I’d like two Whoppers… hold the meat

This was the phrase that my pops announced to the cashier at the Burger King around the corner from our house. I was 10 years old at the time and with my father being a vegetarian, I was subjected to some odd food combinations. My dad would rarely go to any fast food restaurants, but on this evening I got excited when he turned into the BK. We stepped up to the counter and I just knew that he was gonna at least let me get a burger and some fries. Boy was I wrong. We walked through the maze that Burger King spots used to have leading up to the counter and the gentleman there politely asked if he could take our order. My pop stepped up calmly and said “I’d like two Whoppers… hold the meat. Also add two small fries and two orange drinks.” Know you know that BK had those loud microphone systems where they had to announce to the world what your order was. The guy grabbed hold of the gooseneck and repeated what my dad had requested… “Gimme two Whoppers… hold the meat… two small fry and two orange.” The cook in the back hollered “Two whoppers with no meat??? Okay” Meanwhile, I’m feeling small enough to jump in a glass of water. People in the restuarant were laughing and making fun at what they had just witnessed. The guy behind us in line asked my dad if he didn’t mind if they took the meat from the Whoppers we were supposed to be eating and allowed the cook to make double burgers for him at no extra charge. Pops was like “No problem, you can have them”. Folks in line looked on in amazement. You’ve got a grown man and his young son ordering and paying full price for two Whoppers with no meat.

We stood there for a moment and the order finally came. My dad opened the bag to check to ensure that what we had in the bag was what had been ordered. He pulled out two Whoppers with meat. He shook them over his head and said “I asked for no meat”. The cashier called the cook in the back and repeated the phrase. The cook shouted back “You were serious? I thought it was a joke”. He promptly fixed up two Whoppers as my dad had asked for and we left the restaurant. When we finally got home he placed the BK bag on the table and walked to the freezer. From the freezer he pulled out a box of Morningstar Grillers. For those who don’t know, Grillers are a meatless beef-like pattie. Pops threw two Grillers in the toaster oven, cooked them and walked back to the dining room table. He opened the bag with the meatless Whoppers and placed each individual Griller on the spot where the real meat would’ve been. We sat down, said grace and ate our dinner. You think I was excited, heck no. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was embarrassed. Why’d pops have to be a vegetarian? I ate meat when I was with mom. I ate meat when I was other places.

When I spent weekends with dad, meat was off limits. Hell, at lot of things were off limits. No real meat, we had veggie meat alternatives from Morningstar and Loma Linda. No real eggs, we had Scramblers. No real cheese, we had some kind cheese knockoff. No real milk, we had powdered soy. No Hostess anything cuz it had lard in it, but he sure as hell had a rack of Little Debbie snacks… they were made with vegetable shortening. I still recall a day we ran out of soy milk and I was forced to eat my Corn Flakes with orange juice. Yeah, that’s right… corn flakes soaked in OJ. I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny then. To this day I’ve never seen my dad eat meat. I mean nothing. No fish, no chicken, no red meat, no pork, no nothing. He has maintained his vegetarian diet since the day I was born. It’s cool though, I eat meat so he can do whatever he wants. The family still gets a kick out of it though. Every Thanksgiving my grandma and grandpa (who do eat meat) ask dad if he wants to carve the turkey. He gives them that ‘aiiight now’ look and holds his hand out for the candied yams. We all laugh as he piles his plate with veggies, but hey it’s his world. Yet, it was my world that was turned upside down on that day we went to Burger King thinking pops was gonna be nice enough to get his son a burger… with real meat.

15 thoughts on “I’d like two Whoppers… hold the meat”

  1. Dang! You make me want a whopper and I don’t even eat beef anymore! Ha!

    Hope your head is feeling better. You holla at someone if you back in the QC again!

  2. Why is it that parents feel a need to force their habits and preferences on their children? Then again I guess a child wouldn’t know what they were missing if they never had it to begin with. But in your case, you ate meat when you were around other people, which sucks…

    Well make sure you go to BK and have it your way!!!

    P.S.: Thanks for stopping by!

  3. this was a cute story, especially you wanting to jump into a glass of H2o. I’m glad that me and the Mr(s). both eat the same. Well he’s much more strict than me. So if we have kids they won’t know any different till they reach the real world.

  4. No meat? Huh? I don’t get it…. *scratching head* No meat?

    OK…ummm, I didn’t know that there were black vegetarians back in the 70’s…lol

  5. Was your dad by any chance, SDA? We were raised in that religion, and no body at the church ate meat…till they were in the privacy of their home.

  6. That was too funny. I remember when my mom tried to impose that on me. I would have to eat my food outside. My friends would say, “Why can’t you take that in the house and eat it”, “Cause my mom said no meat in the house.”

    It was all due to her new man at the time. But sometimes mom would sneak off and have some chicken wings from Harold’s.

    Now that I’m older, I’m glad I learned to cook vegan meals, because I plan on converting, forreal this time.

    Its actually pretty good, if seasoned well…

  7. ordering whopper w/no meat…wow..that’s a first…i would like to be a vegetarian…but i just couldn’t find myself to “hook” up some veggie like whopper deal thingamayhoo!!!…wifey and i still talk about doing it in our 40’s or 50’s …who knows…

  8. I went through a no meat stage, but have since given it up. It was too hard to maintain. Your dad is probably very healthy.

  9. I used to work at Mickey D’s and this man ordered a big mac w/ no meat. I thought that was weird but then they have so much other stuff that it doesn’t matter. But I think it is cool to be that disciplined about things. I stopped eating meat for awhole but I still has milk and cheese. If not I would have gone crazy.

  10. That’s funny. I have been a vegetarian for 8 years. I am guilty of being “one of those people” who order a whopper and big mac without meat.I honestly think it taste great.

    Oh, I also have crooked pinky’s.

Comments are closed.