Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Under Attack

      I was talking on the phone yesterday to to Guy H, of Sand River, MI and he said "Nobody cares about Thanksgiving anymore" and to be honest I had a really hard time refuting that.  In fact, my only response was that I still cared about Thanksgiving, and he made note that there were now three people he knew that cared about the holiday.  I thought about that for a long time yesterday while I was painting, and I thought about it more in the evening, and then I slept on it all night long and thought about it more this morning while I desperately searched for a broadcast TV channel that wasn't showing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the more I think about it and the harder I try, I just still can't refute it.  As far as I can see, there are a myriad of reasons for this, and I am going to lay them out for you right here, right now, on Thanksgiving Day, 2011.
     I want to start with the NFL.  The NFL has done a part of the killing of Thanksgiving by adding another football game to the spate.  I know, this sounds stupid, but it is very representative of one of the reasons why the holiday is being slowly pounded into the Earth.  The NFL had for years had two games on Thanksgiving Day - one in Detroit featuring the Detroit Lions and one in Dallas featuring the Dallas Cowboys.  This has produced a number of memorable games, from the Lions sacking Bart Starr fourteen times and destroying the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers' unbeaten season in 1968 at Tigers Stadium, or Dallas and Miami playing 18 years ago in the snow in Dallas when they had to keep coming out and shoveling off the yard lines so the game could go on.  But somewhere along the way the No Fun League started its own TV network, and the realized that there was a lot of money in having those games in Detroit and Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, so they just took a slice out of tradition by scheduling a third game - in the evening - in a random city every year, to be aired on their own network in order to get a piece of the Thanksgiving football windfall pie.  That chipping the away of the tradition was the first chink in the armor that was protecting Thanksgiving.
     And Thanksgiving always had a sort of weak leg to stand on anyway.  It was built around some very important things - thankfullness and turkey and family - and the football was always an important part of the tradition, but there were still a lot of things that sort of worked against it.  First was that it is on a Thursday, and many businesses don't give their employees Friday off, so they either have to take time off to go travel or they just don't travel at all.  So sometimes it gets just brushed aside.  Second, at least where I come from, Thanksgiving often gets run over by deer hunting season.  Legions of men and women and teenagers and pre-teens are away at hunting camp, and often times the are there on Thanksgiving.  Or they go out after dinner up at grandma's and try to bag a deer up there.  And so on and so forth.  So there have always been some things that have been working against the holiday.  But they always lived in a sort of stasis with the family and the turkey and whatnot.  But now the forces against it are piling up.
     The biggest reason is that Christmas has taken it over, like the suburbs of a major American city swallowing up a small farming town as they march every progressively outward.  Thanksgiving is almost gone.  Somewhere along the way Thanksgiving became not a day to give thanks for things that we have and the people that we know, it became the starting gun for Christmas.  KA-BOOM! and we are off.  Just think about it.  Tomorrow radio stations across the nation will begin to play nothing but Christmas music.  Many people across the nation have a long weekend - just like I do - and if they haven't traveled to grandma's house for the holiday (which, don't get me started - but I live in a small town where lots of people retire, and so there are lots and lots of grandmas, which means this weekend my town is full of suburbanites in SUV's toting very disinterested teenagers and clogging up the streets and stores and just generally making me very, very annoyed) then there is a pretty good chance that they are going to be spending the day putting up Christmas decorations - which is something I refuse to do.  And, of course, it is the day when shopping starts in earnest.
I think these people are idiots who are destroying Thanksgiving.
      Oh the shopping.  That is the second reason that Thanksgiving is gone.  In fact, the stores and retail businesses of the nation are what is killing Thanksgiving, they are like the grim reaper coming to slash the holiday to bits with a 57" LCD flat-screen TV for $419 between 5 am and 10 am Friday morning, limit one per customer, only three per location available.  I can remember somewhere back in the day when Black Friday was the day that the stock market crashed in 1929 that kicked off the Great Depression.  Oh there were still good deals on Fridays, but somewhere along the way the stores got wind of this and turned it into a monster of consumerism - something that became the poster child for why the rest of the world hates America.  They rechristened it Black Friday (which Yahoo! this week proclaimed had stretched into Black Week) and hit the ground running.  Now the commericals and news articles begin sometime around November first, talking not about Thanksgiving but the day after, when people are going to get up at hours of the morning that they haven't seen since a Saturday night in college to go buy things that we don't really want or need.
     This year, the stores have decided to put the nail in the proverbial coffin of Thanksgiving by actually starting the gross orgy of consumerism on that day itself.  Toys-R-Us is leading the charge by opening at 9 pm on Thanksgiving night, with some other stores like Wal-Mart, which is sort of an exception because they are mostly open 24 hours anyway, coming right behind at 10.  Then a spate of them open at midnight, and so on and so forth through the night they tumble open like dominoes until it is Black Friday morning and things are in full swing.  They have had the Christmas decorations up and the Christmas music playing for weeks now, and this year they just went ahead and caved.  In the process, however, they have neglected to realize that they have destroyed the specialness of Thanksgiving for thousands and thousands of their employees who now have to work or sleep to prepare for work on Thanksgiving night.  That is just one more open spot at the Thanksgiving table.
Next year, the football players will play in the pilgrim costumes.
     Because of their aggressive demolition of and blatant disregard for the Thanksgiving holiday, the stores have become the battle ground for those wishing to save the holiday.  It began with Nordstroms, who came out as the Black Friday ads began, and announced that they were not going to do Christmas until December.  Wow.  I believe that the only people who saw that coming were those people in the Board Room at Nordstroms headquarters.  I don't care about their reasons for doing this, okay?  Nope.  I don't care if they did it because they knew that it was going to get them a ton of press, and because they thought they would be able to corner a nitche market of people rebelling against Christmas but still wishing to participate in it, or if it was just a principled decision that things should be a certain way and that making a pile of money and bleeding everyone for what they were worth at holiday time - I just don't care.  It does not matter why they defected, it matters that they did, and for once we have one of them on our side.  It is great.  No one followed, of course, but one store did the right thing.  It was awesome.
      The other prong of the attack is the employees themselves.  You may have heard about the petition against Target by people which is led by some of their employees who were angry that Target opening at midnight would deprive them of much of their holiday.  They still care, Guy.  The petition signers still care.  There are hundreds of thousands of them out there who were willing to put their mark down in order to save a little bit of Thanksgiving from the forces that are quickly destroying it.  Very quickly destroying it.  But the resistance had begun in earnest, and I hope that it puts up the good fight, even thought I know that it will ultimately lose.  So on behalf of myself, all of us here at the Worldwide Headquarters, Guy H, and the other person who still cares about Thanksgiving, I would just ask that this year if you can, otherwise next year for sure, to please put Thanksgiving back in its rightful place.  Wait until December to put up your Christmas decorations.  I can understand if you want to do some Black Friday shopping, but wait until Friday morning.  Spend Thanksgiving with your family - make the plans and pains to travel if you can.  get Friday off if you can.  Remember to be thankful for what and who you have.  Join us and care about Thanksgiving again.  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Parents Who Should Ride the Short Bus

