July 18, 2006

Pork and beans

My source material for this, my previous one, and at least one more post, comes from a videotape containing a typical Monday evening TV viewing on NBC, circa December 1985. You can see from the screencaps and YouTube video that the cable reception wasn't perfect, and there are "ghost images." It's funny, but I don't remember it ever bothering me. We were most likely happy to get cable in our area (Galveston, Texas), period. But I apologize for the quality.

Ah, the "good old days" (for the purposes of this post, the 1980s), when the average person hadn't yet heard about stuff like trans fats, and Eric Schlosser's excellent, eye-opening expose of the fast food and meat packing industry, Fast Food Nation, had yet to be published. No one had yet seen the documentary Super Size Me. There were calorie counters and fitness enthusiasts, but most people didn't realize, or care to accept the facts about, the physiologically harmful effects of fast food.

Today, Wendy's has their Frescata Sandwiches, which are very tasty, and after eating one, you don't feel the same way as you would after eating a burger and fries (i.e., bloated, lethargic, heart pounding due to all the sugar, etc.). I'm sure the Frescata is also laden with calories (especially if you order a combo with fries and a drink), but it seems like an effort is being made by Wendy's to serve "healthier" food. Back in 1985, Wendy's was all about the gluttony and piling on the calories:

Let's take a closer look at that, shall we?

First of all, what the heck is happening here?:
That little boy is looking deep into the eyes of madness.

If they'd actually exchanged bitten off pieces of hot dog from open mouth to open mouth, using only their lips and tongues, that wouldn't have been any less disturbing. It's like an ice breaking activity at a Super Adventure Club meeting.

On to the truly nauseating aspects:

I am not a vegetarian, and despite the urban legends about the ingredients of hot dogs, I do eat them. But that one doesn't look very appetizing. First of all, was it even possible to fit it into your mouth without most of the fixings falling into your lap or on your shirt? I doubt many people attempted to consume one while they were driving. The real clincher for me though (in terms of revulsion), are the beans. I can't imagine putting that into my body. Looking at the picture gives me heartburn.

That just makes me feel sort of inadequate and insecure.

There is nothing quite like a little hot dog with your relish and onion. Wendy's must have had a full-time medical staff on hand to deal with all the cardiac arrests.
Based on the display models used in this commercial, I bet there's a hot dog under all that.
This brings to mind an image forever burned into my psyche:

But Wendy's can't be blamed for that, unlike this:

Yuck. Just, yuck. No thanks. If I'm remembering correctly, Wendy's used to have a vat of that stuff (chili?) sitting out all day, under those sneeze guards, next to the salad bar. That obviously brings to mind:
Of course, some people like their Wendy's chili with a little extra meat.

Bon appétit

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