Disclaimer: As the title implies, fast food will be involved (health food nuts, you have been warned!). Many restaurant franchises are personified as characters in this story; some are good guys and some are bad. If you happened to be employed by any of these chains, please know that your character’s role is not a reflection upon the quality of your employer. In short, this is just a silly little story that I have been writing for the amusement of friends-try not to take it too seriously…and please don’t sue me…
Fast Food Fairy Tale
~Chapter One: The Burger King~
Once upon a time, (in a land that could only be dreamed up after eating a bad burrito before bed), there dwelt the highly caloric kingdom of Dryvthru. Perched upon the highest hill of the kingdom stood the mighty White Castle. It was there that the kingdom was ruled by the kind and powerful Burger King and his lovely wife the Dairy Queen. Though their reign was for the most part peaceful and prosperous, occasionally outside forces tried to invade Dryvthru. In fact, the Burger King had recently returned from a great battle against the wild forest-dwelling vegetarians of the west. It was a fierce struggle. The vegetarians screamed “Meat is murder” for three hours before the Burger King courageously brought out the portable grills and began to make Whoppers. At which point, the vegetarians dropped their tofu burgers and returned to the forest.
“Have it your way!” Bellowed the King to the retreating army.
~Chapter Two: The Dairy Queen~
The Dairy Queen was as sweet as the desserts she produced. Together with her trusted handmaidens Baskin and Robin, the kingdom was never short of ice cream and other frozen treats. But for all her sweetness, the Queen was also known for her cunning and cleverness. It was also rumored that she also possessed magical powers. This rumor began to circulate following the mysterious incident of TCBY.
TCBY was a new business that appeared in Dryvthru that began marketing yogurt as a dessert. When asked what the initials meant, the owner informed the curious that TCBY stood for “The Cingdom’s Best Yogurt.” Unfortunately, by the time the owner discovered that “Kingdom” didn’t actually start with a “C,” it was too late to change because the name was already trademarked. At first, TCBY was welcomed within the kingdom, and the Queen, though doubtful of the “yogurt-as-dessert” concept, accepted TCBY as a worthy competitor to the ice cream market. That is, until she discovered the true meaning behind the name of TCBY.
With the help of scholars, the Queen found that TCBY was actually a phrase derived from the ancient language of the Hellthnutt tribe. When roughly translated, the phrase read “The Dairy Queen will never figure out that we are trying to overthrow her ice cream business-Neener Neener!”
The Blizzard that occurred in Dryvthru was the worst in anyone’s memory, especially for the middle of July. Stranger still, the only thing to really suffer from the storm was the TCBY store which was buried to its roof in ice cream, and sprinkled with cookie crumbs and fragments of candy bars. The Dairy Queen never commented on the strange occurrence but many wondered if she if fact caused the Blizzard. Then there were others in the kingdom who believed that it was not the Queen who possessed magical powers, but the loyal Baskin and Robin instead. After all, how could it be explained that after years of coming up with new and delicious ice creams, the two handmaidens still admitted to having only 31 flavors available?
“I cannot figure it out,” said the Burger King one night after he the Queen had paid a visit to the kitchen where Baskin and Robin worked. “I cannot find one flavor missing from the original 31, and yet there seems to be ever more choices. I count the flavors myself, yet I always come up with 31. How can this be?”
The Queen merely smiled.
~Chapter Three: Carl, Jr.~
The Burger King and the Dairy Queen had a son by the name of Prince Carl, Jr. The son was the caramel-covered apple of his father’s eye. From his youth, Carl studied the secret arts of burger-making from the King. Upon reaching manhood, he was bequeathed a portion of the kingdom known as Hardeeshire where he established his own restaurant, naming it Carl, Jr.’s. Many throughout the land made the pilgrimage to Hardeeshire, (or as it would gradually become known over the course of time, “Hardees”). The people marveled at the way Carl, Jr. managed to successfully imitate his father’s near-magical way of making all the pickles on his burgers warm and mushy. It did make the burger-eating experience a bit messy, however, as the mushy pickles had a tendency to slide (with the help of one or more select condiments), sending the top half of the burger skidding off in one direction, and the bottom half in the other. The more fastidious restaurant patrons complained of the mess. But the Prince, who could turn a phrase as well as any educated man in the kingdom, liked to say:
“If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face.”
~Chapter Four: Wendy~
And then there was Wendy. Orphaned at an early age, the precocious red-head was raised from her infancy by her Uncle, who was a valued culinary adviser to the King. Wendy grew up in the kitchens of the White Castle, watching the daily routine of burger-making. As she grew a little older, she particularly enjoyed spending time with a grandmotherly worker whose job it was to prepare the hamburger buns for the freshly grilled meat patties. Sitting on a high stool, Wendy would watch in fascination as the woman’s practiced hands separated the bun halves and added ketchup, pickles, onions, and other such ingredients. So efficient was the woman at getting the buns ready, that the grillmaster had a hard time keeping up.
“Where’s the beef?” the old woman would always yell to the harried griller while giving Wendy a friendly wink. Wendy loved the oft-repeated phrase so much that for a time her piping little voice could be heard all over the castle constantly demanding “Where’s the beef?” When this childlike chatter had crossed the line from cute to obnoxious, her Uncle suggested that she play the Quiet Game.
“Now that’s better,” he sighed contentedly as the competitive Wendy tried her best to win the game. It was the quietest three days that the castle had ever known.
Wendy also found favor with the Queen who would frequently invite the girl into the desert kitchen while she, Baskin and Robin worked on their treats. Wendy was permitted to work on her own desert ideas, provided that she didn’t make a mess. That last part was wishful thinking, but the Queen never chided Wendy even when she would find the girl covered head to toe in melted ice cream. After one particularly messy day, Wendy proudly presented the Queen with a cup full of her new desert creation.
“Oh my,” said the Queen, looking at the brown substance within. “It seems that you have invented, er…chocolate ice cream.”
“No,” replied Wendy, “this is different. I call it a Frosty!” The Queen dipped a spoon into the cup and tasted the contents.
“I’m fairly certain that’s chocolate ice cream,” the Queen said kindly. “Or perhaps it’s a chocolate malt…”
“It’s a Frosty,” Wendy said with some impatience.
“Look, my dear,” retorted the Queen, also growing impatient. “I am the Dairy Queen. I know chocolate ice cream when I taste it, and I tell you that you have just made…”
The Queen sighed.