Burgers & Fries with a Side Order of Laughter
by Gordon G. Kinghorn
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn't." - Erica Jong
Whilst reading Irwin Lengel’s latest and masterful contribution to ROL, (‘Chocolate Ice Cream Sings’) I received a call from a golfing buddy of mine, one who I had not seen for several weeks, this largely for two reasons, one being a family bereavement on my side, the other as a result of his annual vacation to Wales.
As we chatted, I enthusiastically transmitted to my companion, some of the lines contained within Irwin’s narrative. Once read, he shared my appreciation of the article – adding further that during his latest holiday, both he and his wife had too, experienced a “restaurant” situation that shall never be forgotten by either of them.
Complete with caravan, this holidaying pair spent several idyllic days, weaving their way through the narrow rural lanes, taking in the magical splendour of the numerous quaint villages - and that of the verdant countryside in which each hamlet nestled.
During one particular outing, they decided to stop for a meal at a fast-food outlet, one exquisitely positioned atop a large hill overlooking the stunning Welsh Coastline.
It was located on the periphery of a small township with a seemingly unpronounceable name - consisting of approximately twenty-five letters, starting with an ‘L’ and ending in one, the vowels and consonants that lay in-between these two letters, formed a word that, as stated, appeared impossible to articulate.
Being a Gaelic community and unbeknown to my friend at the time, it was common knowledge amongst local folk that most tourists who visited their municipality, continually experienced great difficulty in getting their non-Welsh tongues around the true designation of the town.
On arrival at their nominated eatery, they ordered a sizeable repast in order to keep them both sustained for the remainder of the day.
The petite, uniformed ingénue who had hastily scribbled down their culinary preferences, cordially advised our two ravenous sightseers, to occupy a seat, as their sizable order was going to take some minutes to prepare, but when ready, she would personally would bring their desired choice of fare to the table.
Once seated and then patiently waiting for the cuisine to arrive, my friend, in a somewhat agitated and forlorn state, gazed hopelessly at his road map, try as he may, he failed repeatedly to correctly pronounce the name of the settlement that he and his good lady had just driven into – “Only the Welsh can pronounce this word properly” he mused, at which point, the pretty young assistant arrived at their booth with the meal.
As she was placing the burgers and fries on the table, my friend inquired, “Excuse me lass, could you, very slowly please, pronounce precisely for us, the name of the place that we now find ourselves in?” She responded with a polite, ‘Certainly sir,’ and then uttered the following;
“It is called; - B-U-R-G-E-R K-I-N-G”
The very instant that this wrongful
information was relayed to the town’s newest sightseers, it quickly eradicated their earlier sense of hunger, being replaced with a strong desire to visit the toilet, no amount of ‘leg-crossing’ or ‘put-it-to-the-back-of your-mind’ bravado would suffice, to ignore the consequences of their comical hysteria at that priceless moment, would have only resulted in inexplicable wet spots on the floor beneath them – to say nothing of the discomfort of soggy clothing for the remainder of the day.
By the time they had taken control of themselves and returned to their position within the restaurant following the much needed ‘loo-break’, their food had become cold and almost inedible…but, in the eyes of my chum, a very small price to pay for one of the best laughs that both he and his spouse had enjoyed in many years – a wonderful tale for the golf course too no doubt!