To: Alexander Jumpman, Head of Houston Board of Supervisors
From: Daniel Witkus, Houston-Area Health Inspector
Re: Burger Time Restaurant and Fun Zone
In my 12 years of inspecting restaurants and fun zones throughout the Houston area for their adherence to health-code standards, I have never encountered such a baffling and blatant affront to everything we as a civilization stand for. What follows is the log of my inspection of Burger Time Restaurant and Fun Zone, so you may witness the horrors through my eyes and fully understand the immensity of the owner’s violation.
Arrive at restaurant. Only one other car in the parking lot: a rusted, derelict Chevrolet Nova. All the building’s windows are covered in boards. Restaurant sign reads “Burger Tim.” It is likely that the e has fallen off and maintenance has not yet noticed the problem. I could also possibly be at the wrong establishment, but that seems doubtful. I have a feeling that this restaurant will come up quite short on my inspection.
Also, building is six stories tall. Strange.
Horrible stench hits me as I walk inside the restaurant. Smells like rotting eggs, expired hot dogs, and spoiled pickles. No customers in the restaurant—save for one, who appears to be trapped under a large novelty burger in front of a cash register. He appears to be deceased. Thousands of flies are buzzing around the giant burger—perhaps it is not a novelty. There are footprints across the top of the bun. Not a good omen for this health inspection.
There appears to be no stairs or elevator or any means of reaching the higher floors. I wonder why this building is so tall. No one is manning the cash register. I hear strange screams and crashes coming from the backroom. I fear the worst.
Strange. The only thing on the menu is GIANT BURGER. More screams, mostly inhuman. Afraid to check behind the door, which should lead to the food-preparation area, but I have a duty to fulfill.
There’s a series of levels, all connected by ladders. The levels have various sections of a hamburger on them, in the order in which they should be placed to construct the perfect hamburger. A rotund chef is hurriedly running across each section, knocking them down level by level, to create four hamburgers at a time. Running across every section of the hamburger? That alone is enough to close this place down. I can’t imagine anyone eating here anyway.
Oddity: The chef was being chased by a jiggling anthropomorphized hot dog, a frighteningly humanoid fried egg, and a flying, spinning pickle. I’m not sure if this is breaking any health codes, but it seems very wrong in many ways. I can only assume that the pickle is the manager, with the hot dog and the egg acting as assistant managers, constantly trying to keep the chef on task by chasing him around this macabre labyrinth. They all run across the hamburger sections, too, although they make no attempt to construct a hamburger by knocking sections down. They are all in the nude (so far as I can tell) and do not appear to be particularly clean.
Yelling to be heard, I ask the chef if he could answer a few questions about his bathroom habits. He screams back something incomprehensible and tosses some ground pepper toward me as he narrowly averts running into another egg assistant manager. I notice that the employee restroom has no “All Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work” sign. Instead, there is a sign reading “How Did You Get in Here? The Pickle Is Right Behind You!” Another strike, Burger Time.
The chef is still running about, appearing now to be worn out from hours of climbing ladders and running from living food products. He has finished seven burgers since I arrived, though there are no customers waiting. Who is he producing these burgers for?
I check the temperature of one of the newly completed burgers. It’s roughly room temperature, which isn’t surprising, since it has no doubt been lying around for most of the day, if not week. The stench in this room is just as unbearable as that which permeates the rest of the restaurant. I have seen no less than 20 rats since I entered the backroom. One was feasting on the corpse of an egg assistant manager. Perhaps I should inform the authorities.
The chef, cornered in the top-right section of the maze, is holding off his superiors by brandishing a peppershaker. He appears extremely agitated. I record the following dialogue:
ROTUND CHEF: Stop! Stop right there! No more! I am not making your goddamn burgers anymore!
ME: Sir! Sir! May I please ask you about the cleanliness of your utensils?
ROTUND CHEF: No more! No more!
He jumps off the top story and splatters on the floor. Another violation, but I let it slide in light of the circumstances.
The ball pit in the “Fun Zone” has traces of syphilis and salmonella in it. Also, there’s a dead hot-dog person in the tube slide.
It is my recommendation that Burger Time Restaurant and Fun Zone be shut down permanently and the property condemned. Be sure to warn any building inspectors going in there to avoid the flying, spinning pickles. They’re a bitch to outrun.