A coworker (and one of the only people at work who can tolerate me when I’m having a bad day) and I went to Cliff’s today for a quick bite at lunch. I ordered — as I always do — the Murphy burger, a heart-stopping concoction of 100% beef, grated sharp cheddar cheese, sauteed onions, thick strips of bacon and tangy barbeque sauce. No wussy lettuce or tomatoes on this bad boy; it’s pure myocardial infarction-inducing goodness.
My coworker, who originally hails from Denver, watched curiously as I tossed aside the ketchup packets that came with the burger, irritated by their mere presence. “Stupid ketchup,” I grumbled. “Why would they give me ketchup for a burger?”
“Why wouldn’t they? Don’t you want ketchup on your burger?” he asked, bemusedly.
I glared at him, trying to decide whether or not to answer sarcastically: “Of course! I love ruining a perfectly good hamburger with ketchup! Pass those packets back over here!”
Instead, I responded with a sharp, “You’re in Texas now, buddy. We don’t put ketchup on our burgers.”
“Really? I mean, I thought I had noticed that, but I wasn’t sure.”
“Yep. No ketchup on burgers. It’s like a state bylaw. Heresy.”
“Wow. So…what do you put on them instead?”
“Mustard, obviously. And mayonnaise. Sometimes. But always mustard. Haven’t you been here long enough to know that by now?”
“I guess not.”
“Hmph. You’ve got a lot to learn.”
“There was this place in San Diego that used to do the best burgers with ketchup on th–”
Me, interrupting: “I don’t care.”
“I was just going t–”
Me, rudely interrupting yet again: “Don’t care. You’re cutting into my valuable Murphy burger eating time here. I don’t care how they do it in California or Colorado or anywhere else. In Texas, you don’t put ketchup on burgers. Period.”
“Fine. Can we eat now?”
Go ahead. Tempt me. What do you put on your burgers? What don’t you put on your burgers? Be prepared to feel my wrath if you answer “ketchup.” But, seriously, I’m quite interested.
So tell me, burger fiends!