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“What The Eff?” Wednesday: Down With Fast Food!

15 April 2009 12 Comments

This week’s installment is pretty nasty, so please don’t read if you’ve just eaten, are reading this on an empty stomach, or whatever state of fullness will lead to nausea for you if you see something gross.


I crave fast food on a regular basis. I’m a big greedy American and have no problem admitting it. In fact, I think that anyone who insists that there isn’t a single fast food item they sometimes crave is either a hypocrite, liar, or just in denial. Fast food is kind of like Michael Jackson in that sense; even if you believe that he molested those little boys nearly every person on this earth still at least secretly considers at least one MJ song a timeless jam. When it comes to fast food, Burger King’s Whopper has an opiate-like hold over me. I also love Pizza Hut and McDonald’s Strawberry Shakes, but I cant let myself have any of them but once a financial quarter because my genes just won’t withstand that kind of flagrant fat person eating. For Thembi, having a Value Meal is like pulling the rip chord on my thighs; the next day my clothes will not even fit! Not only that, but I know that the nutritional content is next to none, the industry as a machine is a problematic at best, and I certainly do not trust the employees to keep rat feces, or their own bodily discharge for that matter, out of my meal. Therefore I’ve decided to boycott all fast food establishments and I hope you’ll join me. My reasons?

Accidents Happen

The first thing I think about when a tasty, cheesy, meaty Whopper comes to mind is this extremely foul McNugget found in 2007 by a mother of two. She was compensated $100,000 for finding this masterpiece in her six-piece:


While I’d love to randomly get a six figure settlement this would give me nightmares for years. Not only does a chicken head ensconced in a McNugget remind me of the utter grossness of the meat industry, but it makes me want to just handle my dietary needs on my own. I know for a fact that I won’t ‘slip up’ and put inedible parts of food into anything I prepare, let alone anything that will be staring back at me after it’s already been cooked.

Now, any good vegetarian would argue that this is what meat-eaters get. When I was a vegetarian I always argued that the fact that meat isn’t supposed to stare back at you is just a technicality – it did used to have eyes someplace. But how about this news item from last year about a boo-boo by Subway, an establishment that we’d usually consider a cleaner, healthier alternative?

subwayboltI felt something strange with my thumb and said, ‘What the hell,” said Sjowall, 17. Josh’s mom saw it, too.”It looked like a big bug. Then I realized it was a bolt baked into the roll,” said Jeri Sjowall.

And Jeri Sjowall was right — what Josh found was a rusty 3/4-inch bolt baked into the bread of his sandwich.

The Sjowalls took the sandwich back to the store, where managers didn’t doubt their claim. A Subway manager said the company was taking the allegation very seriously and they’re investigating where the bolt may have come from.

The sandwich was express-mailed back to General Mills headquarters in Minnesota, where Subway’s bread is baked.

The foul follow-up? This kid still eats at Subway. The lesson? Mass produced food, even if it only has a margin of error of .001%, you just may end up with that disastrous slim chance in your mouth.

Freak of the Employee of the Week

How can people be so stupid that they’d film themselves doing such disgusting – and illegal – things, and then not expect to be caught? Case in point: this recently-viral video taken by two Domino’s Pizza employees:

And then of course, we may all remember this blazing fool, whose ridiculous hair choices don’t even begin to display his deeper stupidity for filming himself bathing in a Burger King sink. His little doo-doo loc hair is what I think about every time I’m tempted to choose a Whopper over a homemade salad.

EMBED-Burger King Employee Takes Bath In Sink – Watch more free videos

The Advertising

Maybe you’re in denial and think that all of these horrible things are isolated incidents. Chances are, your local fast food joint is clean as a whistle and the employees aren’t concerned with anything but towing the line until they can quit and get ‘real’ jobs in telemarketing. At the very least, when the urge to stuff your face with fast food surfaces, remember that some of the most upsetting advertising is courtesy of the all-American basic fast food chain. A few of you have asked me to comment on the latest Popeye’s ad featuring “Annie The Chicken Queen.”  and the ad is finally on YouTube so I shall. I have to break down this amazingly disturbingly delineative and demonstrative character name, almost Linnean, name first:

  1. Annie: the diminutive form of a traditional English name as though she were a slave with no surname
  2. The Chicken: self-explanatory
  3. Queen: this is what we word nerds call a contronym, or a word with two meanings that are opposites. Sure if you’re British royalty you are a “Queen,” but the name “Queen” or “Queenie” is also a typical slave name – a pet name that no white people had, but implied that this slave was ‘special,’ so basically not a queen at all and in fact merely property not a ruler. Thank you, Alex Haley, for telling that history with the book Queen, and thank you, Halle Berry for such a woeful performance in said miniseries, which further proves that no good can come from this nomenclature.

Kudos to Popeye’s for putting forth such an immense level of effort to create a fictitious character with a name so descriptive and classifying that it rivals Linnean taxonomy and is almost an onomatopoeia for the sound of clanging shackles. “Annie The Chicken Queen,” is jam packed with so many antebellum stereotypes about black people that the commercial itself could never be a disappointment (turn up your speakers).

