We wanted something to eat, and we wanted something to watch.  These are the simple pursuits of  the temporarily bored and lazy like us.  Outside, the little wrens make dozens of trips from ground to nest, finding, eating, and regurgitating little bugs to feed the insatiable appetites of the giant mouths fresh out of the egg.  A hundred and fifty years ago, on the prairie, Pa followed his sick and smelly ox through the wheat fields under the relentless July sun while Ma carried water across her aching shoulders from the distant spring.  We talked about food and Netflix.

On the food front, we realized that we had a few leftovers that were getting close to becoming throw-outers.  We couldn’t let that happen.  We don’t need to fill our garbage with consumables to prove our affluence to the world.  Two hamburger patties lounged in plastic next to a container of chipped beef gravy.  No need to look further.  Move to the back, Pizza Hut wings.  Step aside, whatever that is in the dark container.  We don’t need you tonight.  The first two sights are all we need:  Chipped Beef Burger on Onion Bun, Topped with an Egg.  True inspiration.

For a moment, I knew what it felt like to be a great artist.  The vision of that burger came on a thunderbolt directly from heaven.  It could be seen before being completed, smelled and tasted, before being cooked.  Now the challenge would be to find a TV pairing.  What could we watch that would complement such a meal?  It isn’t just about getting the right wine.  I think Netflix should have categories based on food groups:  “Because you’re eating beef,” “Watch with Salad,” and so forth.  Since, they don’t, I just picked the first thing that looked ok in the “new,” not the “trending” category and prayed it would work.

the magic pillThe choice was “The Magic Pill” that wasn’t at all about magic pills, but was about the keto diet and how fat and such can solve all of people’s problems.  Want to regain your vision?  Eat pork.  Want your sister to talk to you?  Avoid fast food.  Want to throw out the sixteen pills you use daily to stay alive?  Pop eggs rather than pills.  That’s the gist of it.  I honestly enjoyed it, since it made me question the costs of convenience in our society in general, and the relationship between food and health in particular.  It also had good things to say about fat and burgers and eggs, which we were eating.

Recommendation:  Eat the ugliest combination of leftovers you can find while watching a documentary about health or wellness.  The combination is enlivening.  If you would like to experience the exact pairing, watch “The Magic Pill” and follow the instructions below:


  1.  Remove two-day-old grilled hamburger patties from plastic wrap, and find the leftover chipped beef gravy from that great breakfast you had last weekend.
  2. Find a couple buns that you bought at the twofer sale and froze.  If they are onion buns, bonus.  Those are the best.  Any bun will work in a pinch, including Little Debbie Honey Buns.  Thaw these out somehow.  If you have time, just throw them up on the counter.  If the idea of eating this great burger is too much for you to bear, heat them in a toaster oven or put them in the sun.  It also might be a good idea to eat a snack to calm yourself down.
  3. Get a skillet ready for the eggs.
  4. Nuke the patties and gravy for some period of time.  Try to avoid leaving frosty spots or creating a new sun.  Try cooking the patties for a little while, then the gravy for a long time, then both.  Who knows.  Don’t hit “popcorn.”  That will be too long.
  5. While nuking, fry your egg.  Do this with love, so you will have just the right gooiness of yoke when you put it on the burger.  You want a lava flow, not a waterfall of yellow when you take that first bite.
  6. Run into your eating room and get the documentary ready.
  7. Assemble the burger:  bun, patty, smear gravy all over, egg up on top, bun.  Serve with many napkins.
  8. Enjoy a nearly religious experience.