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.
There’s no such thing as a sure thing. Unless you’re talking about a psychic octopus. While fans around the planet have been watching the World Cup in breathless suspense these past few weeks, Paul, an unassumingly named German oracle, has been drawing awe, ire and death threats for his knack for predicting with astonishing accuracy the outcome of the matches.
How does he do it? Well, that’s a matter that defies rational explanation. But the nuts of bolts of his method are simple: His keeper at Oberhausen’s Sea Life aquarium puts two containers of mussels in his tank, one emblazoned with the flag of Germany, and the other, of its football opponent. The nation that bears the flag of the mussel he deigns to feed on is assured victory. Paul, who’s been calling the outcomes of German football matches for the last two years, has only failed once, unsuccessfully ripping into the German-designated mussels before the Euro 2008 final went to Spain. His predictions are so revered that they’re carried live on German television, giving Europeans something to preempt reruns of “Baywatch.”
Frankly, it’s the mollusks we feel sorry for here.
But while he’s been enjoying unprecedented international acclaim this World Cup, Paul has also learned that unusual power can inspire fear and hatred among those who don’t understand his gift. When he correctly intuited last week that Germany would defeat Argentina, so outraged were South American fans that they called for his execution. The newspaper El Dia helpfully printed a suggestion for Paul’s next gig — as the star of a paella recipe. And Argentinean chef Nicolas Bedorrou posted on Facebook that “We will chase him and put him on some paper. We will then beat him (but correctly!) in order to keep the meat tender and then put it in boiling water.” Kind of makes you think we’ve been going easy on SportsCenter.
Like a tectacled Patricia Arquette, Paul can’t help what he sees. He can’t dissemble. And he’s successfully predicted every German match so far this World Cup. So when he looked at those mussels to predict the winner as his home team faces its old rival at the semifinals Wednesday, all three of Paul’s hearts must have been heavy when he did what he had to do. He hesitated, seemingly wracked with the weight of his choice. And then he ate Spain.
The shocking, seemingly disloyal pick rocked Germany. The newspaper Bild warned, “This is not a good omen,” while one of his zookeepers mused, “Maybe Paul was just trying to give Spain a false sense of security.” Poor Paul. Truth tellers are not always esteemed in their time, as losing politicians, unpopular comedians and graffiti artists will gladly tell you. How long before the tabloids link one of Paul’s posse to that near fatal attempt on Jeremy Piven’s life?
Yet if he plays his cards right — and he’s got enough arms for the job — Paul could today find himself in the aquatic equivalent of the catbird seat. Should Spain win, he’s a damn genius. Should Germany secure victory, who in his country is going to give a crap about an octopus? As for his possible future as a plat du jour, the enigmatic cephalopod would offer no further comment Wednesday. But his keeper Oliver Walenciak told the U.K. Telegraph, “There are always people who want to eat our octopus, but he is not shy and we are here to protect him as well. He will survive.” Amazingly accurate, not shy and no history of sexual harassment? Paul, come to America. You’d be the greatest thing to ever hit ESPN.
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.
World Cup fever sweeps South Africa, June 11, 2010
South Africa is hosting the19th FIFA World Cup, which began on June 11 and concluded on July 11. This is the first time the tournament was held in Africa. More than 200 national soccer teams began competing three years earlier
for the 32 slots in the tournament. World Cup matches were played in cities across South Africa, including Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.