     When I was a kid, I used to walk to the bus stop to catch the bus every day, like millions and millions and millions of other kids have done since the school bus was invented.  In fact, 26 million or so kids took the bus to school this morning.  But what I saw this morning, and what I see most mornings as I tool around the city and countryside, is starkly different from what I knew not too long ago when I used to ride the bus to school.
     What I see as I ride around in the morning these days is not so much kids as it is cars.  I understand that is was approximately 22° outside, but I think that it is a little moronic that what I saw at almost every stop was parents in cars or trucks or giant SUVs sitting in the car with the car running and watching while the kids got on the bus. Dumb.  First of all, you are at the end of your driveway approximately fifty feet from your door.  I understand that you might be worried that your kids are standing on the side of the highway, and a truck or a stranger or wolf might come along and pick them off, but I am pretty sure that if you are that cold you can stand in your door and see them and they will hear you when you yell at them.  Secondly, I know that you own a long coat and pants, so go ahead and put them on and stand with your kids at the stop if you are so worried.  Thirdly, I am also a little worried because I know that if you were stupid and lazy enough to drive your Suburban to the end of your driveway to watch your kids get on the bus then you probably drove the little bastards down there with you, and I bet you even let them sit in the car until the bus came by.
See?  These kids are getting on the bus just fine with mom
or dad sitting 15 feet away in a running SUV.
     Let me clue you into a little bit of reality and common sense, okay?  That is a bit of overkill.  Maybe I can understand if it is a blizzard or something, or if it is pouring buckets and you don't want the kids out in the rain or whatever, but that is a little much.  I can understand waiting with your kids at the bus stop to keep them safe, I really can.  But at least have the dececy to go out there and stand around with them.  That is the correct way to do it.  You are just lazy.  Or just let them go by themselves and trust that they are smart enough to stand there and get on the bus.  I was left alone at the bus stop with kids ranging from high school to elementary school age, and we got on just fine.  Seven year-old successfully walk ten blocks to school all the time in the city.  In some cities, kids actually have to ride the CITY BUS public transportation to get to class, and they get there just fine most of the time.  They don't have parents holding their hands all along the way.  In rural areas, lots of parents used to build little shelters for their kids to sit in if it was raining or snowing, just to keep them dry and out of the wind.  When they would see the bus coming they would run out and get on it.  It is really simple.  You saw that a lot where there were farms and the such.
      Now I don't want to make an assumption here, but if you have the time to sit out in your giant SUV in your pyjamas and sip coffe while you watch your kids get on the bus, you probably aren't planning on going to work that day.  Maybe you are a housewife or househusband, maybe you work nights or evenings, or maybe you are a landscaper who gets laid off in the wintertime.  But it seems to me that at 7:30 or so AM you have the time to put your stuff on and go out to spend some quality time with the kiddos.  I know that Mike & Mike in the Morning is talking about football today and that you really like that show, but I just don't care very much.  Get out and spend some quality time with your kids, and then maybe they won't be such little untrustable bastards.  How does that sound?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bad Boys Indeed

