The Burger-King Grants AsylumCommentary • rich • foreign affairs • ISSUE 35•11 • Mar 24, 1999 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) Last week, lost and hungry in the desolate bad-lands of our Republic, Standish and I chanced upon the embassy of the esteemed and powerful Burger-King. Once in-side, I prostrated myself before one of the senior diplomats, who donned a badge etched with the words "Dale—Crew Manager." "'Tis I, T. Herman Zweibel, once-great publisher of The Onion news-paper, now reduced to foraging in the woods like a Hottentot!" I cried. "I am an out-law and pariah in the very land I once championed, and I seek asylum! Know you the marvelous, magical Burger-King? I throw myself upon his mercy and beseech him to shelter me and my man-servant from those who would seal our doom!" To my delight, Dale announced that he was expecting us. He walked over to a small table, at which sat another diplomat, who was poring over a ledger-book. I heard Dale say to this gentle-man that the "senior-citizens" had arrived. "Get them some uniforms and try to get them trained before the lunch rush," the man replied. I tried to ask Dale if that other gentle-man was the Burger-King, but instead he just gave me a uniform composed of a coarse fabric. After Standish dressed me in the uniform, Dale escorted me to a small chamber. He began to speak to me at great length, but I cannot recall what he said, as I was engaged in my common habit of drifting in and out of consciousness. Then he left, and I dozed off. I cannot describe to you my shock and fear at being woken by the vulgarities of a loutish young whelp, who had driven his auto-mobile next to the chamber's small window. "Old dude," he said, "Where's my food? I ordered a Whaler with cheese, O-rings and a large strawberry shake." "Food-stuffs? You crave food-stuffs?" I barked. "Be-gone with you! The Burger-King is merciful, as is demonstrated by his generosity toward my own plight. But having known potentates of every shape and stripe through my long life, I know that the wise ruler does not coddle every fool who darkens his door requesting sustenance! Be-gone with you, and return no more, lest I alert the Burger-King's guards!" But the whelp responded by entering the embassy him-self and bitterly complaining to Dale about my "service." Dale then took me aside and threatened to "dock" my "pay" should another "mishap" occur. It is hard to comprehend the obscure protocol of the Burger-King, but I trust I will pick it up eventually.