Things Ryan North Bought With My Credit Card



17 days ago, Ryan spent about a quarter of one of my Benjamin Franklins at Harvey’s | Canada’s Best Tasting Burger. Or a quarter of the Canadian equivalent of Ben Franklin, whoever that was. I did not learn about him in school, because in America, they don’t teach us about guys like that.

Just go ahead and click that link to begin your journey into understanding this burger chain’s self-proclaimed DOMINATION in the arena of Canadian burger yumminess. Just be careful not to click on the French side of the site’s gateway, unless you enjoy reading INSCRUTABLE HORSE SHIT.

Hey, what gives? Google Translate says the English and French slogans are different. E: “It’s a Beautiful Thing” vs. F: “Each Has His Burger”. The latter seems like a pretty strange slogan to me, even after accounting for awkward translator parsing. The sentiment of the slogan is, “Everyone gets to have a burger. Yes, you there. The burgerless man. You shall have one too.” Uh… fair enough? Maybe there is a cultural divide between English speakers and French speakers when it comes to the linguistics of marketing? Maybe that slogan makes their dang mouths water in Quebec. Come to think of it, maybe the slogan “It’s a Beautiful Thing”, which to English speakers seems like such a generically corporate, quasi-inspirational junk phrase, actually sounds like a bizarre slogan to non English speakers? Maybe they’re wondering what the hell Harvey is babbling about. “Beautiful? EXCUSE ME??? Beautiful was the day my child was born, hamburger man. Spare me the poetry, I am HUNGRY.” Maybe that’s what they would say, is what I’m saying. Do our slogans sound like shitty spiritual aphorisms to a Frenchman? Does he wonder why our products are associated with beauty and freedom and redefining luxury, and all that sort of lofty nonsense, when more practical questions like “can each man physically obtain this product?” go infuriatingly unanswered? What sort of non sequitur do our slogans become when they hit French ears? Like Coke’s “Open Happiness.” They don’t want to hear that shit. I think the French would be more comfortable with something like, Coke: “Brown Liquid In His Mouth. It Can Happen.”

Well, now I’ve pretty much committed myself to clicking on the French section and telling you what I find there. Hang on.

Ok, I don’t really understand anything here, except like “CHEDDAR”, and also I guess… most of the words? Like “CONFIDENTIALITÉ” and “FRIDELLES” which is right next to a photo of fries. I think I was overreacting when I called French inscrutable horseshit. It turns out that maybe foreign languages are not a very big deal? Most of the words are just silly versions of English words. Anyway, there’s nothing very interesting there, except for a link I zeroed in on right away: Aimez-nous sur Facebook.

I clicked on that, getting pretty excited to hear what French-Canadians were saying about this joint, and if indeed “Each [Does In Fact] Has His Burger”. But I was disappointed not to find even a lick of French on their FB page. Nothing I could g-translate to perhaps take a closer peek into the curiously admirable utilitarian mindset they bring to the table when evaluating products and slogans.

I notice right away that people are much more mannerly on this page than they are in the comments section of Toronto Life. There are hardly any brutal flame wars here at all. But I couldn’t see the full comments unless I was logged into FB, so of course I dusted off my stupid old sock puppet account from like five years ago, which I made for this very reason, to be able to log in without actually “using Facebook,” due to the fact that Facebook is approximately the most horrible thing ever conceived. The FB account under my real name isn’t really me. It’s one of my weirdo fans squatting in that account, doing a really half assed job of pretending to be me. Good for him I guess? Someone was going to anyway, so he might as well be the intrepid dude to hold down that fort.

So I logged into FB under the old account I named after a painting of a horse, had to assure the system that the login attempts from Bulgaria which had accumulated over the years were not actually me, so that I could FINALLY read a few banal comments about a Canadian hamburger restaurant.

Right up top, Harvey’s got a huge black eye from the vicious left hook of a disgruntled customer named Julie. Naturally I was very curious about her ordeal, so I inquired.

I don’t know if she’ll get back to me about it though. Or for that matter, if I’ll even log into the Steed McPainting account again in the next five years.

As I scrolled through the comments, mostly populated by the remarks of happy, satisfied customers, I kind of got in the spirit of the media.

Wait then things kinda started getting ugly again?

Then things got cheery again.

Ok I guess I’m done doing that.

Oh but HOLD UP. I spent so much time messing around with people who chat about burgers on facebook for some reason, I completely forgot to mention Ryan’s ACTUAL TRIP to the establishment.

I notice on the map there’s one just down the street from PAULETTE’S ORIGINAL TORONTO ON, so I’m guessing that’s where he went. He sent me this photo on that day. It seems he had the courage to approach this insane vagrant, buy him a meal, and bring him back to what I am assuming is Ryan’s home? Ryan sure is a nice guy.

Actually I was just joking, that is his pal, Joey Comeau. To my knowledge, Joey and Ryan have not traded credit cards yet. Which is a shame, because I have a feeling Joey would be willing to take this game to a WHOLE DIFFERENT LEVEL. Ryan, for your next CC broswap, consider sliding your plastic over to Comeau while making piercing eye contact and grimly declaring…

"Let’s kick it up a notch."

I am pleased that some of my money was applied toward addressing the hunger of these two solid bros. Looks like they went to town on the ketchup packets there. What did they even get that comes in those elliptical plastic hulls? That doesn’t look like a thing you’d put a burger into. What is even going on here? I hope I didn’t just type all that stupid shit about the wrong restaurant…