It's been just over a week since Spain took the World Cup, and the rattling buzz of the vuvuzela is finally fading to a mild case of tinnitus.
No one ever wants to hear that sound again. So what to do with your now-useless horn? KFC wants it. Send your used vuvuzela to KFC's corporate headquarters, and the company will send you a coupon for a free Doublicious.
What the hell is a Doublicious? It's not the dubious Double Down. Instead, it's a less-deranged sandwich featuring a chicken filet on a sweet Hawaiian bun. KFC says, "It's a one-of-a-kind taste combination."
Because no one has ever combined fried meat with slightly sweet bread. Ever.
Fast food trends come and go as fast as any other ridiculous fads. Swapping junk that has lost its novelty for a food item that willl soon be passe seems like a fair trade. The fast food giants should have been doing this for years.
Hardee's Huskee Jr., 1972 There's nothing wrong with the Hardee's Huskee Jr. As defined, it's a bun, two beef patties, cheese, lettuce and sauce. But with a name that's the same as the euphemism for chubby boy pants, the product's going to be as dead as vaudeville.
Swap your Toughskins for a Huskee Jr.! After a few, you won't be wearing those size 34 flares anyway.
Taco Bell's Bellbeefer, 1970s
Taco Bell didn't always think outside the bun. In the '70s, it was entrenched in the bun. Hence the Bellbeefer, in which the taco franchise dumped the ingredients of its tacos onto hamburger buns. That's probably why it didn't work. Fast food works when it's made from a few ingredients rearranged to make different dishes. Why dump crap on a bun when it's already dumped into taco shells, tortillas, tortilla chips and fried tortilla baskets? A bun's just overkill.
By 1979 the Bellbeefer didn't even make the cut in the commercials.
Taco Bell might bring back the Bellbeefer if we all send in our pet rocks. The ultimate '70s fad espoused the make-do-with-what-you-have ethos. Toys? You don't need toys, not with a driveway full of gravel! Just like you don't need a bun with a kitchen full of tortilla products.
Jack in the Box Frings, 1979
Some foods come from planning and strategy. Others come from pure serendipity -- usually while stoned.
Frings were the latter. It was just a container with fries and onion rings tossed together, but it was impressive enough that Jack in the Box trademarked the name.
The company discontinued the product, probably after coming down and realizing that dishing out the cash to trademark a name for what's essentially a packaging error probably wasn't a financially prudent idea. Sometimes Jack in the Box brings back the mistake.
When Frings were introduced to the munchy-driven masses, the country was reeling from Helen Hunt throwing herself out a window in an angel dust-induced frenzy in the after-school special classic, Angel Dusted. Turn over your PCP stash in exchange for some Frings, and let the grease bathe you in calm before you do something really stupid. Like star in the movie Twister.
Wendy's Superbar, 1980s
Greed is good, or so goes the mantra of the Regan era. It wasn't the time for snack wraps and mini burgers. Hell no! We wanted it all, and we wanted it in 1988.
Wendy's was the first fast food chain to offer an all-you-can-eat salad bar, but that wasn't enough. Wendy's snaked the bar through the standard fast food dining room to include a DIY Mexican bar and an Italian section with pizza, pasta and garlic bread.
Turns out, greed isn't so good. It could have been the recession of the early '90s that sank the Superbar. Or maybe someone figured out that a meal of ranch dressing-drenched iceberg lettuce, nachos and fettuccine Alfredo perhaps isn't good for anyone's bottom line. Either way, the Superbars vanished as its fans succumbed to heart disease through the 1990s.
At least 223 people survived the initial Superbar to form a Facebook group, demanding its return. Perhaps if the rest of us give Wendy's our Laserdisc copies of Oliver Stone's Wall Street, Wendy's will ignore them.
McDonald's McLean Deluxe, 1991
Sometime near the end of the 1980s, diet fadsters decided that all fat is the devil and must be eradicated from the American diet. McDonald's heard and introduced the McLean Deluxe in 1991. To cut the evil fat from the beef, the company replaced a portion of the meat with carrageenan, a gelatinous seaweed extract that can substitute for saturated fat.
Unfortunately for McDonald's, customers visit the restaurant for saturated fat. Not gelatinous seaweed extract. Perhaps the sales wouldn't have been as McLean if the company had introduced more diners to the burger in exchange for the Thighmasters. It's not like that contraption was making anyone healthier, forgotten in the closet under a pile of discarded Quarter Pounder boxes.
Support Local Journalism. Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.