Field Trip!

There’s a Whataburger coming to Nashville. At least that’s what the news reports say. What they’re leaving out is there was at least one Whataburger here many years ago, a triangular orange building not far from where the Nashville Zoo is now. I know this because we went there for a field trip when I was in kindergarten. Why this was a field trip is a mystery to me, but it was close to the end of the year so our teacher may have been looking for any excuse to kill time.

Right now I think it’s not safe for kids to go back to school, a problem that could be fixed if more people would get vaccinated, but I hope that will change, and if it does I hope it means field trips can resume too because there are some lessons you just can’t learn in the classroom.

Many years after the Whataburger field trip when I was in high school, having somehow made it out of kindergarten, I was on another field trip. This one, I think, was supposed to be educational—a trip to a museum or historic site or something like that. I don’t really remember. What I do remember is we were allowed to go to lunch by ourselves and some friends and I went to a pizza place that I won’t name but had just introduced their new “personal pan pizza” with a special deal: the pizza was brought to your table in five minutes or it was free.

We each ordered one.

Five minutes went by.

Ten minutes went by.

When fifteen minutes passed we finally got the attention of the waitress who’d been ignoring us and asked where our pizzas were.

“I’ll go check,” she said, and went around the restaurant, ignoring us for another ten minutes. Finally she came back with our pizzas and the check. We said that the five minute guarantee meant we were supposed to get our pizzas free.

“That’s only for weekdays,” she said.

We pointed out that noon on a Thursday was very much a weekday.

“I have to check with the manager.”

After checking with the manager she came back and told us the guarantee only applied to adults, “not little kids”.

Several years after that I worked in a building that had one of the same pizza places next door. Every time anyone ordered a pizza they were charged a higher price than what was on the menu, and every time someone complained the manager would say, “That’s an old menu,” and if anyone pointed out that he should update the menu he’d tell them to get out, sometimes keeping their money without giving them their pizza.  It didn’t take long for the place to close.

So today’s lesson is this: a healthy society depends on cooperation. Don’t be like those pizza place managers. Get vaccinated.

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  1. The Huntress

    Whataburger is vital here in Texas, and yes the old building designs have gone by the wayside now. Opting for more modern roof lines and updated interior, and I love Whataburger, it’s my go to place. But, as for that pizza place that shall remain nameless, personal pan pizza indeed! And I remember that “guarantee” as well. Of course I never had to try and enforce it though. But what a great way to get around to everyone should get vaccinated, via Whataburger and Pizza “place.”

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You’ve convinced me I need to try the new Whataburger when it comes here, although I would love it if they’d bring back the old buildings. I just realized that orange wasn’t a color most fast food places used even back in the ’70’s, and it’s not really popular now, which also made Whataburger stand out.
      Anyway I had so many issue with managers at THAT pizza place I think they must have a terrible training program.

  2. Arionis

    I think I was supposed to get a free pizza when I got vaccinated but somehow didn’t! To coin a phrase from the late 90’s, Whataburger is the bomb! I also went on a field trip to McDonald’s once. Not quite the educational experience of a museum.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Krispy Kreme had an offer of free donuts to anyone who showed proof of vaccination and I can’t tell you why I didn’t take advantage of that while I had the chance. But I’m definitely going to try Whataburger as soon as I can. The funny thing is I remember we had a field trip there but I don’t remember anything about it. It was close to the end of school, and kindergarten anyway, and I think my parents may have pulled me before I could go. Because I’m pretty sure I’d remember Whataburger if I’d gone.

  3. M.L. James

    Don’t be holes of asses (like those managers)! Get vaccinated, indeed! Well said without actually saying it, my friend! So, yep, I ended up commenting in the wrong box. Whataburger is pretty good, but I don’t know that everyone outside of Texas will feel that way. sigh Mona

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Mona, the more I think about it the more I think I missed out on Whataburger when I was a kid–I think my parents pulled me from kindergarten early so we could go ahead and start our Florida vacation, which they were always eager to get to, and I was a picky eater who didn’t like burgers at the time. I outgrew that. Still the Whataburger that’s coming to Nashville is a long enough drive that it has to be really good for me to make the trek all the way out there.



    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I just hope Whataburger doesn’t think it reflects badly on them that I associated them with a certain pizza chain because I’m sure they’re whatafineplace.


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