THE REGULARS AT THE BURGER JOINT I WORKED AT
I worked at a Burger Palace throughout college. I'm now two years removed, but certain regulars haunt my fever dreams to this day.
- •Stinky PeteStinky Pete smelled unlike anything I have ever smelled before; a mix of death, rotten gasoline, musk, and septic tank. He'd spend hours rattling off conspiracy theories and writing in hieroglyphics on the back of his receipt, feeding the belief that he was either a tortured genius or an actual alien. He'd cap off each of his dining experiences with a 45-minute trip to the single-stall bathroom. One day he stopped showing up. He definitely died. RIP, Stinky.
- •FUPA ManFUPA Man was just what you'd expect: A man with an unforgettable FUPA. Before each meal he'd unbutton his shirt and inject himself with a shot of insulin - not in his arm, but in his FUPA. It made everyone extremely uncomfortable and even elicited some customer complaints. Though he visibly struggled with diabetes, his commitment to eating burgers was the utmost embodiment of dedication. He definitely should have died before Stinky Pete, but as far as I know he's still kickin'.
- •The SnailsThe Snails inherited their nickname through an interesting dichotomy. Though they ordered all food sans-sodium (as a snail would), they were the saltiest people to ever walk the Earth. This elderly couple was the bane of existence for every employee. They would openly degrade and insult servers, talk shit about their own grandchildren, and sing the praises of the Tea Party agenda. One time they called me the Burger Queen. I put my two weeks in shortly thereafter.
- •The Little Old Man in the Yankees HatNot all regulars are bad regulars! The Little Old Man in the Yankees Hat came in about once a month with his tiny little wife. He had salami skin and yellow-brown teeth but my God could his smile light the room. He was the friendliest little guy I've ever met in my life and even just writing about him is making my heart swell to the point of pain. (The pain may also be a byproduct of consuming one too many ramekins of chipotle mayo.)
- •Buffalo Turkey Burger SD Hot Sauce with Sweet Potato Fries GuyThis guy came in at the same time every week, ordered the same meal, and sat in the same seat. He always left a $5 tip. After four years of serving him, his consistent patronage has allowed me to make two monthly payments toward my student loans. Thanks, guy.
- •Queen LatifahFull disclosure: Queen Latifah was not, by any means, a regular. I just wanted to include her on this list to memorialize the time she walked into the restaurant, took one look at me, and walked out - never to return again. Rumor has it she's a vegetarian, but I know deep down that she got an eyeful of my burger earrings and got the hell outta dodge.