Sad days for fast food chain - Justin Boron

Dave, I'm sorry. I'm sorry you have to look down on the rock solid restaurant chain you created and see it eroding into the hands of crooks and con artists. These are definitely sad days for your daughter as well. Wendy won't even show her face anymore on the television.

Ever since Dave Thomas' death in 2002, the chicken nuggets and fries haven't been sitting quite right with me. They're still good. But I don't feel like I'm eating the home-cooked creations of a fast food genius. I feel like I'm being hand-fed by a horrible machine.

While I hate anything that would tarnish the image of Wendy's, they still should have seen it coming.

A finger in some chili - street justice for the corporate sins and betrayals by a new era of leaders in the Wendy's corporation.

A woman, who alleges she found a finger in her bowl of chili, was arrested. The finger story has reverberated across the country, ruining Dave Thomas' good name.

That is the unfortunate result of a corporate strategy gone maniacal. Bent on forcing the Wendy' s diehards away from the cheap sandwiches and fries, the Fat Cats removed the double-stack, the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, among other things off the 99 cent menu.

They replaced the items with a gunslinging western sandwich, soaked in barbecue sauce for $1.39. When I observed this, there was some fury. But more than that, my heart was broken.

I sat holding the Smoky Cheddar Double Stack in my hands awkwardly. It was much like the moment when you lend someone your car or leave it at the shop, and it is returned to you with the settings for the steering wheel, the seat, and the radio changed. You don't feel like you belong in your own car.

Well, I thought Wendy's was my home away from home. The menu change was a slap in the face.

But personal freak-outs are inconsequential to the big machine that Wendy's has become.

There needed to be a more definite strategy of attack. A finger in the chili did the job.

I'm not advocating it because the finger story ultimately contributes to the downward spiral of one of my favorite restaurants.

But I admire the attempt at retaliation. Who knows if that was the actual intent or even true? But for me it effectively was.

Put the high-up executives on their heels for the time-being. Let them know that this will not stand.

A battle is brewing, and it won't end until the 99-cent menu comes back.

Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News-Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or jboron@news-daily.com .