I have a slightly embarassing confession to make, and I might as well get it right out front. Recently, Penny Arcade decided to branch out from its pure nerdcomic roots and try a new creative endeavor. The first of those, "Lookouts", was revealed to have been thought up in an Arby's.
With Forkbastard, I'm branching out from my pure comedy-polemic roots and trying a new creative endeavor. And it, too, was thought up in an Arby's. Which means this blog has more in common than little fantasy-world Cub Scouts than I am entirely comfortable with.
Here's the deal. I was in Arby's for lunch, because I was by myself, and I don't go very often. And for all the evils that the fast food industry and corporate agriculture have forced upon the world, they've also created some modern food marvels. Like curly fries dipped in horsey sauce. To accompany my lunch's primary purpose, I tried the All-American Roastburger, because I was skeptical of the whole Roastburger concept and wanted to see if there was anything to it.
And there was, in fact, something to it. Epic cognitive dssonance. I had forgotten something I'd seen a few other places in the food world. That "all-American hamburger" is code-speak for the McDonalds flavor profile. Ketchup, mustard, onion, and that weird pickle that doesn't taste like a pickle. That doesn't taste like anything else on the planet except a McDonalds pickle. That's what the All-American Roastburger tastes like. A McDonalds hamburger.
Which is, I must emphasize, deeply fucked up if you aren't expecting it. One of the joys of fast food to me is the appeal of certain flavors, otherwise unreproducible in nature, that you'd probably despise in any other context. Like the McDonalds pickle, or the orange ground beef from Taco Bell, or that weird quasi-beef taste of Arby's shaved protein. The AA Roastburger not only provides you with the wrong flavor in the wrong context, it completely masks the quasi-beef flavor which is, apart from the aforementioned curly fries dipped in horsey sauce, the only reason to ever eat at Arby's in the first place. What the fuck was I eating?
That's when it struck me - this was precisely the kind of thing I would write about given a suitable platform. I could force it into a You Are Dumb column, sure, but what it really pointed toward was someplace else, where I could hate on a Roastburger AND actually extol the virtues of other things you shove in your face-hole. And then the perfect name came to me. FOODBASTARD. And then I thought of the "flipping the fork" image to go along with it. And then I got home and found out foodbastard.com is a shitty blog, all in lowercase, about meals that cost less than $5. So, returning to the iconic image I'd thought of, Foodbastard became Forkbastard, and the rest will be history.