Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Double Down Diaries

I'm an American. Being an American means that I like things that are really, really unhealthy. Domestic beer, cigarettes, Oxycontin -- doesn't matter. If it's bad for me, my conscience reverts to a 4 year-old toddler and screams, "Me wantee!" at the top of his lungs. And of course, being an American (and a male), I like anything fried. Seriously -- ANYTHING. Heck, I'd eat my own hand if it were deep-fried and served with a side of bleu cheese dressing or marinara sauce. So when I saw the first commercial for KFC's new Double Down Sandwich, it was as if the clouds parted, the sky opened up, and I could see a little piece of heaven on my 32" tv screen. And that little piece of heaven had two strips of bacon and melted cheese.

If you're not familiar with the Double Down Sandwich, then you obviously live in a cave, or you're one of those obnoxiously pretentious people who claim they don't own a television. (We get it, you're better than us, now go read your stupid Proust book in the corner by yourself.) But, just in case you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll describe it: It's basically two strips of bacon and melted cheese sandwiched between not bread, but . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . two breaded chicken breasts! I know! I'm sure the thousands of people on the Atkins diet are squealing with glee right now: "Oh my god! There's no bread! That means there's no carbs! Thanks, KFC! Thanks for putting me on the right track to a healthier me!" Yeeeaaaahhhh, except not. This thing is so unhealthy that it should come with little mini defibrillators, so that a friend can plug them in or hook them up to a car battery after you have the inevitable coronary attack that happens immediately after consumption. "Clear!" she'll shout, as she electrocutes your heart into beating again. "How long was I out?" you'll ask. "Two minutes. You were dead for two whole minutes." "Wow." "So . . . how was the sandwich?" "OH. MY. GOD. It was so good, you should get one! Get one right now!" "Okay!"

And so, this morning I awoke with a voice in my head. It was the siren song of Colonel Sanders, beckoning me to drive to my local KFC and fulfill my destiny. The destiny of the Double Down Sandwich. And because I am a writer, and because I am a blogger, and because I am unemployed and have nothing better to do, I decided to document my journey from start to finish.

April 17, 2010

2:50 PM:

I just ordered a Double Down Sandwich at the drive-thru. The breaded sandwich (honestly, why would you get grilled? If you're going to do something completely wrong for yourself, then do it right, gosh darnit). The three high school kids in the car in front of me must have ordered 14 buckets of chicken, because it's taking forever. Dammit, people, I want my Double Down! I make up a little song to sing to myself to pass the time, to the tune of "Jingle Bells": "Double Down, Double Down, I want to eat you. Eat eat eat, you you you, eat eat eat eat you." It's the best I can come up with, since my extreme hunger for the sandwich has overtaken my mental capacities. HOLY CRAP, HURRY UP, KFC!

2:55 PM:

$5.23 for ONE sandwich. Not the combo, JUST the sandwich. I justify this by telling myself that it will stimulate the economy. Which is how I rationalized my purchase of a bottle of vodka last week. And the purchase of crack cocaine the week before. Huh -- it comes in a box, like a Big Mac box from McDonald's. I didn't expect that. I'm not sure what I was expecting, actually. I was hoping they'd put it on some kind of velvet pillow and take out to my car to proclaim in a British accent, "Your sandwich, sir." It smells okay, I guess. Like chicken. I mean, obviously. Okay, I'm at a long stop light, so I'm just going to open it and take a quick peek -- the curiosity is excruciating. Aw, dammit -- one of the chicken breasts slid off and now the cheese is exposed. Damn you, KFC!

3:00 PM:

Home! I'm so excited! I wish I had someone to tell, someone to joyously brag to: "I did it, Ma! Your boy did it! He got the Double Down!" But, no, I'm home alone. Probably for the best.

3:02 PM:

You know, I thought it would be bigger. (That's what she said.) Again, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it totally looked bigger on the commercial. Here. I'll compare it to something so you'll get the gist of it.

