by Jim Ridley
People keep asking me if I've tried Burger King's new Angry Whopper, and when I say no, they look puzzled. "You like hot food, don't you?" they say, implying (as Burger King undoubtedly hopes) that if I don't want a bite of BK's latest aorta-busting behemoth, I must need to lay off the crumpets and grow a pair.
You so cannot scare me, Angry Whopper, no matter how hard you try. I resist your campaign of intimidation. Oh, I've seen your type before: the Baconator, the Porkenstein creation from Wendy's that supposedly "can sense fear"; the Hardee's "Burger Slayer" promotion, presumably to be used against a foe such as their 2/3 Pound Monster Thickburger. The idea here is to turn the unhealthiness of fast-food into some kind of up-is-down attribute: "Shoot, boys, this onion rang packs so much lethal, greasy, carb-infested flavor, we're goin' to call it the Widowmaker!"
But the Angry Whopper doesn't just mean to shame you into consuming it. This thing is an active agent of social discord. First came the commercial where some pesticide-crazed hillbilly lays the groundwork for a man-vs.-vegetable intifada, zapping an onion with a cattle prod and pelting it with pepper. Not satisfied, BK followed this glimpse of agricultural Gitmo with a promotion that urged people to dump 10 Facebook friends in exchange for--what? Wealth? Eternal life? A night with Sigourney Weaver and a spritzer of olive oil? Nope: one measly Angry Whopper. How'd you like to be one of the BFFs getting the boot? "Sorry to betray you, Jesus--but you'd understand if you tasted that extreme flavor combo of jalapeno pepper, pepper jack cheese and Angry Sauce."
But Burger King won't settle for wrecking a few acquaintances. Their crowning touch is the Angry-Gram--a feature on their site that lets you flame the loser of your choice, with help from you-know-what. "An Angry-Gram is the perfect way to let someone know they annoy the hell outta you," reads the site, which urges you to tell BK "who they are and what they do that drives you up the wall." That person will then open their mailbox, only to be subjected to an apoplectic rant from an irate animated hamburger.
Here's the form:
"I've had it up to here with you.
Your ______ drives me into a conniption.
And I'm so fed up with your ________.
How about when you _______? What a loser.
You make me wanna go ballistic.
Say, this could be sort of useful to send a message you're uncomfortable about delivering in person. These were the words I filled in:
unreasonable demands for treatment
plead for death to take you swiftly
Sorry, Grandma--and thanks, Burger King. But I'm keeping an eye on you, Angry Whopper. I know you for what you are. In the Gotham City of fast food, you're skulking around in a nurse's outfit, pawing at a detonator and awaiting your chance to blow up Maggie Gyllenhaal.