William Thorpe, 99, has seen the world change in innumerable ways during his time on this big blue rock—but you can’t blame him for not knowing about Big Macs and turkey subs. He was already a full grown adult by the time McDonald’s got its start, all the more so when it began its global rise. It didn’t arrive in the UK (where Thorpe lives) until he was 54 years old, and who isn’t fully set in their ways by then?
Flash far, far forward to 2019, and Thorpe is now learning to love fast food one entree at a time. According to Metro, the care home in Slough, Berkshire, where Thorpe lives recently brought in a wishing tree for residents, and Thorpe’s wish was to try fast food takeout (or “takeaway,” it’s called in Britain). The care home manager came through with a selection of foods from Domino’s, Subway, McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme, and Burger King. (And Greggs, the bakery chain whose clever doughnut defense has a special place in The Takeout’s collective heart.)
You don’t know you want to watch a 99-year-old and his 80-year-old friend Ann Sadler-Smith sample fast foods on camera until you try. And then you do it, and it’s more special than you ever would’ve thought possible. Thorpe thoroughly enjoyed the Big Mac’s secret sauce and was less keen on the Burger King Chicken Nuggets (“A bit harder than the other ones we’ve had”) and the Greggs sausage roll (“It would be better hot”), providing a true food critic’s analysis in contrast to Sadler-Smith’s more all-encompassing enthusiasm. For her part, she seemed the most taken with Domino’s pizza, saying, “The sauce was very, very nice. I wasn’t sure how to eat it at first but it was lovely and chewy.”
Watch the full video here, and revel in the satisfaction of seeing someone cross long-standing items off his bucket list one by one. Then think about what you might try when you’re closing in on a century old.