Thursday, July 22, 2004

ketchup wars

Andrew Stuttaford goes after Glenn Reynolds on that grotesque fries experiment:
The Instapundit has now waded into the murky red swamp that is the great W vs. Heinz ketchup debate. This could have been interesting and it could have been enlightening, but he chose to make a mockery of the proceedings by adding the sauce to, ugh, McDonald's French Fries. As anyone with a taste bud will know, these fries have been shadows of their former selves ever since it was decided no longer to use beef tallow, Heaven's ingredient, in their preparation.
I can't tell you how glad I was to see this. I would have commented on it myself, but it seemed hopeless putting my little blog up against the Instapundit.

I'd like to thank Mr. Stuttaford for his courage in leading the attack on fraudulent fries. He has always been a leader in the world of junk food blogging. His insight and judgment are nearly impeccable ( but I should note his deplorable tolerance for McDonald's tasteless hamburgers).

As to Glenn Reynolds, what can I say? The man is a blogging legend. He writes so much that some have been led to speculate in the quiet corners of our email correspondence that he isn't really an important law professor with a sexy car and beautiful family; that he's really a lonely nerd that blogs full time, drives a Yugo and lives alone in his mom's basement. I don't endorse this rumor, I only report it.

But this ketchup contretemps is beyond the pale. McDonald's is the fast food place of last resort. No one would eat that crap if he even thinks he might have the strength to make it across the street to a Taco Bell.

Wendy's, Whataburger, In-and-out Burger, Burger King, Jack in the Box; you name it, they have better burgers than McDonalds (I'm going to have to hurry up and finish this because I'm getting hungry). And that's before you ever get to those alarming fries. Even that new green Tabasco sauce can't make those putrescent potatoes worth eating.

Assuming we discard the tasteless-nerd-in-his-mom's-basement explanation of Reynolds's appalling fries choice, what else could explain it? I have an idea, and it's not pretty. I hate to say this, but I suspect Reynolds's has been bought off by the Kerry campaign.

Consider this scenario: an upstart ketchup company comes out with a product that they claim can compete with Heinz Ketchup. It's called "W". There is panic in the Kerry campaign headquarters. They've just had a disappointing week following the announcement of his running mate and now their ketchup credentials are in peril as well.

What are they going to do? They bring in the big guns, the guys who know how to play dirty. They think, OK we don't have anything to win in this ketchup war; we can only lose. Heinz is already the premier ketchup; it can't go anywhere but down. The safest course for us is to sabotage any competition.

And some evil genius comes up with the McDonald's Maneuver.

I, of course, would never actually endorse an unfounded rumor like this, but there it is.

Say it ain't so, Glenn.

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