Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Burg(h)ers of France

Back in 1997, Burger King abandoned France but the French, no matter their reputation, never retreated from le Whopper.

Numerous petitions claiming not less than 30,000 signatures demanding Burger King's return.  Louis the XVII would have settled for less, for such popular support for a monarchy.

Does it help or does it hurt to know that the second most prominent burger chain in France, McDonald's is massive, and that the non-burger-vending KFC — still known as "Kentucky" —  is pretty mega-major too?  Does it confound or confuse or confabulate to know that the biggest burger chain in all of France, Quick (prounced Quee-eeek, mon ami) is actually owned by the French government?   (It concerns anyone sensible, French or otherwise, that every time Quick cross-promotes with the latest Spiderman movie, the ads always pronounce it "Speeder-Man," thus forever damaging fresh new French generations.)

Meanwhile, burgers here, as purchased raw and pre-formed at le Supermarche, arrive oval-shaped.  Don't ask me why — and also especially  don't ask me, s'il vous plait, why once you cook 'em, they shrink proportionately, or disproportionately, until they're miraculously round. It's kind of amazing, and kind of concerning and kind of disconcertingly magical all in the same instant.  I can offer you no answer as to what's up with that, much less what the hell it means.  In any case, an ambitious young Parisian created what must inevitably be called a Hip-Hopera,  perhaps even a Whoppera, an all-singing, all-dancing rejoicing en la rue that explores the devastating departure of Burger King, and then, in the happy tradition of musicals everywhere, serves up as a last-act the triumphant romantic return of the Whopper.

And, in the tribal dancing tradition of such power-of-positive-thinkers as the Cargo Cultists of Melenesia and of Donald Trump, it worked!  Burger King established a beachhead not at Normandy but at Marseilles, plotting a return invasion that would once again liberate France, would relieve le Resistance, would restore its monarchy.  As of yet, however, there is no Burger King at Versailles. 

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