A Quirky Award

I often describe my FIRE vocation as “professional goof-off,” but this week I might have outdone myself. I enjoyed a few days on an all-expenses-paid luxury award trip as an unlikely inductee into the White Castle Hall of Fame.

Wait, what? There’s a Hall of Fame for that hamburger place that looks like a roadside castle? The one that’s open ‘way past midnight’ and makes those little steamed slider burgers? Yep – it surprised me too!

I entered a contest with a goofy story about my high school buddies and I going to White Castle after our League Curling matches. There is something inherently quirky about curling that people just love to hear about. Especially when combined with the quirky White Castle restaurants and their sliders.

The essay was good enough for me to win a trip to White Castle HQ to meet their executives, film a fun induction ceremony, and eat a lot of sliders! (I guess I’m still a good enough marketer to hack my way into their marketing event!)

The trip was good fun and everyone we met from White Castle was terrific. They really put a lot of heart into the event, their White Castle Cravers (fans), and their business. It’s a family-owned company and I had a chance to connect with many of their 4th generation leaders.

Winners could bring a guest to the induction ceremony, so I went with my buddy and former MegaCorp colleague, Russ. He had entered and won the same honor last year, but didn’t get a trip to Columbus because of CV19. Since his win prompted me to enter in the first place, my wife graciously let me invite him to go as my ‘plus one’. Boys, burgers, and beers weekend!

After the ceremony, we reflected that this kind of goofing off could only come from living as early retirees. Who else would have the time to enter a quirky contest, spend two days in Columbus OH (great little city BTW), and eat too many sliders?

It’s another quirky, unusual experience to add to our resume as goof-offs!

What silly adventures have you been up to?

Image Credit: White Castle Home Office (c) MrFireStation.com

8 thoughts on “A Quirky Award

    1. Yes – Sliders are mini-hamburgers sold by the billions. TIME magazine named them “the most influential burger of all time”. There are about 350 White Castles in the USA. They started in 1921 – almost 2 decades before McDonalds – making them the World’s first fast food place. Here’s their story … https://www.whitecastle.com/about-us/our-history


  1. “Team Sliders” is a great name for an essay that ties curling and sliders into the same story. You won the contest as soon as they saw the title.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curling is sport where you slide the stone. Competitive White Castle eating is a sport where your slide the hamburgers down.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah – I knew that would get them right away. My only concern was that they actually sponsor some athletes on the US Olympic “Sliding Team’ (luge, skeleton, bobsled, etc). I worried they wouldn’t want to add to that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wonder if they could sponsor the US Curling Team and paint their stone up to look like a slider.

        When I was in Boy Scouts, we did a service project of cutting down a tree for an elderly woman. Also got to practice our axe and saw skills. The woman paid us ten sliders each, which of course being teenagers we ate all in single sitting.

        Liked by 1 person

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