   Cops.  Do you remember that show, Company?  It shows on one of the channels that we get here in my new Executive Mansion, and as such my Baby Doll and I have been watching it a lot, and it led to a really interesting dichotomy that I want to share with you.
    See, they must have changed over to re-run the series backward again, because for a while they were showing episodes from the late 80s and early 90s, and now they are starting to show really new episodes, like from within the last couple of years.  And the methods of policing have changed a lot in the last fifteen years, and not necessarily for the better.
     The early episodes are really interesting.  They harken back to the days when police officers drove cars with no air bags or computers, and they all wore mullets and porn star mustaches.  But the way that they went about their business was vastly different from how they do it today.  When they were faced with problems or situations, they would usually attempt to talk it out and with people.  They would also engage in what they like to call "community policing" where they would...oh I don't to people who weren't committing crimes and they would even hand out baseball cards to kids.  It was cool.  It was refreshing.
      Fast forward to the new episodes.  The police are - for the most part - officious pricks who take themselves way too seriously.  They never get out of the car, and they are over authoritarian.  They like to give orders and they like to boss people around.  It is really sad.  They get way more resistence than the old-time police ever did.  Let me give you an example.
     The police get a call that a tow-truck driver is trying to tow a truck that is parked in a handicapped spot, but he can't tow it because the owner has hopped inside and won't get out.  So he calls the police so he can go about his business.  The police show up.  Cops circa 1990 would come out, talk to the driver, then go over and talk to the man in the truck.  They would let him sit in the truck as they listened to his story and talked things over with him.  Eventually they would coax him out of the truck and he would be arrested and the tow truck driver would be able to get on with his business.  Now the new cops, it doesn't work that way.  They get the story from the tow truck driver, then they go around the truck and tell the owner to get out.  When he says that he can't, they reach in and pepper spray him and haul him out through the open truck window.  Then they haul him off in cuffs and throw the book at him.
     So that is the difference.  Now, I can understand a little bit, because things aren't the same as they were back in 1989 or whenever.  Police today face a lot of different threats that most officers couldn't even conceive in 1990.  Not only are there more people, but they seem to be much more virulently anti-police than they ever were before.  So I can understand that they don't have the time or desire to be chit-chatting with people.  They have to take much more drastic measures to ensure their safety.  But sometimes I wish that it were like the days back then, when the cops were a little more friendly.  Like the porn star mustache cops.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All Pen-t Out of Shape

