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Bender the Meaty Frankfurter

December 30, 2015

After my last post on Wimpy Bars, Jane Eccles reminded me that Wimpy used to sell something called a “Bender”. It was a frankfurter curved into a ring with a half-tomato in the middle. This wasn’t a great name: bender was a derogatory term for a gay man, frequently bandied around in those homophobic times, although I think it is hardly ever used now.

Anyway I know a funny story about the Bender (or Bender the Meaty Frankfurter, to give it its full title). I once heard Howard Jacobson on the radio talking about how he’d gone to a Wimpy Bar in Oxford and decided he wanted a Bender, but was too embarrassed to ask for it by name. So he pointed at it on the menu and said, “I want that, please.” And the waitress replied: “Say it, or you can’t have it.”

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