Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This Isn't My Way

OK, so, because of various news stories about oddities (and perverts) in foreign lands, I now have a list of places I just don't want to go to. Ever. There's enough local weirdness, I don't need to travel outside of the US to experience it. But now, I can start a list of places within the US that I don't ever want to go to as well. And first on my list? The Burger King in Xenia, OH. Actually, I could probably include all of Xenia to my list with no problem. (Possibly all of Ohio, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame is there, so I could see that one sliding by, but just barely.) And I could be overreacting, but when a dude takes a bubble bath in the sink at the Burger King so he can post it on MySpace, I want to stay as far away from that sort of activity as I possibly can. Wait. What?

Meet Mr. Unstable:

Fitting name, no? Mr. Unstable was an employee at the Burger King on Orange Street (just in case you're traveling at the moment) in Xenia, Ohio. Yes, I too, am shocked he even had a job. For some unknown and unfathomable reason (other than his name), Mr. Unstable decided it would be a good idea to take a bubble bath in the sink at the Burger King. For another unknown and more unfathomable reason, he also thought it would be a good idea to video himself doing this. And, completing the unknown and unfathomable trifecta, we have several other employees and a store manager who thought it would be a good idea to stand around and watch. I think I speak for everyone (who has never, and is not currently, bathing in a fast food restaurant's utility sink) when I say WTF?!

The folks over there at WDTN-2 in Dayton report that "A four-minute video posted on MySpace captured the employee, self-described as Mr. Unstable, bathing nude in a large stainless steel sink as several other employees and a store manager looked on." That was my first indication that something had gone horribly awry in the Burger King. I will give a hand to Mark McDonnell, the Greene County Health Commissioner, for stating that when he first saw the video, "My first thought was oh my God." Well said, sir. Well said.

McDonnell sent his staff to the BK immediately after viewing the sudsy Mr. Unstable's 4-minute bathing ritual in the utility sink. They were to "investigate the numerous health code violations." I'm not sure what that means. "Investigate?" Um, the dude is taking a freaking bath in the sink! Investigation over! What else IS there?! He went on to say that "the restaurant was aware of the incident and had already taken steps to clean up, including disposing of all the utensils and sanitizing the sink twice." Twice?! That's it?? TWICE?! I don't think that there is anything short of replacing the tub sink that would be sufficient. NOTHING. Do you really want your produce washed in a receptacle that had recently been housing Mr. Unstable's nether regions? My point.

Fortunately, there was some common sense involved in this incident (although not a lot). According to the apathetic news source, the AP, "Two of the employees involved in the incident were fired and another one quit." Well, I should hope so. Yes, ANYONE who saw Mr. Unstable NAKED and in the restaurant's SINK and pulled up a chair to watch or handed him a rubber ducky and a back scrubber should definitely be fired. Forever. From everywhere. But what disturbs me is that Burger King spokeswoman Denise Wilson "declined to identify the employees or say whether the man who took the bath quit or was fired." That sort of a statement about this sort of an incident leads me to believe that Mr. Unstable was NOT fired. Because, really, why would you not want to assure potential diners that the naked guy who was in the restaurant's sink taking a bath has been fired? As if I needed another reason to never go there.

And you know you can't have a story like this without some ingenious insight and commentary which can only be obtained through man-on-the-street interviews. Take one Crystal Dodge, who said that she used to eat at the Burger N' Bath there all the time. She said, "That's just, it's wrong it's a place where families come to eat and them taking a bath in the sink that's just not work ethic." Not work ethic?! Sweetheart, what the hell? WORK ethic?! So, if Mr. Unstable was at, say, his grandmother's house and hopped in her utility sink and started taking a bath, THAT would be OK because it doesn't involve WORK?! What in the hell does work ethic have to do with it?! What about common sense that says you don't bathe in the sink at the Burger King?! What about the unspoken rules of humankind that say you don't bathe in the sink at the Burger King?! What about sanity which dictates that you don't bathe in the sink at the Burger King?! Ethic, smethic, you just don't do it!

