Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whataburger and the Texan way

I have not posted an entry related to my observations of Texas in awhile, so I thought today might be appropriate. Despite the fact that I could be napping right now, and actually wish I were.

We made a rare visit to the Whataburger drive-thru on Friday, and here is what we saw. How many comical things can you identify in this picture?

A. The American flag flying above the restaurant underscores this testament to the American way. Actually, I am surprised not to see a companion Texas flag next to it. Usually a Texas establishment such as this goes out of its way to accentuate its Texas-sized roots. After all, we all need to remember that Texas retains the right to secede from the Union should they ever so desire.

Sometimes I wonder, is there an unspoken agreement anywhere in which, should Texas ever really secede, all Texas-owned companies would draw back their business to only serve the home country?

And then I am also reminded that Dairy Queen would like us to believe they are one of those companies. They do call themselves, "The Texas Stop Sign." But did you know that DQ headquarters is located in Minneapolis? I bet most Texans don't know that either. Nor do I think they care, as long as DQ would continue to serve us after a secession. Failure to do so might constitute an act of aggression...

But about Whataburger:

B. The status-symbolic King Ranch edition F-350 pickup truck at the main pickup window probably constitutes the least notable thing about this scene. The plumber's truck behind it, also perfectly expected. The Cadillac in front of us? A little more interesting. Because it shows that in Texas, even rich old men visit Whataburger.

Anyone in the Whataburger advertising radius would recognize the voice that speaks their TV and radio spots. He sounds like one of the good old boys if I ever heard one. 

Last year I was startled to recognize that same voice speaking a radio spot for the local congressman's policial campaign. Apparently Chet Edwards attempted to appeal to the Whataburger demographic. Unfortunately, it did not win him reelection, but this was a tough year for all Democrats in strong Republican districts. I do not blame the Whataburger voiceover guy for lacking influence.

Funny fact, I have actually never heard a local refer to this place as "What-a-burger". For the first year I lived here, however, I did wonder about the "Waterburr" I kept hearing them mention. Made it a little challenging to meet anyone there for lunch, so I would politely decline invitations.

I have the Whataburger voice on the TV spot to thank, for finally helping me work out that the two are actually the same thing.  

Oh, right, I'm discussing the picture:

C. This Whataburger has an 'A' and a 'B' drive-thru lane, to accomodate the large numbers of customers we encountered at 1:45 on a Friday afternoon. I don't think that's exactly rush hour, yet here we are, three cars deep in Lane B as we wait for our order. A worker walks down the lane, collecting debit cards, then returning a few minutes later with food.

--Huh. Wonder if there's any relationship between this and the fact that the Captain's debit card was used fraudulently this morning at another local fast food restaurant. Surely not...

Not to worry, we have already addressed the charge and have a new card coming. But one remains curious as to where such a theft occurred.

D. I have time for one more random fact, then I must get back to my regularly scheduled weekend:

It's hard to tell in this picture, but the front stripe on the trademark corrugated roof of this Aggieland location is maroon, not orange. From what I hear, they appealed to corporate offices to paint the entire roof in A&M maroon stripes, especially because orange represents team colors of the school's biggest rival, UT Austin. The restaurant lost the appeal, but won this one concession.

And now you know.

Have a nice weekend, ya'll.

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