Is that a burger in your pocket … ?

The playboy, the lawyer, the Catholic college, and the big fat burger

The Sydney Morning Herald is carrying a third-hand story about Hardee’s new ‘Monster Thickburger.’ But do a little Googling and things get a lot more interesting. If you’re going to do cut-and-paste journalism, why not try to make it a little exciting?

Some people are upset because a Thick Burger meal contains more calories than a normal person should eat in one day. This is the line the Herald’s story takes. I’m not sure what the point is. After all, a marathon is more miles than a normal person should run in one day but the health freaks aren’t trying to get marathons banned.

Food Porn‘ is what Science in the Public Interest’s Michael F. Jacobson called an earlier (leaner) version of the Thickburger. "But if the old Thickburger was Food Porn," he said, "the new Monster Thickburger is the
fast-food equivalent of a snuff film."

But Andrew Puzder, President and CEO of CKE Restaurants thrives on the controversy, “This is a burger for young hungry guys who want a really big, delicious, juicy, decadent burger,” he said. “I hope our competitors keep promoting those healthy products, and we will keep promoting our big, juicy delicious burgers.”

So let’s think about this … young guys, porn, big fat something-or-others … Hey Yeah! Why not use sex to sell burgers? (Advertising professionals are creative and original like that.)

The ads for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. burgers are pretty racy (check out the one with the hot babe on a mechanical bull). But it was the ad featuring Playboy founder Hugh Hefner that really got people talking. Imagine this … an old man in his pajamas standing around with a bunch of attractive young women. "People always ask me, ‘Hey, Hef, do you have favorites?’" Naturally he says no. "I love them all. It just depends what I’m in the mood for."

These days Hef is in the mood for publicity (and maybe a nice long nap). And it’s more than likely he doesn’t enjoy sex much these days. His interest in women is mostly as fashion accessories – he carries them on his arm the way Sex in the City’s Carrie Bradshaw carries a Kate Spade handbag. But getting back to the burgers … if your average young hungry guy can’t consume a different bikini-clad babe every night at least he can have a ‘juicy, decadent burger’ once in a while – if he’s in the mood that is.

But the President of Thomas Aquinas College was most definitely not in the mood. Not for juicy, decadent burgers, and not for variety-loving geriatric playboys in their pajamas. When CKE’s founder, Carl Karcher retired in 1998 he left his spot on Thomas Aquinas’ 26 member board to Puzder. Karcher was a devout Catholic. But while Puzder does a bit of praying now and again, his morals don’t meet College President Thomas Dillon’s standards. Puzder and Dillon had a talk about it and Puzder agreed to resign from the board.

But there’s a strange kind of consistency at work at CKE. Just as Hefner treats women as disposable consumer goods many people think CKE chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. treat their workers the same disposable way. The company opposed a California Proposition which would have forced employers to pay 80% of their worker’s health care, and has faced lawsuits over unpaid vacation pay and overtime compensation.

But worse still, Carl’s Jr is abusing French people in order to sell burgers. American white supremacists are outraged!

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Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2021 years ago

that SMH article says the thickburger is the equivalent of 2 big macs. I don’t see what the big deal is. so it’s just one meal that takes a long time to eat rather than a number of servings – it reduces the transaction cost of pigging out. but when you’re in the mood for pigging out, that’s not much of an additional incentive i probably eat more than the equivalent of 2 big macs for dinner many days a week.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Hmmmm, Jason, a friend of mine who used to eat 3 Big Macs in a row (among other generally fat-filled items…) on a regular basis developed pancreatitis at age 26 and spent two months in intensive care…

TimT
2021 years ago

Carl’s Jr? Isn’t there an Australian blogging connection here?

Isn’t the Carl of Paul and Carl’s Daily Diatribe (www.gravett.org/pc) one of the owners? Paul put up a post about it some time ago…

Rafe
2021 years ago

I can vouch for Jason’s hearty appetite! But seriously, it is a matter of commonsense and personal responsibility to work out a sensible diet, if you exercise or if you have a good metabolism you can obviously eat more with safety than couch potatoes with a congenital tendency to put on weight etc.

Don
Don
2021 years ago

Hey guys, click on the “is abusing French people” link near the bottom of the post.

What do you think? Is it for real, is it a hoax, or is it advertising?

David Tiley
2021 years ago

Hoax. Mind you, the fellas talking about the “jew tube” are not hoaxers at all.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2021 years ago

Mark
I’ve been pigging out since I was born, never been hospitalised for illness a day of my life. Weigh about 80 kg last time I checked and I’m about 5’10” or 5’11” so I think I’m just right. As Rafe says, it’s all about metabolism and/or self-discipline. My metabolism shield has worked till the last 2 years when I started putting on fat but have since worked to counter that by more exercise.
Incidentally Don’s post had an unintended effect. I developed a craving for a Double Whopper for lunch, just ducked out to my local Hungry Jacks to get one and came back with a Double Whopper value meal because it’s so cheap. So, yeah, advertising and appropriate pricing definitely works. Can’t wait for this chain to come to Sydney.

Don
Don
2021 years ago

David – The ‘jew tube’ guys seem to be real and very creepy. Sites like that are a kind of self-refuting argument for racial superiority.

Jason – Why wait for the evil Carl’s Jr. to come to OZ? They sell minced beef at Woolies along with a selection of buns and fixings.

I like to grill my ground beef patties over an open flame (I’ve got a gas BBQ out the back). How big and thick do you want that burger? It’s up to you.

Onions are good and if you fry your own on the barbie you can have as many as you want.

And did I mention bacon? I prefer the streaky end. It tastes best when it’s flame grilled (I’m sure this makes it more carcinogenic).

Fresh tomatoes are a must. I like home grown ones if I’ve got them, or those truss tomatoes from the supermarket. And lettuce of course, and maybe – if you’re in the mood – cucumber slices.

As for buns I prefer those round turkish bread rolls. Hamburger chains tend to use buns which have a cake-like consistency – too short, too little of that gluteny chew.

When I was in Perth I used to go to a place called Retro Betty’s. They did pretty good burgers and great fries.

Did I mention that I like hamburgers?

derrida derider
derrida derider
2021 years ago

Jason, be warned. I ate like a horse when I was a young man yet was quite skinny. But from my late 20s the weight crept up – at first I thought I was ‘about right’, a few years later it was ‘hmm, gotta lose the spare tyre’, and another few years and it was ‘omigod Ive got a paunch’, then ‘I can’t get shirts to fit properly’. I’ve got it more or less under contro; now, but no more Hungry Jacks for me.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2021 years ago

Jason, glad to hear you’ve got a good metabolism. I’ve never been much overweight (also 5″11 and 79 kilos at the moment), but as someone who had gall bladder surgery earlier this year, I’d caution that there are other consequences of fatty food than weight gain.