With apologies to John Lennon, can’t we please give peace a chance — but hold the onions?
But the answer to that question apparently is an abrupt, snarky “No,” with an internationally recognized hand gesture thrown in for good measure.
Under the phony guise of peace, Burger King bought a full-page ad recently in the New York Times inviting McDonald’s to participate in a one-off joint venture on Sept. 21, which is International Peace Day, to create something it called The McWhopper, with all of the proceeds going to support love and brotherhood.
“Let’s end the beef, with beef,” the ad concluded.
Just how cross-breeding a Big Mac and a Whopper, with a combined 1,190 calories, would contribute to world peace isn’t entirely clear, although it might be argued the melding of the two sandwiches might be better branded along the lines of McCoronary, or perhaps Whopping Death-On-A-Bun.
But McDonald’s deftly rebuffed Burger King’s greasy marketing ploy by noting it has never regarded its rival on the scale of armed conflict, but merely two companies trying to sell artery-clogging fast-food to people.
Really now, it’s just burgers and fries, McDonald’s suggested, not “ the real pain and suffering of war.” And that pretty much left Burger King holding its Whopper all by its lonesome.
Still, the notion of competitors embracing one another for a single day in the name of comity isn’t such a bad idea.
Take Republican presidential candidate and former Gov. Jeb Bush, who has been demonstrating in recent days that the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards was right when she commented the family seems to have been born with a silver foot in their mouths.
To prove he had no intention of offending Hispanics when he inveighed against so-called “anchor babies” being born in the United States, Bush made it crystal clear he actually meant to offend Asians for sneaking into the United States to deliver their progeny. If anyone could use a little Peace Day detente it might be Bush, and 4.4 billion Asians.
The modest 24 hours of Peace Day might not be enough time for Donald Trump, the cheddar cheese wheel of the GOP, to make amends among his list of feuding detractors. Perhaps the mogul could get a wake-up call from Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, grab a quick coffee with Rosie O'Donnell, share a taco with some law-abiding Mexican immigrants, linger over a cafe con leche with Univision’s Jorge Ramos and apologize to Sen. John McCain for suggesting he evaded military service by getting shot down over North Vietnam and taken prisoner of war.
And if there is still a spare moment, perhaps Trump can blow some air-kisses toward Macy’s, NBC, Japan and (well, there’s still time before Sept. 21 to say something offensively stupid), the Visiting Nurse Association, Campfire Girls, Nancy Reagan, Medal of Honor recipients and the Liberty Bell.
President Obama might want to do a pinch of making nice-nice after referring to his opponents in Washington as the “crazies.” Alas, truth is not a defense in this instance since Obama does indeed need the help of some certifiably Beltway loony bin cases to get things done. Perhaps McCain and Obama can offer a joint olive branch since it was McCain, after all, who once alluded to his fellow colleagues, such as professional silly person Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, as “wacko birds.”
Of course, the idea of setting aside Sept. 21 to celebrate peace when we spend the other 364 days of the year murdering, butchering and debauching one another seems disproportionate. After all, North and South Korea went to the brink of war recently over a spat concerning propaganda broadcasts across a desolate, land-mine-filled demilitarized zone where nobody lives.
International Peace Day has been around since 1982, during which time there have been almost 100 wars of one kind or another and millions of casualties. If you ever wondered what the United Nations does, well now you know.
Still, if McDonald’s gave the back of its hand to Burger King over something as trivial and banal as cooking up a glorified hamburger for one day in the name of peace, what are the odds that Trump will reach out to his legions of detractors, or Bush might reconsider annoying half the world, or Obama might rethink defining his opponents as ditzy nuts?
That might be too big a slice of humble peace pie to imagine.
© 2015 Tampa Bay Times