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.
Armando Galarraga was a journeyman Detroit Tigers right-hander who shocked the baseball world on June 2 by throwing a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians. Except, of course, the game wasn’t perfect, because with two outs in the ninth inning umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald of the Indians safe at first base when Donald clearly should have been called out to end the game.
Galarraga responded with a you’ve got to be kidding me smile for the ages, then retired one more batter for a one-hit shutout. He later said he hadn’t argued because he was in shock.
But it was Joyce’s response that turned this terrible tale into one that’s almost heart-warming. Not as heart-warming as a journeyman pitcher tossing a perfect game, mind you, but pretty toasty.
Having asked to see the video replay after the game, an emotional Joyce spoke to reporters: “It was the biggest call of my career and I kicked it. I just cost that kid a perfect game,” he said. “I missed it from here to that wall. I had a great angle, and I missed the call.” He also asked to speak to Galarraga, apologized to him and hugged him. Offered the next day off by his superiors, Joyce declined, saying he was ready to face what he assumed would be a hostile reaction from the Detroit crowd.
This eminently reasonable, grown-up reaction stood out because baseball umpires are ordinarily cloistered. They have what amounts to lifetime tenure. They don’t face reporters, rarely admit mistakes publicly and are not held accountable for their actions in any way that’s visible to the players or public. Don’t like that call? Replays showed the ump got it wrong? Tough.
Galarraga said he’d forgiven the umpire, and Joyce’s response to his error has been widely praised beyond baseball. He’s become a go-to example of how to handle mistakes in politics, religion and — especially because his straight-forward behavior came in the midst of BP’s oil-spill debacle — business.
Less than two weeks after the blown call, ESPN surveyed major league players for their opinions about umpires. Their overwhelming choice as the best in the business: Jim Joyce.
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.
In honor of the Rally to Restore Sanity, we're celebrating great acts of clear thinking -- and need your help! Who do you think deserves to be honored for their sane behavior this year? You have three ways to let us know your idea:
1). Blog about it
on Open Salon (be sure to tag it: theyearinsanity).
2). Email us your idea at TheYearInSanity at salon dot com.
3). Post your idea in the Comments section on this post.
We'll be spotlighting the best suggestions up until Oct. 30, when we will list our Top 10 honorees.