You Can Go Home Again


Daniel and I were in the suburbs. Every time I come out, I marvel at what’s changed since my last visit. There isn’t much left that I remember from when I lived there, much less from my childhood. However, the Burger King in Hoffman Estates is still there. I worked there when I was seventeen. It was my first job.

20080511193521Daniel and I were in the area, actually in the parking lot, having dinner at another restaurant. He ate well, so was entitled to dessert. He decided he wanted a piece of pie at Burger King. We walked in and I had a bit of a flashback. While they had changed the color scheme in the dining room, the booths were the same. The drink station and trash cans were the ones that were there when I had to clean them up. Behind the counter, things were identical. I wondered how the help thought about working with equipment that was older than they were (I would have asked, but none of them spoke English). I mentioned to Daniel that I used to work at this Burger King. He looked at me, surprised.

“Why don’t you work there now?” he asked. I explained that was a long time ago.

“But then you could eat at Burger King every day,” he said. “You love Burger King.” That’s true; it’s one of the primary reasons I’m on Weight Watchers now.

“And you could get me the right toys when I order a Kid’s Meal,” Daniel added. This is his pet peeve. It seems that every time we order his meal at Burger King, he either gets the girl toy or one he already has.

“They have blue hats,” he continued. “Your favorite color is blue.” I nodded, kind of sorry that I had brought it up. By the time the pie was done, Daniel had me half convinced I should drop the whole consulting gig and return to my home, the Home of the Whopper.

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