I’ve been in full Da Vinci Code mode since learning about that sign in the lobby at a Wendy’s restaurant in Loxahatchee.
The sign read, “All of Wendy’s sins off one word — FRESH.”
What exactly are Wendy’s sins?
I mean we know McDonald’s has the McRib, Burger King has a chocolate shake with 83 grams of sugar in it, and Taco Bell … well, …Where does one begin there? OK, with that taco shell made of fried chicken.
And Chick-fil-A is so consumed with sin that it closes on Sundays to pray. (It’s no use, the chickens will not forgive you.)
But why is Wendy’s engaging in corporate self-flagellation over some perceived “sin”? I hope it has nothing to do with the bacon queso fries.
The official explanation is that the word “sin” was supposed be “spin,” and this was a typographical error writ large.
“All of Wendy’s spins off one word — FRESH” it was supposed to read.
By the way, I don’t recommend spinning after eating a Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Double with Cheese.
I guess this could be one of those lessons about how copy editing matters. There have been other examples of how single letters dropped can have bigger consequences.
The last time something this monumental happened regarding a missing letter “p” was in 2007 during an eBay auction of an extremely rare 155-year-old sealed bottle of Allsopps’ Arctic Ale.
The listing incorrectly left off one of the “p’s” in the ale’s name. Without that second “p”, most collectors missed the auction. Only two bidders offered to buy the old beer, and the bottle sold for a winning bid of $304.
The buyer wisely posted the item again with the dropped “p” reinserted in the name, and the second eBay auction with the correct spelling got 157 bidders and ended with that same bottle selling for $503,300.
So maybe this is another case of the mysterious missing letter “p.” But if fast-food restaurants were prone to dropped or transposed letters in their sloganeering, we might have expected by now to have run into similar branding efforts run amok in the other chains.
For example, there would be some Burger King with a sign that read “Have it our way!”
Or a McDonald’s welcoming patrons with the message of “You deserve a freak today!”
There’d be a Subway out there cajoling people to “Eat flesh!” And a Taco Bell advising us to be “Thin Outside the Bun.”
Which I guess would be some kind of gluten-free message.
But seeing as how we live in an age of vast, opaque conspiracies, I’m going to Da Vinci Code this and imagine that there was no accident here, and that there’s a subliminal message being conveyed in this alleged typo.
For starters, it’s suspicious that the word “fresh” is written in all capital letters. As if it were not the word, “fresh,” but an acronym with words beginning with the sequence F-R-E-S-H.
Once you take that leap, it’s not hard to imagine a new world of possible hidden messages behind that acronym:
Maybe FRESH really means Fries Rarely Eaten Secures Health.
Could that be the “sin” that stokes Wendy’s guilt? Maybe it is really those bacon queso fries after all, with their 47 grams of carbs, 10 grams of saturated fats and 510 calories.
Try the salads. This may be the subliminal message here.
We may be just scratching the surface.