Overweight man’s beef with White Castle finally connects “White Castle” with “beef”

GateHouse — The grassroots protests spilling across the streets of New York against the excesses of Wall Street are raging into their second week and showing no signs of slowing, yet I am going to write about a dude who is too fat to sit at White Castle, because the Internet is very very large and plenty of people are talking about Wall Street, but who is standing up for White Castle in its hour of need? THIS MOTIVATED SLOVAK, THAT’S WHO.

Indeed, my blood brothers at the Castle know that I stand with them whenever some yappy 23-year-old energy drink consumption machine from The Media tries to besmirch, befoul or befmirch them with stories of “ghastly nutritional conditions” or “obese-American prejudice” or “fact-based stories about what animal remains actually constitute their Triscuit-thin patties.”

They know this because White Castle IS IN MY DNA. No, seriously, my Slovak grandparents lived pretty much across the street from a White Castle in Whiting, Ind., and my grandfather was known to spend his days there from about 7 a.m.-6 p.m. — moreso if my dear Slovak grandmother God bless her soul was feeling particularly prickly about the volume of objects he hoarded in the basement (official figures are hard to come by, but let us just say that special arrangements had to be made with the Dumpster Company in Whiting, Ind.). So when I say that White Castle is in my blood, I mean, no really, that stuff is straight IN MY BLOOD, probably slowing down the entire circulatory process and gumming things up something awful around the aorta.

(My grandfather, incidentally, did this because I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled Slovak cooking but all of it requires sauerkraut and most of it smells like the inside of a snowboarders’ boot and there’s really only so much halupki you can consume before you want to begin to wonder about the existence of a benevolent God.)

I have defended the Castle when they produced a candle that was supposed to smell like their burgers; I have staged post-Olympic hockey victory parties at White Castle because basically Slovaks celebrate everything at White Castles, except those things which we celebrate at the Knights of Columbus, but we only go there at happy hours on Friday nights from 5-7 p.m. because Old Styles are $1.50 when you have a coupon from one of those Entertainment books.

And today I stand with them again against a 290-lb. fella named Martin Kessman, an Overweight American who in 2009 complained to my White Castle besties because he could not fit into their seats.

Now, there are a lot of auto-fire jokes to be made here, about how a man too large to fit in a space to eat White Castle is pretty much the most self-perpetuating joke ever, the pendulum of jokes, the Fibonacci sequence of burger-oriented comedy, a joke such that if we could harness its power we could not only solve the energy crisis but also use its regenerative properties to augment stem-cell treatments for things like diseases related to morbid obesity.

But Kessman, a New York stockbroker and aficionado of wafer-thin burgers that are ordered by the fast-food equivalent of a fortnight, first complained to White Castle’s corporate office, which damn well better actually be a castle, because if you name your restaurant chain White Castle and don’t indulge in what is clearly the most awesome part of your branding then you deserve lawsuits.

The Castle, Kessman told a reporter from the Media whose parents used to be proud of her journalism degree, responded with three “very condescending letters,” as well as coupons for three free hamburgers, which, as anyone who has been to The Castle can attest, is nearly a eight ounces of theoretical meat patty which was flash-frozen in a Korean agricultural facility in 1997 and brought via oil tanker or mule or whatever. Seriously? Three free burgers? That is such the fast-food equivalent of the biggest glove-slap ever. It’s worse than NO BURGERS AT ALL. Three burgers, it’s like complaining to Nabisco about something and being sent a Ritz.

So did the only logical thing one can do this in this situation: Sued White Castle in September in Manhattan federal court, saying the restaurant’s booths violate the rights of our portly brothers and sisters. It’s impossible to know how this beef will end, but it better not involve halupki.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

3 responses to “Overweight man’s beef with White Castle finally connects “White Castle” with “beef”

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