Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Onions Please

As he walked through the door, he knew all the locals were checking him out. While cruising timber for a new client in a remote part of the state, my brother was hungry and decided to stop at a roadside diner for lunch.

Once inside he saw men lined up sitting on stools at the counter eating hot dogs and only hot dogs, for that was all they served. 

Beyond the counter and through an open window the cook called out from the kitchen, “How ya want ya hot dog?”

“Mustard, no onions. Make that two please.”

Standing behind the men seated at the counter my brother tried to keep his eyes forward while all other eyes were on him. He knew these men probably meet everyday, whether they wanted a hot dog or not, to fill an uneventful day with uneventful talk. He was an outsider and knew he would end up the topic of conversation as soon as he left.

To be less of a distraction he decided not to move and kept his place behind the men at the counter as they went back to eating and talking. While he stood he watched through the open window as the cook assembled the hot dogs—bun, chili, mustard, and onions.

He didn’t want onions. Before the cook could begin adding onions to his second hot dog he felt he needed to remind him of his order.

“Sir, no onions please.”

Without acknowledging the correction, the cook kept on making the hot dogs—bun, chili, mustard, and onions. The men at the counter raised their heads and watched as my brother tried to get the attention of the cook. The next time he spoke it was a little louder and with more authority.

 “Sir . . . I said no onions please.”

Still, there was no acknowledgement from the busy cook on the other side of the window. He kept on preparing the hot dogs lined up in his large hand—bun, chili, mustard, and onions.

With his back straight and feet planted, my brother did the only thing he knew to do at that point to get the cooks attention. He yelled,

 “I said NO ONIONS!”

The diner went quite, the men’s mouths flew open, and for a moment all that could be heard was the clicking of the ceiling fan. Then a booming voice forced it’s way through the window from the kitchen as the cook yelled back,


Oh, I can’t even imagine the look that was probably on my brother’s face as the cook leaned his head out the window and yelled back. No, he didn’t tuck tail and run, but it was all he could do to stay in that small diner waiting for his lunch. With brown paper bag in hand that held his two hotdogs—bun, chili, mustard, and no onions—he paid and attempted to walk back out the door with some dignity.

As I'm reminded of this story, I wonder how many times we stand behind the counter, yelling over the heads of others telling God how to do something when He knows perfectly well what He is doing and how it needs to be done.

The next time we find ourselves trying to correct God, we need to take into consideration that He may not be working in our lives at the moment but in the life of another. In other words, we may need to remember, 

“It’s not our hot dog!” 

photos courtesy of


  1. Beth, this is fantastic! What a great analogy. Thanks.

  2. What a great story! How many times I've said that to God....
    Thanks Beth.

    1. And a true story Cyn. I have so many stories and material from my brothers :)
      Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Another awesome story with a meaningful message.

    I love your writing style.

    Write on!

    1. You are always so encouraging Carolyn! The message was a good one---from a good story. :) Glad the humor of the story came through in my writing!


  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Carol. And thanks for stopping by and commenting :) Glad you loved it. The story is one of my family's favorite about my brother (and there are many!)

  5. I love it! What a great story...and I can only imagine he wanted replace the taste of his foot with those onions at that point ;)

  6. Ha! You are probably right Celeste :)