When I was a kid, my mother would always order me and my younger brother cheeseburgers from McDonald’s or Burger King and say through the drive-thru speaker “ketchup only” but for years I thought she was saying “ketchup bonely”. I didn’t know what this meant, I just knew it was the way we, apparently, liked our burgers. I’m pretty sure there was even a time when I was trying to explain to someone that I order cheeseburgers “ketchup bonely.”
It was years later I realized she was saying “ketchup only” and even more years later when I realized a McDonald’s cheeseburger comes with mustard, onions, and pickles along with the ketchup. And then it took me until just today to wonder why she ordered them with ketchup only. Why were the mustard, onion, and pickles never presented to me as part of my burger experience? Maybe I would have prefered these fixings had I known they were an option.
After some thought on this, I’ve decided to blame my older brother John. I can imagine an incident where he probably didn’t like all of the extra toppings, (he still doesn’t and he’s 52 years old…or is he 37?…) cried and complained like a bitch, refused to eat it, and my mother had to order him another one. To escape from any further burger torture, my mother likely just kept all cheeseburger orders to a simple “ketchup only” from there on out.
As an adult, I’m not much of a burger eater but on the occasion I do have one, my favorite topping is grilled onions…grilled onions and ketchup only.