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Just Call Me Wimpy

April 13, 2010

(This is the fourth post in a series of my previous early work adventures at Longs Drugs back in the 80s in Sacramento, CA. Yea, that explains so much.)

My store manager, Jack, hired another pretty girl. Think he figured that if he kept hiring them, customers would come.

Nanette had brown, wavy hair and an athlete’s body. As I recall, she played volleyball. Tall but not exceedingly so, and sturdy, not skinny. Healthy. She was in college like I was.

I always saw her eating McDonald’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., from all kinds of fast food joints. The common thread here wasn’t that her food came from “fast food” places. No. The commonality here was that she always, always, always ate hamburgers. Every day. For the entire year she worked there.


Okay, I figured. I like hamburgers. That’s cool. But this gets MUCH better.

One day, as we were having lunch together in the break room, I decided to ask her what she enjoyed so much about her hamburgers. Here’s where it gets…interesting.

Nanette: Well, it’s not so much that I enjoy them.

Me: Huh?

Nanette: It is just that it’s all I ever eat.

Me: Like, ever? As in, literally?

Nanette: Yea.

Okay, now wait a gosh darn minute. My mind went into overdrive. Was it possible that I had before me a person that had never eaten some of life’s most amazing piquant pleasures such as say, pizza? Nope. Spaghetti? Nope. Eggs? God, no. Chinese food? No way. (Clearly, she wasn’t Jewish.) Hot dogs? Ewww. (Yea, I kind of agreed with her on that one–though covered in chili and cheese? Well, now that’s a whole new post, isn’t it? “Weiner Love” Hmmm…might have to work on that title. Anyway…) Tacos? Uh-uh. Steak?I mean, that’s still beef, right? Nope. Fruits or Salads? Grosss.

The list went on.

Point is, this chick had only ever eaten hamburgers, plain, with a tiny bit of ketchup, her whole life.

It’s okay. I’ll give you a minute to process that.

Back now? So, how did she get to this point?

Nanette told me that growing up, she never liked anything spicy or that looked remotely “funny” or sloppy. Hamburgers always seemed safe. She would eat snack foods like potato chips or french fries to accompany her hamburgers. She figured the ketchup passed for her vegetable.

I asked if her parents insisted, like mine did (or most parents that I had ever known or heard of in my entire freakin‘ life) that she at least try new foods. She said they didn’t. Her dad ate meat and potatoes every night and was perfectly okay with her doing that also.

And so the picture became much clearer.

Great. But the big question is–all together now–what about breakfast?

Yep. Hamburgers.

Did she have any health or nutritional concerns? Nope and fuck off.

So, that was Nanette. Of course, she became known as Wimpy around the store and she didn’t seem to mind. Too much. It wasn’t the first time she’d heard that one.

Besides, Nanette was a big girl. Call her Wimpy too many times and she’d kick your ass.

Between bites, of course.
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  1. What a hoot of a story, Rachel! That's one beee-zaaar chick. Since that's been a few decades ago, I wonder if she's tried anything new since. Loved it! Keep writing!


  2. This could almost be my son.

    The only fruit he'll eat: Granny Smith apples (under duress).

    The only veggie he'll eat: raw broccoli (under duress, and no more than three large florets a day).

    I take that back; if you consider potatoes, rice, and beans “veggies,” then he's downright well-rounded.

    He loves burgers. He LOVES steak (take him to a Brazilian churrascaria and he's in HEAVEN). He enjoys chicken and fish and frog legs and even balut. Celery? Forget it. Bananas? No way.

    Funny thing is, he's not athletic and he's tall but not heavy – not heavy at all. He knows what “full” feels like, and quits when he's “satisfied.” He's healthier than anyone else in the family, as far as I can tell.

    Oh – what does he want to do for a living when he graduates from college? (He's only 14 now.) He wants to work his way up the ranks to CEO at McDonald's.

  3. Tooo funny! *hugs*

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