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Soon, my father will turn 75 years old. He's losing his ability to order a hamburger. He admits this. The thought of never again being able to order a hamburger frightens him. He's not senile. He doesn't show signs of Alzheimers. At times, he's more lucid than me. Then why on Earth can't he seem to order a hamburger? He can - it's just becoming a more lengthy process.
The problem is - it's almost impossible to get just a hamburger. There's a Big Mac, A Quarter Pounder, A Whopper, A Bacon Bacon Burger, A Jumbo Jack, A Cowboy Burger, The Doublestack, The Deluxe Doublestack, The Thickburger, The Monster Thickburger, The Big Mouth Burger - Jeez - I think you get the idea. My father wants a hamburger - so he orders a hamburger. The kid at the window or the counter then reminds him, "UUHH, We don't uh have a uh Hamburger. Do you mean an Old Roy?" "What's an Old Roy?" This is where the communication completely breaks down. My father wants a hamburger with tomato, lettuce, onion & mustard. No one sells it that way and he wants to know why. Sure, he could go to Burger King and "Have it his way" - but he'd freeze at the window trying to figure out if the Big King is the burger he's looking for. He panics - "Gimme an Old Roy." "Sir, we don't have an Old Roy - how about a Whopper?" "What comes on that?" "Mustard, Ketchup, mayonnaise, Lettuce, Onion, Pickle & Tomato!". "Well that's out of the question - it has mayo." "Would you like us to hold the mayo?" "Do you have anything that doesn't come with mayo in the first place?" "No sir." "Then give me a Deluxe Thickburger!" "Sir, we don't have a Deluxe Thickburger." - And it goes on and on and on.
My fathers photo is displayed inside drive-ups and behind fast food counters all across Menard County Illinois. No doubt tonight he visited Dairy Queen and asked for an Old Roy. Would someone just fix this man a hamburger???? Who cares what he calls it - you know what he means.
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