Early this morning, Kotaku Japan correspondent Brian Ashcraft brought an odd new meme to my attention: people jamming their McDonald’s hamburgers onto their drinks. Look, I don’t really know what’s going on here. According to Kotaku:
The name of this meme is called “drink x hamburger” (ハンバーガーxドリンク or hanbaagaa x dorinku) or “hamburger straw” (ハンバーガー ストロー or hanbaagaa sutoroo). Everyone isn’t doing this (yet!), but there are enough for the trend to be recently covered on 2ch, Japan’s biggest online bulletin board, as well as on other popular Japanese blogs.
Okay, sure. Apparently, it’s an offshoot of an earlier Japanese photo trend in which people put their doughnuts around their Starbucks straws, which makes slightly more sense, I guess. Curious about the meme — and because I thought I’d be able to expense my lunch to my employer — I headed to a McDonald’s near Houston Street in Manhattan and gave it a shot.
I ordered the two-cheeseburger combo meal (the GOAT of the Mickey D’s menu, do not @ me) along with a Coke. As I waited for order 441, I sheepishly asked the cashier if he had “seen anyone doing this” and presented him a picture from my phone. He laughed and said “no” and, I suspect out of self-preservation, opted against asking any follow-up questions.
As part of this piece, my editor demanded that I performed the burger-skewering in the public McDonald’s and not, as I had originally planned, in my fluorescent-lit cubicle. Meal in hand, I headed to the seating upstairs, spent definitely too long waffling between choosing a seat that would afford me the most privacy, and set to work. I laid out all my ingredients, and one flat-handed smush later, I had impaled my cheeseburger on my refreshing Coca-Cola.
I didn’t feel great about it. If I had to describe my mental state at the time, it was this GIF.
Maybe the most distressing part was that, unlike doughnuts, which have predetermined holes in their middles, a burger does not. A small bit of burger had lodged itself in the straw’s opening, requiring me to use mouth-based suction to dislodge it. I do not recommend drinking even a tiny bit of burger through a straw — and I certainly do not recommend doing it in public.
Unfortunately, the burger meme is hardly convenient. The circumference of my medium drink lid and the circumference of the burger were comparable enough that it was difficult to take a bite of the burger while it was lodged on my drink. Only slight nibbles around the outer edge would suffice. So there’s little utility in participating in this hamburger meme.
So, should you do participate in the ancient Japanese art of “hanbaagaa x dorinku”? I think you can skip it. Unless you really need likes on Instagram, in which case you should definitely do it.