Posted by: Josey | February 16, 2010

A Very White Castle Valentine’s Day: Steamed Sliders, Burnt Hair

“Excuse me,” Alejandro, a nervous White Castle waiter-for-a-night, interrupted the twosome at the table next to ours. They seemed to be on a first date. “May I please take a promotional picture of you for our Web site? I’m supposed to take one of every couple.”

They awkwardly agreed, and instinctively I turned my head in the opposite direction; I’d just bitten off a chunk of chicken ring after all and that image would not be posted on the White Castle Web site.

But then Jeff whispered, “Josey, turn around. Quickly.”

I shook my head and kept chewing.


When the young woman had leaned in to pose for the photo, she’d dunked her locks in a lit candle, part of White Castle’s impressive effort to romanticize the fast-food chain burger joint. When I turned, the guy was clapping flames out of her long brown hair.

“You use hairspray?!” the panicked guy spouted with half a laugh. Alejandro ran to the back for some Neosporin.

“No, gasoline!” the woman snapped, unhurt but also clearly unamused.

The smell of burnt hair overpowered White Castle’s strong onion scent. Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” played on from the boom box propped up to the Coca-Cola fill-your-own soda fountain.

The young woman reached for her coat.

“Um, excuse me,” Alejandro interrupted again. “They didn’t really cover this situation in corporate training, but I didn’t have a chance to take your picture before, and I’m supposed to take a photo of every couple…”

Once the couple left (after the guy realized he had no cash to leave as a tip and left his smoldering date alone at the table while he headed off to find an ATM), I pointed out the multiple security cameras to Alejandro and begged him to post the video in the White Castle Valentine’s Day Album. Fingers crossed…



  1. Wasn’t Michael Jackson filming a Coke ad when his hair caught on fire? Or maybe it was Pepsi.

  2. You got it. A near-reenactment. Moment of silence…

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