Library isn't the proper place to order a hamburger

October 13, 2023

I got a kick out of the old joke about the fellow who walked into the library and ordered a hamburger.

The librarian replied rather sternly, “Sir, this is a library.”

The fellow apologized, then whispered, “I’d like a hamburger please.”

I saw an article from the Reuters news service from a good many years ago that reflected America’s fascination with hamburgers. That article was about a survey that looked at whether Americans knew more about hamburgers or the Ten Commandments.

The survey done on behalf of the Ten Commandments Commission found that some 80% of the people quizzed could easily rattle off the ingredients of a Big Mac: “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”

“Less than 60% knew the commandment “thou shalt not kill,’” the article said. “Only 45 percent could recall the commandment “honor thy father and mother.”

Obviously, McDonalds did a fantastic job with its Big Mac promotions back in the 1970s, because I, like many of you, would be able to sing along with that jingle listing those tasty ingredients.

It’s the responsibility of us as parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, to teach our young ones the Ten Commandments.

It would be great if we could be even half as effective as McDonalds was teaching all of us the Big Mac song. Their marketers put time, thought and energy into coming up with that simple yet catchy jingle.

I expect that even the confused fellow who tried to order a hamburger at the library knew that jingle word for word, but if he’s like most Americans, he wouldn’t be able to name the Ten Commandments


Reach Roger Alford at (502) 514-6857 or

phil malicote