Thursday, June 09, 2005

Several disturbances in the natural order

This will be a pop culture-laden post, so those of you expecting my analysis of the fall in Japanese stock prices will want to tune back in at a later date. Say 2036.

It's late, but it's worth noting several oddities likely to cause me strange dreams, if not outright somnambulism. (Of course, as a reporter, I have to be on the guard against being called a 'somnambulance chaser'.)

Let's start with the trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken (formerly known as KFC, and before that as, er, Kentucky Fried Chicken). Let's ignore for the moment the reason I was in the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-thru this evening -- what's important is the odd menu listing that appeared in bottom right hand corner of the drive-thru menu, down below the Li'l Bucket Parfait: "Breast Upcharge $.85". For the life of me, I have no clue what this could mean. Perhaps the buckets of chicken are now made of silicone. I'm not sure. It was enough to give me pause before using the term "extra crispy".

The other two disturbing items for the night are television commercial-related, and they can probably be grouped together as one, overarching disturbance -- the sudden appearance of odd, inanimate spokespeople in commercials. Burger King (or, as you'll recall from yesterday's post, "Roi d'Hamburger" in Quebec) has a Madame Tussaud-style wax Burger King guy who shows up in someone's bed in one ad. (If this isn't disturbing enough, there's an analysis of this and other fast food commercials that's probably not worth reading here.) Just to make it a little more surreal, Darius Rucker (from the now B-listed Hootie and the Blowfish) is also featured, singing a Burger King-ized version of the classic bluegrass tune "Big Rock Candy Mountain". Were it not for the disturbing Burger King guy, the ad would be just weird enough to enjoy.

The people at Quaker Oatmeal, figuring what's good for greasy burgers is good for cubed breakfast products, have lately added a commercial featuring a similarly unanimated Quaker Oats guy being towed around in a wagon, handing out something called breakfast squares, at least as well as an immobile statue can hand anything out.

On the other hand, it's nice to see Quaker reprising its disturbing role in the world. The 19 Minutes staff attended college downwind from Quaker's plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and it was always enjoyable to wake up with the smell of Cap'n Crunch wafting in from the west.

So there's what'll disturb the sleep patterns here in 19 Minutes World Headquarters tonight. [BREAKING NEWS: A Google search reveals that the Memphis-area Popeye's Fried Chicken outlets also feature something called a breast upcharge, but it's only $.75, versus the $.85 at the Flagstaff KFC. Stay tuned - we'll see if the Quaker people can beat both of them.]

1 comment:

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