Downstairs, Trump Tower -- everybody but Lee shows up for Trump's more-embarrassing-than-usual screaming fit. Andrea, and I guess other people but Andrea most dramatically, is wearing her gigantic baby-blue scarf from last week. What's with the giant scarves? Did I miss that trend last fall? Trump tells them that "building a brand" is a "very, very wonderful thing," and we pan across a sad, shitty cabinet full of ugly Trump and Apprentice merchandise. It's so ghetto. It looks like a Showcase Showdown. Like if there was a Milton-Bradley counter at Tiffany. There are light-up signs that say "You're Fired!" It's...it's just sad, man. "Behind me I have my entire Signature Collection [his caps, not mine] on display -- the fragrance…" Okay the list continues (the ties, the shirts, the watches, whatever) but: the fragrance? I imagine it's woodsy, with some saddle leather accents. Like what he thinks men smell like, that's what Trump Fragrance is going to be like. Today, though, we're talking about "another" great brand: Arby's. Trump: "I happen to love their roast beef sandwiches!" I've never wanted to be Trump's personal assistant, but just now? "Yes, Mr. Trump. Five sandwiches at fifty dollars each comes to...$250. I'll just grab that out of petty cash, shall I?" In the interests of full disclosure, I need to tell you a little bit about me and Arby's. The place smells like an armpit, due to the food they serve. A literal armpit. The food tastes like dead armpit, and makes me feel sick inside just thinking about it. Roast beef is not supposed to be chewy. Bread is not supposed to drip. And the fact that they incorporate not only au jus, which is like eating in the bathroom to me anyway, but something called "Horsey Sauce" is not helping. God, I'm getting sick just thinking about it. It's cheap food, served cheaply, which means that the overhead is lower, which means that the stores are not typically staffed by the most heartening persons one might find in customer service. There is no fast food I hate more than Arby's, and I'm being completely serious. I'll go hungry instead, even if I were driving across the country without stopping I would rather starve than eat fucking disgusting Arby's. Jack In The Box fancies itself organic and healthful compared to that shit. So of course, Trump loves it the best.
So Arby's is creating an "all-natural" chicken sandwich, which God knows what that actually means. Actually, I bet Google does. Hang on. Awesome. Okay, the press release reads, "Other leading fast food companies offer chicken breast sandwiches with up to 29.3 percent of solutions made of various elements including water, seasoning (salt, spices and spice extract), oil, modified food starch, sodium phosphates." I would think that "other leading fast food companies" would also include "Arby's, until lately," or else this isn't a change. But reading from the Fast Food Facts blog, there are some other notable things: for example, that list is lifted directly from the McDonald's chicken breast fillet ingredients list. And Arby's own ingredients list? "Arby's Natural Chicken Tenders: Seasoned with salt, hydrolyzed corn and soy protein, flavor contains less than 2% (autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, enzyme modified egg yolk, thiamine hydrochloride)." So natural you think you grew it behind your very own nuclear reactor! Also, sometimes the ingredients also include human skin, but that's rare and intriguing. I also learned that "chicken of all types" is the fast food growth market right now, which means lots more terrible chicken abuse we get to hear about in a few years as great leaps in abuse efficiency debut, and that the term "natural" can only be used if there are "no artificial ingredients or colors; no chemical preservatives, antibiotics or hormones; and ingredients that are not more than minimally processed." "Organic" is a little harder, which is why all the fast food places are focusing on "natural": poultry for slaughter must be raised under organic management from the second day of life; they have to be fed agricultural feed products that are 100% organic (they are allowed vitamin and mineral supplements, which seems like something you could gerrymander pretty easily); no hormones or antibiotics, but vaccines are okay, and the sick and injured must be treated, but can't be sold as "organic" if they require prohibited meds; and they must have "access to the outdoors." Oh, and the going rate for "natural" fast-food chicken is an additional 25 cents per dish. That's 25 cents for a campaign that basically implies you'll get cancer and heart attacks unless you switch to Arby's All-Chicken Chicken, but since it's Arby's, they're probably right, because their food is all-around disgusting. And for the record, yes, I read Fast Food Nation too, but this is mostly interesting because now I want to write a song about this paragraph and make Hootie and Carmen Electra sing it.