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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

My Kingdom for a Plain Burger

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer's perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

I want it plain. One helpful manager told me I should ask for a “quarter ham” – code word for plain quarter pounder at McDonald’s. But I don’t see “quarter ham” on the menu. That’s why I ask for a “grill order.” I know I’m being defiant, but I’m trying to get the clerk to listen to me and to take my order properly. It’s the lesson as much as it is the plain burger. I just want them to think instead of acting like a mind-numbed robot. Just for a moment. Is that asking too much?


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I just got back from another agonizing trip to the golden arches. I guess it's just another sign I'm getting older and out of touch. I love hamburgers. But I want to eat them plain, nothing on them... plain; just the meat and the bun. Plain. Pretty simple, huh? Just try to get a plain burger at McDonald's; just try!

I always say the same thing: "I'd like a grill order..." ["Grill order" is a code word at McDonald's for a sandwich made to order.] "I'd like a grill order on a quarter pounder... plain. Plain, nothing on it; totally plain; absolutely, totally, completely plain." And guess what? About half the time, it comes with cheese on it. I always check the burger before I leave the counter. When they get it wrong, I say, "Let's try it again. I'd like a grill order on a quarter pounder....." This evening, the clerk explained that the last customer must have gotten the plain one. (How much you wanna' bet?) So she asked the last customer to come back to the counter. While checking, the customer spilled her coke all over her burger and onto the floor. Plain? Nope.

So now McDonald's has wasted a coke and two quarter pounders... and has wet sugarwater all over the floor. And I still do not have my plain burger. Is that any way to run a business? Apparently McDonald's thinks so.

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