Nobody is more excited about Burger King's new Chicken Fries — fried chicken strips shaped and served like french fries — than Burger King. The workers at the Chicago store we visited were all dressed in large, sacklike yellow Chicken Fries T-shirts, and a chicken mascot cavorted on the electronic menu, next to a picture of the item.
"Two orders of Chicken Fries!" I said, infected, salmonella-like, with their joy.
"We don't have any Chicken Fries," said the server.
I pointed mutely at the dancing chicken above her head.
"They should show up tomorrow," she said. "We're waiting for the truck."
So instead, I ordered the YUMBO, a ham and cheese sandwich that was on the Burger King menu 40 years ago and recently brought back into service. There were no pictures of dancing pigs, no T-shirts with snouts, yet they were able to make the sandwich. I don't understand this world at all.
Eva: I don't like how it announced "I'm baaaaaaaaaaa-aack!" when Peter put it on the table.
Ian: I bet it was really enjoying its retirement, sitting by the ham beach, playing ham golf.
Peter: A judge once said, "A good prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich." I believe this is the one he was thinking of.
Eva: YUMBO, Whopper ... I think it's time Burger King hired a younger grandpa to name its sandwiches.
Peter: This is for people who want to enjoy damp, spongy sandwiches without the expense and trouble of finding an airport kiosk.
Miles: Are we sure we didn't misread the advertising, and that this specific sandwich isn't 40 years old?
Ian: The comb-over really makes the 40-year-old sandwich less appetizing. Just let it happen, sandwich.
Miles: I think if your sandwich needs to announce that it's "yumbo," it's trying too hard.
Peter: Forty years ago, I wasn't allowed to eat ham sandwiches. Now, I finally can. This is like a really disappointing Jewish rumspringa.
Eva: If 40 is the new 30, then this sandwich is 10 years less gross.
[The verdict: It's a perfectly good ham sandwich. It maybe doesn't deserve the name YUMBO, but given that the word "yumbo" doesn't actually mean anything, maybe it does. Maybe it does.]
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