Thursday, March 08, 2007

The King is Creepy

An alarming update from The Wall Street Journal:
The (Burger King) chain has focused during the last year on lifting the profile of its "King" mascot, a mute character best known for his creepy smile. The burger baron recently starred in a series of video games, and the company says it has lined up a studio and distributor for a feature film. Russ Klein, Burger King's president of global marketing strategy, won't reveal the studio's identity or the likely plot. But he says the movie could appear as early as the end of this year, with the film aimed at "creating a back story for the King."

I loves me a Whopper! Let me tell you something: when it comes to a fast-food burger, I'll take a Whopper from Burger King any time. A Whopper trumps a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder. A Single from Wendy's? Not even in the same league. Griff's comes the closest to competing, as far as I'm concerned; but you have to work hard around here to find a Griff's. If you came up to me right now and offered a fresh, hot Whopper to me, I'd take it and I'd eat it, even if I just had lunch.

I haven't had a Whopper in, I'm guessing now, a year. Why? The King, that's why. The creepy voyeuristic big headed goon in the TV commercials makes my skin crawl. I have vowed that when I see The King on television, I will boycott Burger King for two weeks. Each time I see him, I reset my clock. I saw him tonight.

I have some emotional attachments to my Whoopers. My lifelong best friend Mark Murray and I used to walk from my house to a Burger King about two blocks away. It was always a big thing for him because his mother wouldn't let him snack after school. When he would come to my house, we could go to Burger King. I'd get a Whopper.

When I first met the lady who would become my wife, we had scheduling challenges. I worked nights and she worked 12-hour shifts which rotated. Getting together was difficult at times in the early days. I remember a time or two when we, motivated by the urgency of fresh love, would try to find fleeting moments to spend together. We would meet at the Burger King near my apartment as she was on her way to or from work.
I'm a big Burger King fan. They have done two things which trouble me: Some coven masquerading as an ad agency conceived this King and cast a spell on the BK Powers That Be to accept it as a mass marketing tool, and they changed the french fries. Both, from my point of view, were colossal mistakes.
So, I dwell in a Whopper-free zone for at least two more weeks. The boycott drags on. I can't avoid television during the NCAA Tournament, and The King seems ubiquitous. So, I'm guessing May at the earliest before I will enjoy my favorite burger again. Long live The King? Let's hope not.

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