     I have no idea why this is, Company, but I think I might have a pen fetish.
     I came to realize this as I sat at my desk today mindlessly clicking a pen for absolutely no reason, and I got to thinking about the pen that I was clicking.  It wasn't clicking as it should be, it was sort of sticking and had I knew that it wasn't writing well - that it was running out of ink.  It was a classic Bic click pen, the style that millions and millions of businesses have had their names imprinted on, and this one was no exception.  It had a pretty hideous color scheme: maroon click top and tip with a forest green shaft.  It used to have, in gold, the logo and name and phone number for a friendly local Native American casino.  Since I also have a sort of oral fixation, it is covered with teeth marks from where I have chewed it (it is sticking out of my mouth as I type this, to be truthful) and the logo has long since been flaked off.  It is my pen of choice, and it has been with me for a long, long time.  I am trying to keep it and use it until it is out of ink.
These are the kind of pens that I prefer to write with.  I want to
get my hands on each of these.
     I like to do that - use a pen until it is out of ink before it is discarded, for a couple of reasons I think.  First off because it reaches something deep down inside of me about not being wasteful, something that wants to use every bit of something before throwing it away forever.  That is the part of me that makes me keep wood scraps and the like.  The other reason is because it is so relatively rare that I am able to hang on to a pen long enough for it to be used up.  Usually I lose it or someone walks away with it and before long it is just gone forever.  Sort of like Chap Stick.  I can't ever finish one of those things off because I always lose it or 9 times out of 10 it goes through the dryer and then is useless to all humanity.  But I digress.
     Anyway, I was thinking about this particular pen that I had been using for a long time, and how it started at work then was with my checkbook for a while and then went back to my desk at work, and I was thinking about all the things I had written with it.  That got me to thinking about the pen I used to sign the papers for my house, and how I had specifically picked out that pen to use to sign and maybe I should memorialize it somehow like people do with pens that are used to sign important treaties and legislation and how the governor will sign something with multiple pens and give some of them away to important dignitaries and on and on and on and that is when I realized I had a problem.
I even make my office use these, since
I order supplies and this is all I will order.
     Actually, I realized I had a problem when I picked out a special pen to use to sign.  See if this sounds familiar: It was a classic Bic click pen, the style that millions and millions of businesses have had their names imprinted on, and this one was no exception.  It had a pretty hideous color scheme: kind of a dark sea green click top and tip with a purple shaft.  It had, in white, the logo and name and phone number for a friendly local Native American casino.  It was actually a pen from the casino at which I had used to work, and it was part of an ever-diminishing stash.  These pens had been ordered and provided by the casino a long time ago, and since then all the pens that they had ordered had been either hideously ugly or utter pieces of shit that broke whenever you tried to write with them.  So the old Bic-style pens were in high demand, especially among those of us who wrote a ton while on the job.  David Nathaniel and Tommy Tutone and I used to fight over them, and steal them from one another, and we all had our own stashes of them hidden away.  This was part of my stash, one of the last working ones remaining, and that series remains to this day my favorite, so I wanted to sign these important signatures with them.
     I admit it, I have a problem with pens.  Sort of a sick and probably slightly illegal thing with them.  And I probably always will, especially considering I have my next two pens down the line picked out and waiting to replace the one I am currently clicking away at as soon as it becomes totally inoperable.  That is just the way I am.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Random Thoughts

- I recently purchased a home and along with it came one of those under-cabinet radios that you see sometimes, and I couldn't be happier about that.  My baby sitter when I was a kid had one that was always tuned to country, and I thought that it was just the coolest piece of technology and the smartest idea that there ever way.  I have always wanted one and on more than one occasion I have had one in my hands at the thrift store, but I could never bring myself to pull the trigger.  Not I have one and I have used it approximately four times.  But I just like having it there.

- Earlier this evening I consciously chose to watch a program on PBS as opposed to the football game that was playing.  This is especially astonishing seeing as I love football, and it is rare that it is on a TV channel that I can see.  But the PBS show was called "America in Primetime" or something along those lines and it was talking about the role of the misfit character in modern TV shows.  I found it really intriguing and I chose that rather than listen to Al Michaels and Bob Costas and Cris Collingsworth have orgasms over Tom Brady throwing a five-yard out pass.  I fucking hate football on NBC.

-  I watched a guy drive past today towing a boat like four times.  I am not exactly sure where you were going, guy, with your boat that you had to go past my house so many times, but I hope that you eventually got there.  You seemed like you were really mixed up and maybe could have used some directions.

