4.275 Mr. K

Cycle 4 – Item 275

7 (Mon) October 2013

Mr. K


from Burger King

(Ajou University Hospital)

in my office

-Woncheon, Yeongtong, Suwon, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-


I was driven to this by a combination of forces.

First, having kinda flaked on my medical humanities discussion course this semester, I owed it to my students to prepare a proper lecture and give them one of those kick-ass classes that’s kept me topping the student satisfaction charts three years running (seriously).  So, stuck in the office until late, I was faced with few dining options, all of them crappy.

Earlier that afternoon in my bioethics course, I’d spent the session discussing fast food.  Along with sugar-sweetened beverages, alcohol, and tobacco.  Specifically, possible governmental interventions to reduce the harmful impact of such products on children.  Not originally part of the syllabus, the idea had come to me during the consultation at WHO on my recent trip.  So, I had burgers on my mind.

But really, as always, the main culprit was the goddamn poster in the window.  Being a Pavlovian Pooch for Point-of-Sale Promotion, I couldn’t resist.

Mr. K is an item from Burger King Korea.  It’s a burger consisting of two grilled pork patties, topped with sautéed kimchi and spicy chili paste.  Not a terrible idea per se.  But executed poorly, with very porky meat and sauce that tasted like a mix of cheap ketchup and gochujang.  Just barely edible.  The worst burger that I’ve ever had in my life, couldn’t get past the first few bites.  Burger King, shame…on…YOU (à la Nicholas Cage in The Rock).

At my inquiry, the manager couldn’t say whether the “K” stands for “Kimchi” or “Korean” or “Krap.”   If I’m the manager of a fast food franchise, and HQ sends me a new item called “Mr. K,” the first question that pops into my mind is: “What does the ‘K’ stand for?”

(See also FAST FOOD)



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