I know it’s hard to believe, but my favorite restaurant while growing up was Burger Chef.
My dad was a teacher (one of those corrupt union-card-waving, pension-grabbing, non-Social Security-receiving evil citizens who has ruined the American economy with their greed). Twice a month my dad got paid, and we went grocery shopping and had a romantic family dinner. At Burger Chef.
Despite my current frustration with the anti-teacher rhetoric — really, do you want me to take another job and let YOU take care of your fourteen-year-old monster for eight hours a day?– I respected my dad’s job. In fact, I wanted to be just like him, and most days, I try to be as good of a teacher as he was.
There was something special about not having to cook on payday Fridays. I know my mom enjoyed it and so did we. The succulent grease of the hamburger in the buttery bun was intoxicating, and the crispy French fries hot from the deep-fryer practically made my knees give way. It was a far cry from the frozen or canned peas and green beans out of our stash from the luxurious garden-fresh summer months. Every chicken we ate in the winter I had known personally. Burger Chef was a release from the drudgery of trying to feed five hungry mouths on a salary that wasn’t enough to comfortably maintain our household. I didn’t really understand how poor we were in monetary terms until I become an adult.
Yet, we didn’t feel poor. My brothers and I shared a warm and rich family structure that allows us now as adults to remain good friends. I don’t even know if they remember Burger Chef Fridays, but for me, the foray into the world of fast food on occasion is a cherished memory of family fun.
This post is linked up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Take a little trip over there to read a few more stories, and don’t forget to give some comment love while you’re there!