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October 16, 2014 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-16

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2B - Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Bumpy Burger is a
pain in the ass, and
that's why I love it

in this series, three daily arts writers in
varying states of mind visit the same
place and write about their experiences.
this week's destination:
(The New) Bumpy Burger


nlike at the DMV,
where you wait in
boredom for your
turn with bureaucratic tedi-
um, a line at a restaurant is
an exercise
in anticipa-
tion. At the
back, all
you can see
are patrons'
heads, all,
and buzzing GIANCARLO
like excited BUONOMO
Closer up,
maybe you hear the clang of
a spatula scraping against
the grill, or the sweet smell
of frying onions. You finally
get to the front, and all those
anxious minutes of obsess-
ing over the minutiae of your
meal - Fries or onion rings?
Mustard AND mayo? Do I
dare? - come to the ultimate
If I sound a little hyperbol-
ic, it's because waiting in line
can make even the most cyni-
cal, food-is-fuel person start
waxing poetic about how
many pickle slices they want
on their burger. In our era of
online ordering and pre-made
everything, having to wait is
a shock to the system.
If you've spent any time
in Ann Arbor, you probably
know where I'm going with
this. Krazy Jim's Blimpy
Burger, founded in 1953 and
recently reopened in its new
location on South Ashley, is a
local institution. Its attitude
towards food is best summed
up in the inantra written on
the wall: "We have a fat free
item on the menu ... It's called
water!" Every travel and food
show has done a segment
there. It's pretty much every
student's favorite burger
It's also the ultimate wait-
for-your-food kind of place.
You wait, and wait and even
when you have some of your
food you wait some more. I'll

put it
is a p,
why I
at Bli
the ii
to eve
I beg:
me lil
I calc
to go.
at Bli
ing, b
with 1
ing ar
the gi
asks y
can g
as if B
said "
I'll gi
fied v
the in
is rea
tell th

plainly: Blimpy Burger of bun and if you want any
ain in the ass. But that's grilled items, like onions or
love it. bacon. If you mention cheese
e idea for this column or condiments, you'll get a
to me when I was in line terse "Those come later!" In
mpy on a rainy after- fact, if you ask anything, you
the other day. It had might get a "Calm down, I
about ten minutes for know how to cook."
ne to allow me to even By the time your burger
the restaurant, and gets those condiments and
er twenty to allow me you've paid and sat down,
n see the cooking area. at least 45 minutes have
ng skipped breakfast in elapsed. And then you take a
ration, I was already bite.
sh when I arrived, but It's good. The patties have
a half hour of waiting a nice, old-fashioned beefi-
an to eye the flock of ness. The onion roll is more
p tourists in front of interesting than any super-
ke a hungry wolf. Doing market one. The onions and
quick math in my head, mushrooms have that umami-
ulated that we still had charged flavor that can only
twenty more minutes come from being cooked on
the same surface as burgers,
this really worth it?" I bacon and bleu cheese. In
ht. a vacuum, it's a really nice
burger. Not life-changing,
just solidly good.
.bstinence But therein lies the point.
You don't eat Blimpy in a vac-
makes the um. I doubt that if you sent
someone to pick up a burger
)mach growl and bring it back for you to
eat in bed, it would taste as
louder, good. It's a pain in the ass,
but that's what makes it taste
There's more to it than
an honest question. The the whole "abstinence makes
ss of getting your food the stomach growl louder"
mpy can be exasperat- spiel that I gave in the begin-
ecause the line moves ning, although that's cer-
the food. When you tainly a factor in the appeal
the far end of the cook- of Blimpy. The system they
ea, you grab a tray and have, with the trays and the
uy manning the fryer moving along the stations of
'ou if you want anything the kitchen, is unique. I've
ed in the hot vat. You never seen it done anywhere
et fries;onion rings or else.So already, Blimpy sets
d vegetables, which are itself apart from other burger
delicious and humorous, joints - it's identifiable as
Krazy Jim himself once "that place."
You want vegetables? Then there's the effort fac-
ve ya vegetables." tor. Not the effort of waiting
the time these junki- in line, but the effort that
eggies are on your tray, goes into cooking the food.
defatigable grill guy The three people behind the
dy for you. There's a counter take on a seemingly
fic way of ordering; you endless line of customers,
e grillmaster how many each with their own com-
s you want, what kind plicated order, and noth-
ing gets written down. As a
customer you are forced to
,An Arb r watch everything - the splat-
th a r tering grease,.the bending
and reaching into lowboys
and shelves - that goes into
making your meal. I hate to
sound hokey, but having seen
this strenuous, confusing
work, it's hard to not appreci-
ate your food a bit more than
I am glad that the new
Blimpy Burger now accepts
"PMcredit cards. But I'm happier
that the new Blimpy is just as
much of a pain in the ass as
the old one.
I wouldn't have it any other
Buonomo is still eyeing
the flock. To join him, e-mail
o u

, PTo join (or send
hate mail), e-mail
) erikacat(&)umich.edu.


