by Randall Beaird and Debra Petri – 1998
Subway punched Burger King in the belly and ran. You’ve probably seen their commercial laughing at the whopper’s 39 grams of fat. I know both of them well. Subway busted me out of 32’s in college; their cold-cut combos still keep me warm at night.
It’s true that Subway cuts Burger King no slack for their contribution to society’s poor eating choices. However, while Randall ate his way out of size 32 years ago, Subway is now helping me find my way back to a size 6.
Burger King was there for me as a kid. One of my earliest memories is a whopper I could barely hold, four giggling sisters, a baby brother, all gathered around my parents wearing crowns and smiles.
I have haunting childhood memories of Burger King as well. One fateful youth group outing initiated me into the world of the whopper. My ride home, sick in the floor of the van, was also very memorable. Okay, so it turned out to be the mumps, but my Burger King days were over!
I met Debra at Burger King for some comparison dining. My healthy eye spotted the broiled chicken salad with just ten grams of fat. After adding a little low-cal dressing and croutons, I felt my heart quiver with joy.
All I can say is, it’s a good thing I was there. Randall needed some guidance in selecting a healthy meal. I could tell right away this was uncharted territory for him. He was headed for the BK Broiler Chicken sandwich with 29 fat g’s–don’t let the words “flame-broiled” mislead you into thinking it’s actually better for you. I suggested the broiled chicken salad as an alternative. He moaned when I told him the ranch dressing contained 19 grams of fat.
Burger King manager, Tim Mullings, greeted us with keen insights on nutrition, and stood as rock solid testimony. He had the tri-athlete look after three years of leading the burger hounds to victory. Tim said, “I eat the BK Broiler and fries all the time.”
The assistant manager actually greeted our initial inquiries with shrugs and “I don’t know.” He did finally produce Randall beloved pamphlet. America, don’t send Mr. Beaird’s version of tri-athlete to the Olympics–we’d lose!
After arriving at Subway, something smelled fishy. Burger King listed every entree in a handy pamphlet. They even had the backbone to proudly weigh in their big daddy, Double Whopper with Cheese, with 63 grams of fat. Yet Subway couldn’t even tell me how loaded their four biggest torpedoes were. I called the owner; even he didn’t know, nor did he ever know.
Pamphlet–shmamphlet! Anyone can get pamphlets printed but only those restaurants offering plenty of heart healthy menu choices get to proudly display the Mother Francis Heart’s D’Lite member sticker. We’re talking the approval of the medical community! Subway lists ten menu items with 6 fat grams or less compared to Burger King’s three salad choices at 10 g’s or less. And as Subway says, “If you can’t count the fat grams on two hands, don’t pick it up!”
Sure, crucify the whopper and don’t even list or know stats for your heart stoppers. Also intriguing was Subway’s menu directions. “It’s Better with Bacon!” and “PILE IT ON! ASK FOR DOUBLE MEAT!” It should also read, “If you can count the fat grams on one hand, then PILE ON THE BACON BABY!”
Of course Subway, while remaining the health guru of the fast food community, caters to a wide variety of clientele. Choice is the key word in business today and Subway offers the less health conscious consumer some bang for their buck as well.
Burger King’s chicken salad really hit the spot, but after seeing “PILE IT ON!,” my knees got weak, fingers trembled and I pointed to the foot-long seafood and crab.
Wobbly knees and trembling fingers are sure signs of hunger. I’m sure Randy longed for more satisfying fare as indicated by his pitiful comment on his meager salad, “They sure are skimpy on the chicken.”
There’s just something about dining with a grown man wearing a Burger King crown! After many adjustments Randall finally found a comfortable fit. My husband, with his meatball sandwich, perhaps did not appreciate Randall’s sense of loyalty and whimsy. I found it rather amusing myself.
Debra kept shooting my hoagie jealous looks. I knew she wouldn’t ask, but figured she’d move in on her husbands’ chips. She did. My fat gram inquiry was greeted with, “I didn’t eat those, he did.”
Give a girl a break! Anyone who understands the unwritten code of wedlock knows that the wife cannot eat out with her man without nibbling from his plate. So I had one chip! I had to–it’s just one way the male knows everything is okay with his mate. If he were really in trouble she’d never touch his food!
Everyone knows it’s better with bacon, and that the whopper has 39 fat grams. Someone forgot to tell Subway they have about four of their own whoppers.