Too cool for fuel

There was quite a kerfuffle when I was a lad when it was decreed, seemingly out of the blue, that hamburgers, which had always been called hamburgers, couldn't be called hamburgers any more because, well, they weren't made out of ham. People protested that Oldham Athletic were allowed to retain their name despite being nothing of the sort and, many years later, fun pubs were permitted to be called fun pubs notwithstanding the fact that nobody was ever going to have the remotest bit of fun in any of them but it was no use, a hamburger now had to be called simply 'a burger' because politicians believed the general public was too dim to know what they were eating. They may have had a point.

Last week I had visitors to Edgerton Mansions and, reluctantly, felt it incumbent to go out to eat something, rather than subject these poor people to my habitual routine of grabbing random lumps of cheese from my - or indeed anybody's - fridge and scoffing chicken wings on the hoof once a week as a special treat. Having to eat - or 'fuel up' as I like to call it - is, I have to say, usually little more than an inconvenient hindrance to my incessant whirlwind of generally pointless activity.

Anyway, we went to one of these trendy burger places because it was the first joint we saw and , well, let's face it, fuel is fuel (unless it's sushi in which case it's raw fish and, consequently, an abomination). Now, here's the interesting thing - with remarkable sleight of hand, this earnestly cool establishment, while ostensibly eschewing all that is corporate was , in fact, employing nearly all of the very same tactics the big burger boys do to maximise profits.

Uncomfortable furniture was everywhere - made of palettes instead of cheap plastic but just as bottom-numbing nonetheless. The eco-lighting was eye-squintingly bright and the loud tinny music consisted of that excruciating jazz which always seems to involve the same six-year old guesting on xylophone.

The waiters and waitresses were, of course, hipsters with tattooed beards and skateboards or something, possibly whispering 'namaste' as they plonked down the tomato and basil creme puree (tasted like ketchup) while at the same time ushering new diners in to stand next to your table to stare you out until you were intimidated into asking for an eco -friendly brown paper bag to take away what you had left in order to eat it standing outside in the street.

Don't be fooled, none of this is quite what it seems - your local hipster hamburger gaff is modelled on the very monoliths it claims to reject. Nice (ham)burgers, though.