Nicholas Lezard: Fight for freedom: buy a Whopper at BK

Businessmen want their competition in intensive care, with the doctors shaking their heads

Share
Related Topics

I am profoundly troubled by the news that Burger King is experiencing, according to one report, "a seemingly unstoppable erosion in sales". Good, you may say. Such would be the automatic response of the typically decent reader of this newspaper. But no. Not good, I say. For if Burger King dies, then what are we left with? And we all know the answer to that: global domination by the monstrous, ruthless, and utterly tasteless corporation that is McDonald's.

At which point I should declare a small interest. As with all the great feuding dyads – Protestant vs Catholic, Coke vs Pepsi, BBC vs commercial TV – each side has its cheerleaders, utterly convinced of the rectitude of their case. Although I will keep my own counsel regarding Protestantism vs Catholicism, I am prepared to go to the stake for Coke vs Pepsi, as well as BBC vs Commercial. And as far as I am concerned, in the matter of BK vs Maccy Dees, the answer is clear cut, unambiguous: McDonald's produces disgusting pap which I would not feed to my worst enemy, whereas Burger King makes the fast-food equivalent of haute cuisine, a wonderful gastronomic experience whose apogee is that most sublime of sandwiches, the Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate. But I have my excuses. I am writing this while peckish, and glancing at a rather inviting picture of something called a Stacker Quad, which is being used to illustrate the article in the financial section from where I am getting my information about BK's business troubles. Which also informs me that the company produces, in this country at least, something called an Angry Whopper. What, I ask, is there not to love about that? (Oh yes, and their chips are better).

Several things, you might say: the small matters of the environmental havoc caused by the fast-food chains (I wearily add the word "allegedly", out of deference to our paper's legal team); and the practices within the industry exposed by my old mate Eric Schlosser in Fast Food Nation, whose most memorable sentence constituted the single most compelling reason to forswear their products altogether: "There is shit in the meat". And yet ... and yet ... Well, for a start, we must all eat a peck of dirt before we die (a peck being a dry measure of eight quarts, which I bet is rather more than you thought) and, as I said, if there were only one large burger company in the world, we would have lost something vital.

At times like this, someone from the rival company says something like: "We welcome healthy competition". Although I do not know if someone from the Great Satan, i.e. McDonald's, has popped up and said that yet, but such a statement, whenever you hear it, is the greatest lie ever to dribble out of a CEO's mouth. On the contrary, no business welcomes competition. Businessmen want their competition in intensive care, with the doctors shaking their heads and the janitor ready to pull the plug. It was the hideousness of the concept of global domination that drove our forefathers to war in 1939. So strike a blow for freedom: Buy an Angry Whopper today.

n.lezard@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices