If the two things you desire more than anything else in life are cheeseburgers
and recognition for not exerting yourself mentally or physically, there's a place where your passions meet: in the realm of fast food legends
Next week, White Castle will induct 13 people with palates of dubious reputability into its Cravers Hall of Fame
. The list includes 27-year-old Bronx resident Victor Gradowski
, whose major fast food accomplishment was eating five tiny cheeseburgers and a whole bunch of onion rings for lunch on Fridays. That's it.
It got us thinking: What does it take to become a fast food legend? How does one effectively go about making a name for oneself in the world of deep fryers and tiny minced onions?
Surely there has got to be a better way than just having lunch once a week. And, it turns out, there is. Keep reading to learn how you can join the legion of fast food legends.
Be Really Consistent
Lunch on Fridays is pretty good, but having two a day nearly every day for nigh on 40 years is much more impressive. That level of commitment (and possibly OCD
) has made Don Gorske (photo, left) the man he is today -- a world record-holder well-known enough that searching for "Big Mac every day" will make him pop up on Google.
Gorske appeared in the documentary "Super Size Me
," where he proudly announced that he has eaten at least two Big Macs every day since 1972
. And yet somehow he doesn't have jaundice or scurvy. Congratulations.
Have a Miracle Story
On the opposite end of the spectrum of uncontrollable compulsions, there's heartwarming miracle territory. That's where the late Sgt. Theyer Castro's story resides. After a terrible car accident, Castro lay in a hospital bed in a coma. Doctors said he was in an unresponsive vegetative state and had no idea when he would come out of it. He had a feeding tube and was swallowing once every six minutes.
Then his sister brought in a bag of White Castle
, his favorite, and as the scent of sliders wafted under his nose -- boom!
-- he started chewing and swallowing like he was eating it. Then he said, "Hello everyone." White Castle brought him out of a coma
-- and although he did not survive, his family is grateful that he didn't languish in that bed for months on end.
Go Big or Go Home
These guys are burger heroes for two reasons: They carried out a huge, brilliant, disgusting plan. Nobody else will ever be able to do it ever again.
Bored (and probably drunk) during their trip to Vegas, a guy named Will and seven of his friends went to In-N-Out
and ordered a 100x100. For those not in the know, that's In-N-Out speak for 100 beef patties and 100 slices of cheese, since In-N-Out will make you any size burger you order.
Then the group ate the whole thing. Only one person threw up. Naturally, Will blogged about it
and became a minor Internet celebrity amongst people who are interested in such things. Their heroic undertaking will never be surpassed, as In-N-Out no longer makes anything bigger than a 4X4. Well played, drunk, hungry people.
Find a Human Finger
Here's a way of becoming fast food famous without really, really loving fast food: You could really, really love money. And perhaps somehow have access to part of a human finger
. That's what Anna Ayala (photo, left) did, and she's now forever known as "the lady who put a human finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili and tried to sue."
What really upped her infamy is that nobody could identify who the finger belonged to, and Wendy's
ended up offering a $100,000 reward for anybody who could identify the digit.
Eventually, it was discovered that the finger belonged to one of Ayala's husband's co-workers, who lost it in a job accident
. Following a recipe for chili at home, she cooked the finger, took it with her to a Wendy's and stuck it in her bowl of chili there.
After serving four years of a nine-year prison sentence, Ayala is once again free, but the conditions of her probation ban her from ever setting foot (or finger) in a Wendy's ever again.
If having a couple of burgers on Fridays is enough to gain entry into the White Castle Hall of Fame, then Father John Stavropoulos
has definitely earned his place in the annals of slider history.
Every year, to break their meat-free Lent, Father John leads his congregation to a nearby White Castle after the resurrection service, which ends at around 2:30 a.m. He says Greeks traditionally break their meat-fast with lamb
, but White Castle is open and convenient. And he's not just taking a handful of people with him -- he estimates it's probably closer to 200 people having Sliders
for Easter dinner.
Somewhere, Jesus is smiling.