Ode to a Cheeseburger

March 2, 2009

I opened the box to my Quarter Pounder with Cheese with great anticipation and looked inside.    There it was…a beautiful, sesame-seed bun surrounding a ground beef patty with cheese…wait a minute…WHAT IS THAT CHEESE DOING?!?  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves:  cheese half-on the burger, half spilling out into the box, too melted for me to pick it up and rearrange it evenly on the sandwich.   Don’t those cooks at McDonald’s know the importance of a cheeseburger?

Let me back up just a bit:  when the calendar rolled over to 2009, I resolved to lose weight.  Some of my clothes weren’t fitting me right…and in this economy who can afford a new wardrobe simply because the old one’s too small, right?   So I set a goal and I have been following the WeightWatchers “points” system for 7 weeks.  I have been faithful to the plan, and it works:  I’ve lost 13 pounds so far.  The beauty of the “points” system, of course, is that you can really eat any food you want as long as you don’t go over your daily points allowance.    That includes my downfall:  cheeseburgers. 

I decided one day last week that I deserved a reward for sticking to the diet…and since WeightWatchers assigns “points” even to fast food, I planned out my points so I could enjoy a cheeseburger and fries for the first time in 2 months.  I thought about that cheeseburger all day long.   I reminded myself at various moments of the day that I had a juicy reward coming to me at dinnertime, and it made me happy. 

So, on my dinner break, I took myself through the drive-thru at McDonald’s, giddy as a kid about to ride the newest roller coaster at Cedar Point.  I relished the words coming out of my mouth at the speaker: “Yes, I’ll have a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, small fries and a diet coke with extra ice.”   I started salivating as I was paying for the meal and that distinct smell wafted through my car.  I picked up my order, my heart pounding all the way back to the station as I stared at the familiar sack sitting on my passenger seat. 

Then:  my heart sank as I opened the box.   The first cheeseburger I’d allowed myself to eat in 2 months was all disheveled….cheese thrown onto the burger by some short-order-cook-in-a-hurry…cheese everywhere BUT where it belongs:  aligned with the burger.    I unenthusiastically took the burger out of the box and did my best to put it back together the way it’s supposed to be; the way it looks in the picture!  Was this some plot by WeightWatchers to discourage my fast-food fix?!?!

For some reason, I was reminded of a poem by William Carlos Williams:

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white



My version is a little different:


so much depends



a sizzling cheese



assembled with



beside the hot




  1. Honey, you are too skinny as it is. Don’t trip like that.

  2. Hello Chrys,

    Congrats on the weight loss. Keep up the good work.
    Sorry your cheeseburger was not to your liking…I might have gone in and asked them to redo it.

  3. I might have too…if I wasn’t already back at work when I realized it!
    Thanks for visiting the blog!

  4. LaKeisha…you made my day!! 🙂
    Thank you!

  5. Chrys,

    Why on earth do you want to lose all that weight ? I think you are perfectly fine the way you are. I met you at the Race for the Cure and I thought “Wow this woman is tall and very nice and pleasant”. I watch you guys on television everyday and i love the outfits that you have on at times. Keep up the good work, maybe I could learn a few things from you. Thank you again.

  6. Thank you for your kind words! I’m just trying to get back into my clothes comfortably.
    I know a lot of people can relate! 🙂
    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  7. I think you’re perfect and have been since the first day I met you….

  8. Spoken like a true husband!
    Thanks, honey!

  9. Chrys, I cannot believe that you posted the red wheelbarrow poem. Do you know that was my FAVORITE in high school AP English??? My teacher even had someone make a picture version and frame it for me! I thought I was the only one who loved that simple poem. I think we’re more alike than either of us would like to admit 😉

  10. Hi Chrys, NOTHING looks like the picture when you get it. I used to think that it takes just as much time to do a good job as it does a bad one so why don’t you make that customers sandwich look like they train you to do. The truth be known is that they don’t give the workers enough time to do a neat job. The managers preach one thing and practice another, as long as the cheese or even the hamburger at least touches the bun it becomes acceptable. Most workers do as well as the time they are given. Quality used to be first, now it’s quantity. At least they still taste good. Chrys, enjoy that cheeseburger, you look great !!!

  11. Chrys, Truth be known, the burger probably looked fine until the person sacking the order picked it up and turned it every which way but loose putting it in the bag. I know your pain though,…everytime I order a mexican pizza or a tostada and they pass it out the window to me with the box standing on its side instead of flat. Oh the disappointment when you open that box and find all the “goodies” on one end of the box and the rest looking like it got hit by a tornado. Good job on the wt loss though and next time you spurge on a burger and fries…surely you can find a better one than McDonalds!! (ick!)

  12. Chrys – Take it from a cheeseburger connoisseur, next time (if you haven’t completely boycotted McDonald’s, that is) get the DOUBLE Quarter Pounder with cheese. Sure, you’ll have to starve yourself for a couple of days so you don’t go over your points, but it is twice as delicious as the mere SINGLE Quarter Pounder. Plus, there is cheese in between the patties AND on top, so there is a better chance of the cheese landing in the correct spot. Another secret, if you tell them you don’t want a certain item on the burger, such as pickles or onions, then most times they will make a fresh one for you. That way, there’s a chance that the cheese hasn’t melted all the way and you can rearrange it to your liking. Good luck.

  13. Love the poem, by the way.

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