See? It's really no bigger than my $9.99 cell phone that everybody makes fun of because it's like Fisher-Price's My First L'il Cell Phone.

My nemesis.

3:03 PM:

First bite.

Yeah, so . . . it tastes like KFC's original recipe chicken, which is disappointing. I mean, you'd think they'd trot out some new herbs and spices for something as monumental and life-changing as the Double Down Sandwich.

So my first impression? Meh. I can't really taste the bacon yet. And I think it's supposed to be pepper jack cheese, but I can't taste that either. Fail, KFC. Fail.

3:05 PM:

Holy crap! There's another kind of cheese! How did I miss that?!

3:06 PM:

Oh. My. God. This thing? This sandwich? It's . . . it's amazing. So . . . beautiful . . . words . . . fail . . .

3:07 PM:

Slowing down. Must . . . finish . . . Double Down!

3:08 PM:

One bite left. Double Down Sandwich, you are my Everest!!

3:09 PM:

I'm done. I did it. I ate a whole KFC Double Down Sandwich. It was darn tasty. And you know what? I'm proud of myself. I took one for the team. There's so much grease on the wrapper that you can practically see through it -- the mark of a good sandwich, people.

3:10 PM:

Oh, my dear sweet Lord, what have I done? The pain is palpable. I can literally feel my arteries clogging up. My heart is slowing down. My stomach is extremely upset at me, asking me what it could have possibly done to deserve the savage beating it's just endured. I'm sorry, stomach. I'm so, so sorry. I think it's my time, you guys. I don't think I'm going to make it. It's cold . . . so cold . . . I long for the sweet embrace of death to take me away from this horrible life. With my last breath I muster the phrase: Tell . . . Brendan Fraser . . . his movies . . . suck . . .

3:12 PM:

Okay. Okay. I need to get up. I think that the best thing to do would probably be to go downstairs and lie down for a bit. Ugh. Just standing up is too much. Let me sit back down for a second. Okay. Oh my god, I'm so sweaty. What did I do to deserve this?! Oh. Right. If I can just get up, I can make it downstairs. Right. Okay! This isn't so bad. I'm walking . . . Almost there . . . I'm walking . . . I'm -- oh crap, okay, just give me a second --

3:15 PM:

Okay. Okay. I can do this. I can make it to my bedroom. It's just a little bit further. You can do this, Kevin. You can do this.

3:20 PM:

See? I knew I could do it. I mean, yes, it took 7 minutes to get from the kitchen to my bedroom, and yes, I had to stop 11 times to rest, but I'm here, dammit. Okay. So, I'll just lay down for a second --

3:36 PM:

I just woke up, confused and sweaty from a dream I had, in which I was naked, and Colonel Sanders was hosing me down with warm mayonnaise. Okay. I feel much better now! I just needed a little nap. That wasn't so bad! I think I'll be able to get through the rest of the day with no problems whatsoever!

3:37 PM:

* * * *

"So, was it all worth it?" you ask. "Was it worth all the meat sweats, the nausea, the dizziness, the shortness of breath, and the strangely erotic dream about Colonel Sanders hosing you down with warm mayonnaise?" In a word: Kind of. Was the Double Down tasty? Decidedly so. Did it live up to the hype? Maybe. Here's my analysis: KFC's Double Down Sandwich is the food equivalent of going to a club, having an awesome time, meeting someone hot, and taking them back to your place to do it all night long, and then blacking out . . . only to wake up sober, sore, and completely horrified by what you've done. And so embarrassed that you don't want to tell even your closest friends what you've done. Which is exactly what happens when you eat a Double Down Sandwich -- it's good, then it hurts, and then you don't want to admit to ANYONE that you actually ate one. But if you're still intrigued, by all means go out and try one for yourself. Just be prepared for an emotional (and physical) roller coaster. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to polish off that bottle of Tums.