-  I have been breaking out the last few days and I am not exactly sure why.  I mean, I am like a teenager on the morning before prom.  I don't know what is going on, I don't like it, and I am really a little bit angry about it.  I wonder if there is like a Clearix-for-adults section in the pharmacy that is way back behind where no one can see you shopping for your zit cream.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

   So yesterday we talked about the founding of the US Marine Corps, which was a fitting segway into our post today about Veteran's Day.  I know that it seems trite because we talk about it every year once or twice a year and we should all really be thanking and honoring the Veterans every day, but alas this is one of the times when we all seem to pick up our heads and take notice.  So that is that.  Happy Veterans Day to everyone who has or is serving in the armed forces.  It doesn't matter if you sat a desk at Ft. Leonard Wood and answered phones, or if you were flying a helicopter around Vietnam, or if you were storming caves in Afghanistan, if you served you were an integral part in the complicated machine that allows our country to remain the way it is, and that allows us to spread our ideals around the world - even if it is somewhat forably at times.  So thank you.  We here at Big Dave and Company may not always like the wars (or the military actions) but we will always be a big fan of the troops.  You guys do an amazing job of getting done what is asked of you, and you deserve every benefit that you get for it.  And you deserve the admiration and respect of every American.  I know that you have mine.  Here is to you.  Happy Veterans Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Birthday and An Anniversary

    Okay, I lied.  The title of today's post is "A Birthday and An Anniversary" and really I suppose that it should be "Two Anniversaries" but whatever.  What I just want to touch on today are two siginificant anniversaries that are ocurring today.
     First is that today is the anniversary of the day that the United States Marine Corps was founded and became active, all the way back in 1775.  That makes it 236 years old and it will looks pretty good.  I mean, have you seen all those commercials with the sharp looking young men doing the routine with the swords?  Those guys are badass and super cool.  Really super cool.  They do amazing things when they are in the trenches, or wherever they operate, and so we should just give some creedence to this branch of the military.  So this would be the birthday as far as I am concerned, even though some people would say that it would just be the anniversary of the founding.
     Second, it is the anniversary of the day when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior, and as such all your Gordon Lightfoot fans out there will get to hear him a thousand times on the radio today.  I know that it was a special ship, and that it was a big deal, but no one would know the name Edmund Fitzgerald if it hadn't been for that song.  I mean, no one really knows that name Eastland, right?  And a lot more people died on that boat.  But anyway, the bell in the museum in Detroit will be ringing 29 times today to commemorate the 29 men who went down with that ship 36 years ago in a fierce autumn storm on Lake Superior.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Power Metro

Notice the resemblence?
     My Baby Doll and I call them shopping carts, and we make endless fun of them.  They are those little usually Japanese cars onto which teenagers and stupid people in their early 20s hot glue giant fins, poorly fitted body kits, and all manner of aftermarket grills and lights and accessories, so that they look like something out of The Fast and the Furious.  The problem is that - at least around here - most of them do not have the performance mods under the hood or wherever to make them fierce street machines.  All they have is a resonator on the tailpipe to make their straight stock rice grinder engines sound really loud, which of course just makes them sound stupid.  So, that is what we call shopping carts, because their three-foot tall and utterly useless rear spoilers sort of look like a shopping cart handle.  Oh, and because that is about how much horsepower they pack.
     And we mock them, just like we mock people for having giant trucks that are all jacked up and whatnot, or like we mock people for driving giant and expensive SUVs that never go off the pavement, or like other people mock us for doing the things that we do.  No big deal, right?  That is just how life goes.  You mock and you get mocked.  But anyway, the point of all this is that today on the way to the Worldwide Headquarters I saw the most daft automotive modification that I have ever seen since the first time I saw this thing.  It was a 2000-ish Chevrolet Metro sedan- which is just a rebadged Suzuki - with a giant hood scoop on it.
     It was ridiculous.  Hood scoops became all the rage in the 60s and 70s on the big V-8 American muscle cars because in order to create obscene amounts of horsepower one of the things that they needed was what author Eric Peters described as "huge gulps of cool air" in his book Automotive Atrocities: The Cars We Love to Hate.  It was some sort of plastic add-on, and it was I would assume Krazy Glued on way up on the top of the hood near the windshield, with the non-functional scoop facing forward.  So at least he got that part right, because then it is actually scooping air.

