Moonie and I were making a quick run to Trader Joe’s at lunchtime today when he suddenly squealed, “BALLOONS!”

Then, heedless of traffic, my nude little dude raced across the parking lot, where a bunch of red and white balloons announced the big Rhode Island grand opening of a place called “Smashburger.” I caught up to Moonie, who’d slipped inside the door and was gazing in awe at the big SMASH sign on the wall.


“Do they really smash burgers here?” he asked, his amber eyes wide.

“I’m not sure, little dude,” I said, but he wasn’t listening. He was already digging in my wallet, pulling out my last five and ten. Then he looked up at the menu, and his little pink tongue slipped out as he concentrated on the math. “Let’s see…” he muttered. “And extra for the Swiss cheese, and extra for the bacon, and then if we get a shake…” Before I knew it he was rattling off an order to the nice lady behind the counter, then triumphantly handed me 69 cents change. “Look!” he said. “We had extra left over!”

I sighed, and Moonie led me to a seat by the window (for its view of the balloons) where we waited for our food. The shake arrived first, brought over by a nice young lady, and Moonie happily dug into his liquid dessert. “Yum!” he shouted, spinning around the straw like a fireman pole.


Then a few minutes later, a nice young man brought our food, introduced himself as Jim, and asked us to let him know if we needed anything. I think we were good, though. Moonie looked pretty happy assembling the perfect ingredients that he had ordered, right down to the veggies and condiments. He even hugged the smoked applewood bacon. He REALLY likes bacon.


He’d also gone for the special Smashburger fries coated in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. They were a little too thin and crispy for me – I prefer fat, potato-y fries to shoestring ones – but Moonie had no problem gobbling them up.


The man in the next stool watched Moonie chow down. “This place is great!” the man said. “I usually go down the street to Five Guys, but I think this is going to be my new burger place!”

Moonie, who normally loves chatting with strangers, didn’t answer. He was too busy chomping his Smashburger.


He was so full of “Smash,” he didn’t even try to steal a balloon on the way out.

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