Truth in Advertising

by Emily LAWTON

Eileen gave a disgusted glance at the enormous burger that flashed across her television screen. The rest of the room was dark, and the colors of meat filled every hidden corner of the room as the sandwich rotated slowly over manic blinking red and yellow backgrounds. It suddenly appeared in a young model’s hand, traveling slow-motion towards her shining, lipsticked mouth.

Eileen found she couldn’t look away. The model’s bite was denied, as the commercial now switched to the burger nestled between a glistening, condensation-dripping soda and a pouch overflowing with golden yellow-brown fried potatoes. Her salivation was contrary to the feelings in her stomach, which felt like it had been flipped on end. Eileen’s fingernails scrabbled across the microfiber texture of her armchair as she stared at the mesmerizing sandwich, head pressed as far back into the headrest as it would go.

The burger resumed its rotating as the announcer’s voice implored viewers to count the number of meat patties included. Eileen considered the possibility of vomiting. The price of the burger appeared in giant script, while fireworks strobed behind it and four smaller versions of the burger danced in the corners of the screens.

Then the commercial ended as abruptly as it had begun, and the room fell dark for a split second. As the opening credits of E.R. lit the room, Eileen slumped forward in her chair, sweating and trying to catch her breath.

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