As a kid growing up in Queens, New York, a drive over to the White Castle restaurant on Northern Boulevard was a family tradition.
Everything you’ve heard about those little square hamburgers, steam grilled over onions and topped with American cheese, ketchup and pickle slices, is absolutely true.
White Castle is beefy, burgery magic.
This still doesn’t explain why a husband and wife last week spent 96 hours sleeping in the parking lot of the new White Castle that opened last week in Scottsdale.
The slider-starved couple camped out in their mobile home from Saturday, Oct. 19, until the restaurant opened Wednesday morning, all to be first in line for 79-cent hamburgers.
“We always say, ‘Everything in moderation, nothing in excess – except White Castle,” the wife told the Arizona Republic, which should expect a Pulitzer Prize for such breaking news coverage. And yes, the self-appointed queen of the Castle actually wore a silver crown for the occasion.
Late Wednesday, local TV reported waits in excess of five hours at the restaurant near East Via De Ventura and the 101, with Valley residents and visitors packed hundreds deep in line waiting interminably to get burgers, fries and Cokes.
What would I wait in line for hours or days to experience? Not a whole lot.
The second coming of Jesus might make the list, so long as there was air conditioning. So might a chance to play golf at Augusta – provided I was paired up with Tiger Woods.
Other than that, I’m simply not a “wait in line” kind of guy. I avoid seeing Hollywood blockbusters on the weekend they come out. I don’t Christmas shop on Black Friday.
And I wouldn’t sleep in a tent to see a Beatles reunion even if it involved resurrecting John and George – and if Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Hoffa came back from the dead as opening acts.
To me, living well involves avoiding lines wherever possible.
I’d also strongly recommend avoiding the sad affliction suffered by those with the need to be first, to be recognized, to be crowned as special.
To borrow a marketing cliche White Castle uses ad nauseam, this “craving” to be at the center of things is yet another form of the narcissistic behavior so prevalent in 2019.
It’s the hunger that has launched a zillion pointless selfies, spawned scores of reality TV shows and filled endless inches of newsprint with tales of “our wacky neighbors who made themselves into the poster children for Pointless Event X.”
Everywhere you look, there’s some thirsty soul demanding to be looked at or applauded.
Mind you, their achievements are not feats of Olympian greatness or displays of courage in battle.
Rather, they’ve managed to waste more time standing in one place than anyone else on the planet all in return for the privilege of eating a particular brand of hamburger. Never mind that the very same burger will be available next week with literally no wait at all.
Do you know who I want to see on the front page?
Give me someone who camps out for a week for the privilege of helping out at a homeless shelter or for the opportunity to donate blood in the wake of a mass tragedy.
In a better world, that’s who would wear the crown and be given the media coverage, not two knuckleheads whose greatest contribution to our community is the ability to survive days of boredom in the pursuit of a really good tiny cheeseburger.