I am so tired of feisty black women who speak the truth and call you “honey” in advertising, but I’ve given up on fighting that aspect of the stereotype. What I want to know is, why did this women touch her ‘kitchen’ while she was talking about chicken unless that was some covert call to action for the black community and I didn’t get the memo? Why does she reference Popeye’s chicken as “my chicken,” when its fried and sold everywhere from St. Louis to Seoul, Korea? I thought Popeye was the one frying it up back there, and even then isn’t the internationally standard recipe a corporate secret? Oh wait, I get it, food is somehow better when its prepared by a black women whose self-worth depends on how good her fried foods taste! Popeye’s, as company, should be ashamed, but they’ve already released a typical statement filled with “oh um, that’s offensive? really? we’re lovin’ it, though!” type of language. I will be following up on this disgusting campaign here at WWTD and in the meantime continuing not to eat at Popeye’s.

On a lighter note, my new ‘favorite’ fast food commercial makes me feel like a like a pervert:

I love SpongeBob, nineties hip-hop, and colorful dance numbers, so why am I so put-off by this ad campaign? The state of Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s career makes me a little sad and I’d rather my five year old godson, who is obsessed with Spongebob, not gain a premature fascination with that part of the female anatomy while linking it to a handful of fried potatoes and a toxic plastic toy.

I’m boycotting all of it starting now.


  • ☆ Lola A♏ ★ said:

    Years ago, I encountered a plastic glove in my coleslaw at Red Lobster. 😕

  • Meko C said:

    I was lucky enough to find a screw in my salad at an O’Charley’s. It was lucky in that I was only one drink into the meal and actually noticed that something was rotten in the state of Denmark. The bugger was close to 3 inches long and no one could figure out where it came from. So salads can be bad too.
    And I really wanted to slap that Chicken lady, every time I see that commercial I have to remind myself that they probably didn’t realize that people with an IQ above 12 were going to see this, and thus they deserve pats on the head and therapy.

  • Reginald Dorsey said:

    That bolt is all the iron you’d need for the next two presidential administrations and the next 5 British Parliaments after that, though.

    But on some real walkie-talkie, I’ll put Pizza Hut up against just about any other pizza this side of Naples. People scoff at Pizza Hut, I scarf Pizza Hut.

  • Missy said:

    I loathe that Burger King commercial. With layoffs or the threat of being layed off being on almost everyone’s mind you would think fold would step their game up. How in the heck do these people STILL have jobs?? The advertising genius that thought of it AND the exec that approved it…You’re FIRED! I mean, you’d think that the folk left with jobs would be the cream of the crop. Screams of nepotism to me! Somebody knows somebody but NOBODY knew anything about focusing on your target audience. Kids meals and Booty is Booty is a bad play on words ALL DAY LONG.

    …And Annie…I pretty much thought the same thing. The only thing that was missing was a scarf wrapped around her head and her saying honey chile!

    In regards to getting random stuff in your food… that’s why you say your blessing before you eat.

  • cinco said:

    Fast food places are not the only culprits…stuff can happen to your food anywhere. Anything can be found.

    That being said the Burger King commercial is offensive. Hopefully the blogs will help it disapear never to return.

  • msladydeborah said:

    You Go Thembi!

    I don’t do fast foods. And I would definitely encourage people with children to curb their consumerism down if it is a regular menu item.

    I am disturbed by the lack of proper nutritional habits among AA’s. Especially for our children. The lastest studies indicate that more AA children are already overweight, showing the early signs of diabetes and heart problems.

    I have always cooked fresh food. My kids ate fresh foods and balanced meals-just like their mothers and fathers before them. I did food prep when I was a younger woman. No one except the staff knows what goes on behind the doors in the kitchen. Some of it is definitely positive but there are always going to be some nasty folks on the payroll. I eat out. I like to sit down and be served. I’m really choosy about where I go to eat.

    I also cut my meat consumption in half. Thanks to my mom’s encouragement during Lent to return to a traditional family practice of no meat at least three days out of week. I like the mental and physical effect well enough to continue the practice. I am working towards adding two more days without meat or polutry.

  • Malcolm said:

    Did you ever see the video of the two female KFC employees who used the giant kitchen sink at work as their own personal hot tub? Like Cinco said, fast food places are the only guilty parties. I saw a piece on Primetime Live in the early 90s about some of the foul practices of supermarkets (extending the expiration dates on food, soaking meat in bleach to make is seem fresh, etc.). I try not to think about the bad things that do happen with food… if I dwelled on it, I would starve myself.

    I saw that Popeye’s commercial tonight and it made me think of you (because I had scanned this post a couple of days earlier). About the only stereotype they didn’t have “Annie” do is fold her arms and say “Mmm hmmm”.

  • QQ New Internets Dating Queen said:

    Why are YOU trying to put me off of my OWN whooper with cheese addiction???? Bastardette!

    these fucking commercials/vids…

  • I Have Had It With Popeye’s. | What Would Thembi Do? said:

    […] Says: Lookyhere, I told you Negroes NOT to go to Popeye’s because of that whole Annie The Chicken Queen nonsense. Is cheap fried chicken so hard to resist that we should be putting aside our pride and […]

  • T said:

    I am so glad that I am not the only one who was bothered by that Popeye’s commercial. I found it racist and filled with sterotypes. My husband just rolled his eyes and called me Sister Soulja when I made my case but that commercial is not right!!!!

  • Steph said:

    I used to eat a lot of fast food when I was younger, but a while back, Wendy’s sold me a fly with some chili around it… I eat at home a LOT more these days.

  • Drew said:

    I fucking hate that Popeye’s commercials. Bitch it isn’t your chicken so stop saying that!!!

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