Thursday, December 27, 2007

Harlem Original Chicken

If this cute, widdle birdy doesn't make you hungry, you don't have a soul. Or, no, wait. If this cute, widdle birdy doesn't make you hungry, you don't have senile dementia. Right, that's it.

We've seen the Cult of Cute at work before, but this mascot takes cute to a whole different, otherworldly level. His cuteness—to be fair, an acquired taste—is his sole selling point. You are meant to want to eat him because he's cute, which is a culinary (and ethical) atrocity.

This sort of come-on has been tried in the past, to be sure, but it never fails to astound us. The philosophy seems to exploit, in some people, what we may call the Grandmother Effect. That is, what excites one's fondness can trigger one's predatory impulses. "He's so cute I want to eat him up!"

So when prospective patrons see the sign and that adorable, helpless, not-even-fully-formed bird, they salivate. And by that time, little Original Chicken has already imprinted upon them, gosling-like, and would follow his new "mothers" anywhere. Even to the kitchen and its 425° ovens.






Addendum: Say hello to the perfect li'l playmate for Original Chicken. Doesn't he make your mouth water?

1 comment:

Laura R. said...

What makes the cute little birdie even sadder is the way it looks like he's shielding himself, in a desperate attempt to protect his viscera... Note the wide-eyed, "help me!", pleading stare.