February 9, 2009

Whopper lust, part one

You know it, you love it: the Facebook meme "25 Random Things About Me." Being a performer and a self-described quizmaster, it's hardly surprising that I participated. My No. 23 was the following:
"23. I have been craving a Whopper every single day since last summer, yet I haven't had one (despite walking by a Burger King to and from work)."

This is true, as is everything on my list. A detail I omitted: The event that set off my Whopper lust was seeing Iron Man. There's some very prominent product placement, when Tony Stark returns from the Middle East, says his first order of business is acquiring "an American cheeseburger," and is soon after seen with Burger King wrapper in hand. I'm usually so scornful of brazen product placement, so maybe part of the reason I've resisted temptation is that I don't want to feel like I'm a sucker for Big Marvel.

The last time I consumed a Whopper was probably seven years ago, when I was working nights in Chinatown and the dining options were limited (yes, I'm one of those people). It was delicious, well indicated by the picture above. I'm a hamburger fan anyway, and between this memory of tastiness, the allure of advertising, the residual childhood joy of any fast-food restaurant, and the continual desire to spend as little as humanly possible on food (I told you), the desire has been a steady one, if unfulfilled.

Oddly, I consumed a Whopper in my dream just last night, as I sat in a motel room with my childhood friend Roger Heller. That sandwich was absolutely disgusting, better indicated by this:

Now that just looks sad. (That's Wikipedia's Whopper illustration, BTW.) Perhaps part of the reason I've resisted the enticements of the King is that I'm afraid to be disappointed. The Whopper lust is a greater joy than the sandwich itself, which will probably not be much of a joy, come to think of it.

Speaking of which: In response to my "25 Random Things" post, my friend Hollianna Bryan—one of the most acerbically witty women I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and yes, a distant relative of the three-time Democratic nominee for President—wrote:

#23. let me explain how that works.
1. you walk up to the door of Burger King
2. open it
3. enter
4. walk up to the disaffected cashier
5. request in a clear voice "I'd like a Whopper please" (politesse not optional)
6. pay for it
7. and then wait until the other disaffected worker gives you one, which you take.
it's really very very simple. of course, i might have led you to the Whopper but i can't make you eat it.

And I responded…

Ah, but you left out the next seven steps…
8. Eat the Whopper. Halfway through, realize it's pretty disgusting.
9. Throw away the last eighth of it, along with the wrapper, continuing the despoiling of our environment.
10. Have a stomachache
11. Not want to eat for the next three days
12. Some personal biological processes that you can figure out for yourself
13. Fall yet another step down the fitness ladder
14. Feel like a sucker every time I walk by Burger King for the next six months

I've gone on too long, and the original ostensible point of this post was to comment on Burger King's history of bizarre Whopper advertising: from Herb to Whopper Virgins. More to come, as Carson said.

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