The best thing about being high is that everything, even the most
mundane, boring, wouldn't-be-interesting-even-if-it-was-dipped-in-
liquid-fudge (mmmmm fudge) things become funny. I sprayed some
smoke through my showerhead pert and then began the long walk to
Blimpy, with an equally high friend who kept asking me if I would be
cool with him performing fellatio on a geriatric zebra - what canI
say, he's a man of charity. Together, we make a wonderful raoul duke
and dr gonzo. The walk to blimpy is long, but each side of the street
keeps reverberating like a '70s radio station, and I'm just vibing. Even
in line, I keep giggling at the absurdity of having a bear as the mascot
for a burger place. I mean, I'm all for transcending our diet from the
basic beef-pork-chicken, but bear meat sounds a little funky.
This line's not bad, only going as far as the door, instead of all the
way to the Tattoo Parlor with Christopher Walken's face in the window
("Walkens Welcome" - GET IT!?) Yay! My mouth is numb but I'm so
hungry I know I'll scarf the burger and fries down before I even remem-
ber to savor it. Hey, my legs are a little tired. I think I'm just gonna lean
against this trash can and OHMIGOD THAT THING'S ON WHEELS.
Steady, steady. Just grab a paper menu. One menu. Come on just one
menu! We're standing in line so long that I memorize my answers to all
the questions they're gonna ask me. "How many patties?" Three. "Bun?"
Regular. "Anything grilled?" Onions and peppers. "Cheese?" Yes, please.
"What kind of cheese?" Huh? "What kind of cheese?" Wait, there are dif-
ferent kinds ofcheeses? Shit, uhhh what's a kind ofcheese? What'sjust that
normal kind called? "Uhhhhhh... regular?""'Regular?""'Ummm...""You
mean 'American'?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure." Even the stuffed polar bear
next to the cash register is looking at me with disdain.
I am extremely jealous of my companions for having substances to
help them through the hell that is the Blimpy Burger line.
It's almost 1:00, and I'm hungrier than I've ever been in my entire
life (notlan exaggeration). The line is just reaching the door, and at any
other fast food place, I'd assume it'd be a manageable 20 minutes before
I had a sweet, sweet pile of french fries in my life. But the fortyish min-
utes we spend inching toward that holy grail of grills feels like fortyish
Baked and his roommate appear to be having a pretty chill time, talk-
ing about long lines at restaurants in Maine. I am not amused. There
are no comparisons to this experience. I see a business casual man bal-
ance his stacked quad burger plus onion rings on atray and sit down at
a table too close to the line. I seriously consider befriending or seducing
him, because those onion rings look UNBELIEVABLE. When I remem-
ber that I shouldn't use my babe-a-licious good looks to steal food
(because I'm an Honorable Person), I just decide to sulk in quiet and
just stare at the man's food.
He notices. It's weird. But I'm almost at the front of the line, so it's
I ordera veggie burger and fries, and about ten minutes pass from
the moment that beautiful package is placed on my tray until every bite
of food is gone. (For the record, I finished my food faster than my three
male companions. I am crushingthe patriarchy.) In retrospect, the deli-
cious heart attack on a bun was totally worth it. I might even jump in
line again right now...




From the very beginning of
her rise to fame, Taylor Swift's
music has carried a few dis-
tinct themes.
Vague yet
highly specific
metaphors, Out of the
intimate and Woods
references for Taylor Swift
her fans to Big Machine
revel in and
a trademark
obsession with won and lost
loves are just a few of Swift's
repeated sonic elements. Her
newestsingle "Out of the
Woods," off her upcoming
album1989, fulfills each of these
prerequisites but with one inge-
nious and altering addition: Jack
The production styles of pre-
vious classic T. Swift country
pop hits have followed a specific
formative process. Most begin
as a cute, acoustic and mal-
leable country love song with a
great melody thatcan be easily
transformedby high stakes pro-
ducersfor cookie-cutter radio
hits. But here with "Out of the
Woods," Swift and Antonoff
keep the catchinessbut revamp

the process. The skeleton of this
song isn't some simple country
melody. The thoughtfulness of
Antonoff's production style for
"Out of the Woods" is incredible.
Expertly layering and synthe-
sizing his ownvoice and sounds,
Antonoff uses avintage Yamaha
DX7 for most of the song before
transferringto a very distorted,
more modern Minimoog Voy-
ager in the chorus. The song
is an'80s-inspired, exquisitely
produced pre-existing track for
which Swift added an equally
reflective melody, verse, and
chorus. This vacillation and
variety has a perfect balance
that creates a modern8's-esque
track perfect for the appropri-

ately titled1989 album of pop
queen Taylor Swift.
The alternative touches of
Antonoff paired with Swift's
lyrical and melodic skill created
this fantastic modern pop song.
Although unanimous praise for
this song is doubtful, this song is
a strong determinantof Swift's
musical progression and upcom-
ing expansion of her talents.
And of course, the song is
catchy. So catchy that you awake
the morning after buying it on
iTuneswith a fuzzy mental
hangover thatcan only be a
resultofan intense popmusic
binge - 30 listens in four hours.
Proceed with caution.







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