Naturally, there's the corporate statement regarding the Burger Bather which read: "Burger King Corp. was just notified of this incident and is cooperating fully with the health department. We have sanitized the sink and have disposed of all other kitchen tools and utensils that were used during the incident.
We have also taken appropriate corrective action on the employees that were involved in this video. Additionally, the remaining staff at this restaurant is being retrained in health and sanitation procedures."

Well, thank God. Thank God that the "remaining staff" will be retrained to hammer home the point that you do not cleanse your body via a soak in the utility sink at your place of employment. Yeah, I could see how that might have been missed by some on the first go round. The part that kills me is "at this restaurant". It's kind of like Burger King's way of saying, "All of our employees are not moronic idiots. We do not need to have an "anti-bathing in the work sink" seminar for every individual who is employed by us. We will provide training at this restaurant because it has been clearly demonstrated and proven that this particular location employs those with the IQ of a Junior Whopper."

Mr. Unstable's name is Timothy Tackett. In the video (video goodness below, of course) he says things like, "It was my birthday. I was feeling a little frisky. Figured I'd get a little clean. Get all spiced up for you guys" So he figured that he'd get his frisky little self all clean and spiced up in the BK Tub? Interesting. I wonder if a, oh, I don't know, a shower ever crossed his mind? Apparently not, as there he is in the Burger King sink. :::sigh::::

About halfway through the 4-minute bath, Mr. Unstable sends the videographer (the girl with the camera phone) to find the manager. As if this whole ordeal hasn't left me boggled to begin with, this portion was extremely perplexing. I expected the "manager" to be about 20 and look like they were 12. I expected a dude who clearly thought that he was more important than he was (as do most managers of fast-food restaurants). Instead, we see the manager is a 40-something woman. She is counting money when the camera girl says, "Hey, he's in the sink. Is that OK?" Oh, my God. The manager just looks at the guy, seems a bit surprised and then just shakes her head and goes back to counting money. The relentless camera girl, trying to gather a crowd, I suppose, says, "Do you want to come see? It's pretty funny." I don't get it. Clearly, getting fired either never crossed this person's mind or didn't matter to her. Again, in case I wasn't clear, her co-worker is taking a bath in the sink at work and they go to get the manager because "it's pretty funny". Good Lord, what else?

As a feeble attempt at making the scene of Mr. Unstable in the sink/tub seem more inviting, the camera girl says, "You can't see his penis or nothin'. " Well! That IS good news! Because if you could see his penis, well, that would make it wrong. Too bad the only response that the manager had was, "Well, I hope not." Not exactly the response I would have hoped for (that response would have been "WTF?!" But alas, it was not.

"You should come check it out. Tell him Happy Birthday." Well, she's persistent, I'll give her that. She should work in sales. Or someplace where there are no sinks. Especially sinks with naked employees in them celebrating their birthday. She continues her pitch with, "Tell everybody to come grab some breakfast. The dishes are real clean." Why am I having difficulty believing the "dishes are real clean" part when there is a full-grown, naked human being taking a bath in the sink? It's just not convincing for some reason. "I think he's going to wait for Newman to show up. Think of Newman." Screw Newman! Think of you're bathing in the SINK at Burger King!

As he continues his unconventional bathing ritual, he pours water over himself from the "Sanitizing Solution" bucket (again, still not reassuring at all) and squirts himself with the sprayer. He seems quite happy, sitting there in his sudsy tub, with his empty head sporting a mangled mohawk. This is someone who really should have had some clearer goals as a child.

Congratulations, Burger King Bather Bonehead. You now have your claim to fame and can beam with pride for the rest of your unguided existence. And here's one more thing just to boost your ego just a little bit more. That sink in which you soaked your grundle along with the rest of yourself? It's suggested use was explained as, "The sink is used to clean large pieces of equipment." Enjoy it while you can dude.

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