[Originally published April 29, 2013.]

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If the waitress is right, pal, you’ll be popping out of the kitchen any minute now. I guess this letter is a way for me to take my mind off my anxiety and also introduce myself to you. Because once you’re on the table in front of me, things are going to start moving pretty fast. I’ll be too busy eating you to talk to you as much as I’d like. And, in this life, there are some things you absolutely need to know.

That sounded pretty confident, didn’t it? The truth is, I don’t have all the answers. To be honest, there’s not much I can guarantee other than the fact you’ll be completely in my stomach ten minutes after you enter this world. But I’m forty years old (which must seem ancient to you), and I’d like to think I’ve learned some lessons the hard way that might make things easier on you.

Enjoy Life

It seems obvious, but it’s too important not to mention. Whatever “enjoying life” means to you, whatever you can manage before I cover you in ketchup, cram you in my mouth, and wash you down with iced tea, you have to find a way to do! Don’t give in to fear—don’t be one of those cheeseburgers that wonders what could have been.

Be Kind

Life is not fair. I wish with all my heart that it was, but it’s not. I mean, just with that first bite, I’m going to tear off about ten percent of your body. And you might think, “Well, if that’s how things are, I might as well be a jerk to everyone!” But that’s not true. The only way to get anything out of life is by being good to people, even the ones who brought you into this world just because they skipped breakfast and decided a salad wasn’t going to cut it today.

Turn Down That Music!

Ha, ha, just kidding around! You’ll obviously never get to bug me with your music because you’re a lunch item I’ll be wolfing down in a hurry before rushing back to the office. And, besides, your old man rocks out plenty!

Be Smart

My dad, your grandpa, taught me that fists are almost never the answer. If you take the time to think through a problem, you can usually solve it. Your biggest challenge will be figuring out how to not be picked up off your plate and devoured, which you will inevitably fail to do. But that doesn’t make what I’m telling you untrue.

Boy, look at me, with the rules already, when you haven’t even been scraped off the grill yet! In the end, if you remember nothing else from this letter, just remember one thing: I love you, cheeseburger. And, whatever happens, you’ll be delicious. I just know it.