2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
When I met the author Jonathan Ames in his office at Indiana University in late 2000, the only objects on his desk were a telephone and a stack of portrait doodles — some of them self-portraits. Ames had just begun his year in Bloomington as a visiting professor, and I’d dropped by to introduce myself and to ask if he’d contribute a story to my dorm-funded student literary magazine.
I never got around to asking for a story. Instead, after we’d talked awhile — Ames was very generous with his time — I asked about the doodles. Did he think of himself an artist? Not really. He compared the doodles to boogers. It can be fun to extract and admire a good one, he said (I paraphrase), before discarding it. When I asked if he’d let me publish some of them, he gamely handed me the whole stack, and we printed them all. It was fun.
A couple of years ago, when I chanced upon a copy of Burt Britton’s “Self-portrait” — a priceless book of doodles that Britton, a former bookseller, had solicited in the early 1970s from Norman Mailer, Jorge Luis Borges, Margaret Atwood, John Updike and more than 500 other writers — I fondly recalled Ames’ booger doodles, and asked him to help me kick off a contemporary collection of self-portraits by talented creative people who may not be known for their drawing skills. Once again, Ames was game. Following are 20 self-portraits from a book we’re putting together at McSweeney’s.
– Brian McMullen
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.