“Notice to All Employees Regarding the Burger Czar’s Appearance,” by Ken Robey

Jul 6th, 2022 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

I am pleased to announce that we will be marking our seventh year of operation as a Burger Palace franchise with a gala Grand Opening celebration.  The Burger Palace corporate office has given us the long-awaited green light and has set its massive public relations wheels in motion. The big day will be November 12.  I’m sure we will all find this momentous occasion to be well worth the wait.

While fun-filled events will be scheduled throughout the day, the highlight will be the arrival of the Burger Palace’s beloved figurehead, the Burger Czar.  In order to provide an experience for our customers that they will find both exciting and memorable, and to ensure full protection of the Burger Czar’s considerable trademark value, the corporate office has asked us to observe a few key rules during the Burger Czar’s appearance.

1)  Most importantly, when in his royal garb, the Burger Czar is only to be addressed as “Your Royal Majesty” and referred to in the third person as “His Royal Majesty”.  No customer should ever hear the Burger Czar referred to by his out-of-character name, which is Larry.  Adherence to this rule will ensure that the Burger Czar’s royal identity is never associated with Larry’s occasionally less than royal appearance and demeanor.  Hourly employees not fulfilling this requirement will be terminated immediately.

2)  Conversely, when not in costume, Larry should only be referred to as “Larry”.  Never refer to Larry in any way that would suggest royal status.  Again, this is to avoid any public perception that the Burger Czar is anything other than untouchable majestic royalty.  Hourly employees not fulfilling this requirement will be terminated immediately.

3)  When the Burger Czar emerges from his dressing area (the dry items stock room behind the mayonnaise packets), bow and avert your eyes in order to afford him the royal respect he deserves.  Remember, hourly employees should consider themselves village commoners, peasants in the Burger Czar’s presence, and they should grovel accordingly.  Mr. Polta, the night shift supervisor, has been summoned to the corporate office in Sheboygan to be trained in the approved groveling style and he will provide a demonstration to all employees prior to the event.   Hourly employees who do not restrict their grovel to the approved style will be terminated immediately.  All employees should exercise care when groveling near the grill or deep fryer.

4)  The Burger Czar will be accompanied by his Royal Squire.  The Squire will serve as the Burger Czar’s bodyguard and crowd control assistant.  Hourly employees should scatter in fear as the Squire approaches.  Rules 1 and 2 apply to the Squire as well as to the Burger Czar.  He should be referred to as “Squire” or “Your Squireness” when in costume, never as “Ted,” his non-squire name.  Hourly employees not fulfilling this requirement will be terminated immediately.

5) Larry is a chain smoker and, due to the stresses of his weighty responsibilities, has corporate approval to consume moderate amounts of alcohol at store Grand Opening events.  As such, the Burger Czar will take a five-minute break each fifteen minutes.  He will be escorted to the men’s room by the Royal Squire at those intervals, and the hourly employees will be responsible for ensuring His Royal Majesty’s privacy.  Supervisory staff will be responsible for entertaining the customers during those periods using methods of their choosing, although those methods must be befitting of a royal occasion.  The men’s room will be closed to the public throughout the day.

6)  All female hourly employees will be expected to swoon upon the appearance of His Royal Majesty.  Swooning by male employees is optional.  (Note: The corporate office’s legal department has been consulted and believes, to a reasonable degree of certainty, that this swooning requirement does not constitute sexual harassment or discriminatory practice under our current state and federal law.)  For those hourly employees who do not know how to properly swoon, written instructions will be provided.  Caution should be exercised when swooning in the areas immediately surrounding the grill or deep-fryer.

7) Press releases have been sent by the corporate office to the local media, so we can expect reporters and/or photographers to attend.  Hourly employees are not to speak with representatives of the media.  Only supervisory staff who have prior approval from the Burger Palace corporate office may convey the pre-approved statement and scripted expressions of pride, joy and excitement.  Hourly employees may, however, appear in photographs as long as their heads appear lower than that of His Royal Majesty.  For this reason, employees taller than five feet six inches may be assigned responsibilities that do not place them immediately adjacent to the Burger Czar or his throne, such as trash receptacle emptying or spill cleanup.

8)  As a promotional premium, the first 100 children 12 years and under will receive Burger Palace Royal Scepters.  Because of the unfortunate violence at the Wintucket store’s grand opening last month, the promotional Burger Czar Royal Maces have been recalled and burned.  Hourly employees will be responsible for distributing the Royal Scepters and for ensuring their safe and proper use on Burger Palace premises.

9)  His Royal Majesty’s schedule is a hectic one.  As such His Royal Majesty might at times respond to questions, comments, or the presence of others in a manner that appears testy, irritable, or disgusted.  Hourly employees should recognize the considerable stress His Royal Majesty endures in the course of his duties and support him in any way possible.  Hourly employees will be responsible for consoling any small children who might be frightened or offended by His Royal Majesty’s words or tone.

10)  At an appropriate point in the day, His Royal Majesty will sing the Burger Palace anthem.  Hourly employees will be required to sing along in the choruses.  Voice screenings will be scheduled prior to the event and, based on the results of those screenings, some employees might be asked to lip-sync the words. Depending upon His Royal Majesty’s mood and condition at the time, hourly employees might be asked to sing the anthem under the direction of Mr. Polta, the night shift supervisor, without His Royal Majesty.

11)  As the Burger Czar’s appearance comes to a close, all hourly employees will be responsible for publicly expressing their adoration by laying small gifts at His Royal Majesty’s feet.  Gifts will be provided by the Burger Palace corporate office for this purpose.  Should you be moved to provide your own gift, a list of approved gifts will be posted on the wall to the left of the deep-fryer.

Thank you in advance for your attention to these guidelines.  I am sure that we are all looking forward to this exciting event with great anticipation.  I am also sure we will put the same degree of enthusiasm into our holiday season event next month when Larry returns to our store as Santa and Ted as Mrs. Claus. Details will be forthcoming.

Mr. Wyckowitz
Owner and Manager


Ken Robey is a research psychologist, health care administrator and medical school faculty member and has lectured internationally on issues related to disability.  He has published widely in the medical and social science literature, and his fiction writing has been published, well, nowhere.  Until now.

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