The Statue of Liberty Orders a Burger (and gets something completely different)

As the Statue of Liberty's order passes from judge to judge, it begins to resemble less and less what she originally intended.

a short satire

The Wrong Sort of Stories - Front Cover    Included in the short story collection "The Wrong Sort of Stories".

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The Statue of Liberty Orders a Burger (and gets something completely different)

by Stephen Measure

The Statue of Liberty walked into her favorite fast food restaurant, metal feet clanking on the tile as she strode up to the counter.

“Can I help you?” the politician, a middle-aged man in suit and tie, asked from behind the counter.

“Yes,” the Statue of Liberty replied. “I’d like a burger and a shake.”

“A burger and a shake?”

“Yes, a burger and a shake.”

“Okay.” The politician took out a piece of paper and wrote down the order: “A burger and a shake.”

“We’ll have that right out for you,” he said. Then he turned around and handed the order to a judge in black robes who was standing behind him. The judge scribbled something on the order before handing it to another black-robed judge, who scribbled on it and then handed it to another, who repeated the process before handing it to the final black-robed judge, who read through the order and then walked back into the kitchen.

A moment later the judge returned, carrying a tray with a steaming pile of cow manure and a cup full of urine. He set it down on the counter in front of the Statue of Liberty, banged his gavel on the counter, and declared, “Your order is ready!”

“Are you mental?” the Statue of Liberty asked. “That’s a pile of cow manure and a cup of urine! I ordered a burger and a shake!”

“Yes, that’s what you ordered originally,” the judge said, “But then the first judge made her ruling and set a precedent, and then the second judge made his ruling and set another precedent, and then the third judge made her ruling and set yet another precedent, and it was only then that I got the order to consider.”

“Yes, an order for a burger and a shake!”

“Right, that was your original order; but after I took all the established precedents into account, they led to an inevitable ruling: a pile of cow manure and a cup of urine.”

“No!” the Statue of Liberty shouted, her righteous fury filling the restaurant. She shoved the tray back at the judge, manure and urine splattering on his robes as the tray hit him in the gut. Then the Statue of Liberty reached out a copper hand and seized the politician by the collar. She yanked him off his feet, pulling him right up to her face.

“Fire them!” the Statue of Liberty commanded, pointing her torch at the judges cowering behind the counter. “Fire them all! Hire someone competent enough to understand that a burger is a bleeping burger!”

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Status: Released October 2014 by Silver Layer Publications.