The car looked like this but it was a stately forest green.
      The problems here are numerous.  First, I have a hard time believeing that the hood scoop is scooping any air.  I think it was just nailed on there because someone was trying to look cool, and if you are going to do something absurd you might as well do absurd things to the entire car, like covering it in fur or maybe just rolling it around in a kiddie pool full of sparkles every Wednesday or something.  Second, if the hood scoop is scooping air, I can't think of any real good reason why it should be needed.  It is not like throwing a bunch more air into a 1.3L fuel injected 90 hp engine is going to give it a big boost.  It is still going to suck piss like a girl in an R-Kelly video.  The only reason I can see that a hood scoop might be needed on a 2001 Chevrolet Metro sedan is because you were having problems with the engine overheating, and you wanted to get a little more air flowing across it to help cool it down.  Well, if that is the case, then we have an even bigger problem.  In that case you have major engine problems, and in addition you are a fucking idiot.  That is not an appropriate solution to your major engine trouble in any way, shape or form, because it is going to backfire on you and eventually you are going to spend more money than the car is worth getting your head gasket replaced and your engine block milled.
      But there it was, in all of its nonsensical glory, flying northbound to some sort of destination.  I can only assume that it is a camp for special people who put hood scoops on Chevy Metros.  And probably Geo Metros too, since they are the same car.  And of course for those who mod the Suzuki version, although I suspect that they have their own wing of the building.  In all truthfulness I didn't know where it was going, and I didn't know who was driving it, and I don't want to know.  I can tell you one thing, however, and that is that I couldn't bring myself to truthfully and adequately mock the vehicle because it was just kind of sad, and because I was just a little bit stunned.  I can't wait to see if I see it when I get home.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Burger King Executive Chef

      Holy shit, there is an executive chef at Burger King?  How the hell does that work?
      I as watching TV the other day and a commercial came on that was touting this new Burger King burger that was created by their "executive chef."  I was just a little astonished to find out that they have an executive chef, since last time I went into Burger King it was a fast food restaurant.  Yes, their burgers are flame broiled, which gives them a unique taste and texture and consistency and that also means that there are lots and lots of flames in their commercials: all good things.  I am, however, still pretty sure that they come in a big truck to a freezer somewhere back behind the deep fryer before they get flame broiled.  The bottom line that I am telling you here is that there can't be a whole lot of leeway when it comes to developing new food for Burger King.
Wow, I see that you work in chicken as well!
     So what does the executive chef do all day?  Quality control?  I mean, for real?  There aren't a whole lot of ways that you can alter that basic Burger King burger patty.  So I can basically assume that your basic job as executive chef is to just make up different concoctions of stuff to put on top of the burger patty.  Things like avocado or Gorgonzola cheese or maybe something like Brussels sprouts or whatever.  Just sit around all day long working burgers in all sorts of different fashions like you work at Subway or something.  Maybe you slap an exotic sauce or two on there or something like that, or use garlic butter on the bun.  I don't know.  But that is about all I can figure out.
      One question for you, and I know that you make more than I ever will, and that you are for more accomplished in your field than I will ever be, and that Burger King is probably a Fortune 500 company, and on and on and on, but my question is this: Do all the other chefs in the chef world make fun of you?  I mean, like all the time?  Sort of like photographers make fun of the guy who works at Sears Portrait studio and calls himself a photographer?  Because he is accomplished in his field, makes a comfortable living I am sure, and works for a major national corporation.  I mean, there are HOUSES sold be Sears from a catalog in many, many American cities.  You don't get a whole lot bigger than that.  Yet I am pretty sure that the photographer taking pictures for National Geographic in the Amazon is making fun of the Sears guy.  Just like I am thinking that the chef at the high end steakhouse in Manhattan is making fun of you every time he sees the commercial.
       But get down with your bad self, Burger King executive chef.  Get down.  Because that guy with free range in the steakhouse, or the sushi chef in Los Angeles or whatever, he can do whatever he wants with no restraints.  It is easy to make up new things when you have no rules to follow.  But you, Burger King guy, you have some pretty limiting constraints, so for you to come up with new and exciting ideas it actually takes a pretty good knowledge of tastes and a ton of creativity.  So be proud (not that you weren't already) of your bad self.  Besides, even when it is in just plain classic Whopper form, you make one tasty burger my friend.