RICHMOND, TX—Welford’s isn’t as big a fast-food chain or McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s—it’s not even as big as Hardee’s or Whataburger.
But it has something in common with its bigger brothers, and it’s not afraid to admit it. There’s a demon on every single hamburger.
Josephine Maxwell, a manager at the Welford’s on Crabb River Road, told Weekly World News that for years, the chain’s burgers were like any other place’s. “Back when I first started,” Maxwell said, “these burgers were demon-free. I wouldn’t say they were angelic or anything, but you could chow down without any fear of demons.”
But earlier this year, things began to change. “A guy comes in and orders a Welford’s Wonderful,” Maxwell said. “That’s a double burger with cheese between and Canadian bacon above and below. I was on grill at the time because Jackie Garner was out at county baseball championships. I grilled it up for the customer and bunned it and boxed it, and then all of a sudden the lights started to flicker. Then we heard a low growl, real spooky-like, and a voice that said ‘I am Aamon. You are all lost, for all time.’ Then the lights came back on normal and the guy paid us and left.”
EVEN MICKEY D’S!
Maxwell went home that day largely unconcerned. “To be honest, I didn’t think much about it,” Maxwell said. “Weird things are common. Once a kid got locked in the john and when we opened it there was a dog in there instead. Another time, I definitely mixed a chocolate shake, and turns out it was strawberry.”
But then the diabolic burger situation occurred again—and again. “Every time we served a burger, it was Flicker City, and then those voices. ‘I am Malphas. Get out!’ ‘I am Balam. Hell is your new home’!’ And it wasn’t just us. On an off day, I went to Zone Dogs, to try the new Z-Burger over there, and sure enough, the lights flickered and a voice said ‘I am Naberius. Your soul is a site of devastation!’”
Welford’s took to preparing its customers for the coming evil. “When people ordered, we started giving them a heads-up,” said Gerald Soto, a high-school student who works Tuesday and Thursday evenings. “A few of them cancelled their orders and left, but most stuck it out, and told us they were grateful for the warning.”
“We were worried that we’d lose business,” Maxwell said. “But again, we weren’t the only people with demons in our burgers. It was everywhere, even Mickey D’s!”
JUST THE BEGINNING OF THE ALPHABET
After a few weeks, Soto suggested to Maxwell that if they couldn’t beat the demons, they might as well try to understand them. “What were they doing, you know?” Soto said. “They weren’t harming anyone. The sky wasn’t coming over red. Protoplasm wasn’t leaking from under doors. The demons were just delivering evil messages and then piping down. One or two customers told us they had nightmares, but those were late evening orders anyway. Could have easily been indigestion.”
Soto convinced Maxwell to hold employee training sessions. “I noticed that the demons weren’t one-time deals,” Soto said. “The same exact demon would appear in a Wonderful, say, and then maybe come back a few weeks later in a Smokeshow or a Hawaiian or a Bacontinental. I thought it made sense to learn some of their names.”
“So that’s what we did,” Maxwell said. “Aamon, Abbadon, Adrammelech, Agares, Aim, Alastor, Alloces, Amaymon, Amdusias. And that’s just the beginning of the alphabet.”
Today, the Welford’s staff and the demons in every burger coexist peacefully. “Other places try to hide it, which I think is a mistake,” Maxwell said. “We have embraced our demons. We even have a new burger called a Fiery Fiend, which is a spicy patty, and whatever demon is in there helps us move more product. You know: ‘I am Malefar. Why not soothe your palette with a delicious dessert?’”