company that will not acknowledge their existance.  Milwaukee Burger unofficially loves these defiant gangs but the official company policy is to claim no allegiance to the gangs or it's members.

No gang member is permitted to own an MB franchise but all are permitted to shop and eat there and to purchase the Burger Clothes (tm).

Milwaulkee Burger will never take a public stance against the gangs because it knows the gangs drive up company profits. It seems many wannabe burger gang members will eat Milwaukee Burgers and buy the clothes and collectables just to be like their gang heroes.

When rival burger gangs have bloody clashes in public places, Milwaukee Burger sales go up.

George Howell adds to the menu for Milwaukee Burger!

Don't forget about when the Japanese restaurants in town made burgers that tasted better, caused fewer cardiac problems, were cooked perfectly each and every time, and cost less than Milwaukee Burgers. The response was for Milwaukee Burger to get a government tax on all burgers bigger than the kiddie burger that tripled the price of the burgers at all restaurants except Milwaukee Burger.

(In case you didn't get it, the 700cc+ tariff the federal gov't came up with in the mid 80s on foreign bikes. When the HD management bought out the company from AMF, they were so riddled with debt, customers were ignoring them, etc, etc. They lobbied the gov't to put in place the tariffs. For a time, big foreign bikes were ludicrously expensive.)