Last week, the collective guilt of Twitter turned a lonely, burger-cooking grandfather affectionately referred to as “Papaw” into an Internet celebrity. Now, this weekend, all his digital fans can come join him IRL as the man the web has dubbed “Sad Grandpa” will be hosting a giant burger cookout in Oklahoma.
Kenneth Harmon, aka Papaw aka Sad Grandpa, grabbed the world’s attention after his granddaughter tweeted a photo of the grandfather of six eating a burger alone with the caption, “dinner with papaw tonight… he made 12 burgers for all 6 grandkids and I'm the only one who showed.” According to Buzzfeed, that tear-worthy sentiment was retweeted over 70,000 times in its first 24 hours, ballooning up to over 178,000 retweets as of writing.
Needless to say, with all that publicity, Harmon suddenly had a lot of unofficial grandkids perfectly willing to drop in for a home-cooked meal. And amazingly, Papaw has decided to accommodate all of them, hosting a burger cookout in Purcell, Oklahoma this Saturday that is open to the public.
“It was Papaw’s idea to have the cookout,” said Brock Harmon, one of the grandkids who, yes, was too busy to join his Papaw for burgers just last week – but who’s apparently now that his grandfather is basking in his 15 minutes of fame. “He loves all of this,” he told Buzzfeed. “He never ever thought he would be a celebrity.”
Burgers will go for $2 a pop, and there will be souvenir “I had a burger with Papaw” shirts for about $25, with all the proceeds going to… who else… Papaw. According to KVUE-ABC, Brock said about 3,000 people currently plan to attend, with some people even joking on Twitter about flying in for the event.
It’s all a sweet sentiment, but with that many people going to see Papaw, it leaves you wondering just how many of these 3,000 peoples’ real grandparents will be eating alone that afternoon? It’s almost like people on the Internet, for once, kind of missed the point.