Of Booze, Beer and Burgers…

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster

A new study out of California reinforces the idea that we humans developed a taste for alcohol due to our primate ancestors millions of years ago.

Researchers were looking at the diets of Panamanian spider monkeys.

The investigators discovered that the primates consumed fruit which contained fermented alcohol.

It’s believed the creatures ate this “juicy fruit” because it gave them energy and, according to the theory, it helped us evolve along the way.

So, spider monkeys got us interested in alcoholic beverages.

It should be no surprise why our elementary school yards had “monkey bars” installed.

You thought it was to build up the strength in our arms, shoulders and upper bodies!

There are some who think alcoholic drinks pre-date agriculture, since it was a desire for alcoholic drinks that lead to growing crops and civilization.

Those darn spider monkeys started it all.

Intentionally fermented beverages go back as far as 10,000 BC since some Stone Age jugs were found to have traces of alcoholic drinks in them.

Go back 13,000 years to a pre-historical burial site near Haifa, Israel which may have been the first brewery and the beer made there was for ritual feats to honor the dead.

But it was those darn spider monkeys that gave us the taste for a cold one.

In ancient Egypt, beer and wine were deified and offered to gods and they had 17 types of beer and 24 varieties of wine.

Ancient Romans had “Baccus”, the god of wine.

The early Catholic church, as well as early Protestants, Anglicans and even Puritans thought alcohol was a “gift of God to be used in moderation, for pleasure, enjoyment and health”.

Alcoholic drinks are biblical, too.

My contemporary English Bible reads, “Beer and wine are only for the dying or for those who lost all hope. Let them drink and forget how poor and miserable they feel” (Proverbs, chapter 31, verses 6 and 7).

When the Mayflower set sail for these shores in 1620, there was more beer than water aboard.

Truth be known, the brew was safer to consume than drinking water.

(You couldn’t buy those 16.9 fluid ounce plastic containers that we drink from today.)

In early 19th century America, since we were growing so much corn out west, it encouraged widespread production of cheap whiskey.

See what those spider monkeys started?

Now, on another matter, some folks in Florida and not “monkeying” around when it comes to Burger King.

A lawsuit filed in the “Sunshine State” on behalf of more than 100 parties claims BK is advertising the Whopper as a bigger item than it really is.

The suit claims the site of other menu items are also “misleading and overstated” by as much as 35%.

The case lists a number of YouTube and Twitter users who have voiced a similar complaint.

The Whopper has been around since 1967.

Maybe it doesn’t take two hands to handle the Whopper.

The Whopper is described as a sandwich with “savory, flamed-grilled beef, juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles, sliced white onion on a soft, sesame seed bun.”

My mouth is watering.

But, here’s my “beef” with all these “burger joints”.

I see the ads and view the commercials, even look on the menu boards and what I get on my tray never looks as plush, juicy and delicious as those renditions.

Most times my sandwich comes to me, wrapped tighter than a swaddled baby in a piece of waxed paper.

It looks more like the face of a Mike Tyson sparring partner than something to eat.

My French fries never seem to stand at attention as they do in the ads, lightly salted and slightly crispy.

Most times they resemble an army of slugs coming into camp after a three-day hike.

I have a friend who orders his French fries “Incinerated”.

They “clink” when you tap them on the table.

There’s one fast food outlet currently running an ad which says, “Sandwiches weren’t meant to be wrapped and tossed in a sauna” or words to that effect


It caught my attention.

But back to “Whopper-gate”.

The 26 page filing claims the “real” Whopper is up to 35% smaller than the advertised version.

Can you imagine reading a 26 page document on hamburgers.

That’s probably as bad as legislators reading a 2,000+ page budget bill (which I’m sure they al do!)

So, we’ll see how this plays out in the courts.

I wonder if an investigation might reveal that those Panamanian spider monkeys might have liked a hamburger with their fermented fruit.

That might be a real “whopper” of a story.

I’ll drink to that!

2 thoughts on “Of Booze, Beer and Burgers…

  1. Pingback: Of Booze, Beer and Burgers… – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

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