Tag Archives: Wendy

The Ghost of Jack-in-the-Box “Tom” Joad

I’ve read a few comedy skits via National Sketch Writing Month and Susan Sassi, and it’s a lonely Friday night. What is a boy to do? If he’s in the fields, it usually involves drinking cheap beer and acting like an ass. Not the Corvidae, mind you. Oh no. The night is young and I’ve got the tequila out. Reposado, of course, because I’m a classy bird.

Comedy, in general, has always been a pet project for me. It was the way I coped through 18 years of Hell, and who knew razor-tongued kids would shape such a cynical wiseass?

I’ve never intended to do stand up. I have ungodly stage fright. My acting is worse than Vin Diesel’s, but deep down, there’s the funnyman underneath all of that. While examining the Manager’s Specials at my local grocery store, I thought, “why not write a sketch”? What’s the harm in one little, teeny, tiny write up? I feel fine, because I know I’m a hack.



The scene is tense. There are several employees on strike for a living wage. News teams are on the scene to get their story. REPORTER begins his wind up. PROTESTER waits in the background, impatient to tell his story.


Here we have a line of fast food workers protesting for better pay. Some of these folks can claim a heritage in fast food all the way back to Dick and Mack McDonald themselves. Today, they ask more from the companies they’ve made (dare I say it?) a career of. Excuse me, sir? What’s your story?


I come from a long line of fry cooks. Pops was a fry cook. My grandad was a fry cook, and my great-grandad used to peel potatoes in the army. I think that’s close enough. You could say that screwing off in school, making poor financial choices, and lacking motivation runs in our blood. Why would someone want to ruin that tradition? We need to be paid a fair wage to sustain this level of mediocrity!


Your spirit is commendable, sir. I wish you the best of… wait… what’s that?!

From behind the news crew comes a beat up 1926 Hudson Super Six piled high with worn, worldly possessions and 20 fry guys. It sputters, coughs, and wheezes as it comes to a concerning stop. Out steps two people JACK-IN-THE-BOX “TOM” JOAD and GASTROBOY, a four-foot 300 pound, rosacea-laden sidekick.


Whenever a drive-thru operator can’t say “would you like fries with that,” I’ll be there! Whenever there’s a time we can’t super size. I’ll be there! Whenever…


Excuse me? Who are you?!


Me? Oh, yes. Me. I am “Tom” Joad, crusader of fast food workers everywhere! And this… this is Gastroboy! Defender of every American’s right to an extremely unhealthy diet.

GASTROBOY (with food stains on his onesie)



Say, aren’t you Jack from Jack in the Box? You’ve got the pointy nose and everything.


Err… No! I am “Tom” Joad, crusader…


Seriously, man. You’re Jack. I… I’ve got your head on my car antenna.

“TOM” JOAD (fighting a lot of pain)

Mmm… OK! I’M JACK! I’M JACK! ALL RIGHT?! *sobbing*


So, what made you start fighting for a fair wage?


It all happened five years ago. We were in heavy competition with Carl’s Jr. over a new secret sauce. Being arrogant and careless, I added too much horseradish to the batch. I should have listened to Wendy. It exploded, taking out most of the facility and leaving my skin severely irritated.


How does that tie into fair wages?

JACK (pausing)

You know, I may not have thought the whole vigilante story through all the way.

Before Jack could continue, DUCAT GOLDENBANKS shows up on the scene. He is garishly decorated with a golden three-piece suit and money bursting from every pocket.


(Hissing) Your plan will never work, people! I have enough money to buy your family trees. All this does is interrupt my Skype session to order more gold-plated toilets. AHAHAHAAA! What? Who’s this clown? I don’t have any Jack in the Box franchises!


The name’s “Tom.”  Would you like to try a couple quarter pounders?

A bizarre, oafish, comical fist fight breaks out between the two characters. It’s slightly reminiscent of Batman the TV series starring Adam West. JACK blinds DUCAT GOLDENBANKS with cinnamon twists and pins him down with GASTROBOY.


Oh my God! I can’t breath! And when I can, it smells like cheese.


It’s funny you should mention that. GASTROBOY here is lactose intolerant, and I just fed him a shamrock shake. He’s about ready to reenact the battle of the Somme.  That is unless, of course, you give these protesters the money they need to perpetuate their meaningless existence.


OK! OK! You win this time JACK! or “TOM”! Or whoever you are! But you’ll pay dearly for this! DEARLY!

The protesters cheer wildly and start planning on how to spend their new income which include lottery tickets, liquor, and trips to the dollar store.


Did you hear that GASTROBOY? Our job is done here. It’s lunchtime!

GASTROBOY (curls up his pudgy face into a smile)


And so the two heroes ride off into the distance in their ’26 Hudson with 20 fry guys. The scene cuts back to the REPORTER and PROTESTER  trying to take in all that just happened.


Do you think we’ll ever see him again?


Maybe, if customs doesn’t arrest him at the border.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Dave’s Hot and Juicy

English: Wendy's logo Français : Le logo de We...

I often question a company’s intent on anything, even if it’s a bit jaded of me to do so. Corporations such as Wendy’s should know when marketing could be taken the wrong way. That’s why I’m of the belief businesses start these controversial campaigns just to get publicity. They aren’t making a naive blunder; they’re trying to get some press. After all, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Right? Just ask Noxzema.

Aside from it being my creative station on Sunday, places like Wendy’s are where I often write. Restaurants, bars, and other common locations get the honor of being my work space. I find these as good a place as any, and don’t seem to do very well at home. I often want to get out of the house, unless I’m renovating the place. I can’t very well create a Virtual Private Network and renovate remotely.

What bothers me is that I don’t know if that’s just the way I operate, or if I’m satisfying another need that takes precedence in my life and the writing could be improved at home. I’ve met many creative types with their home as their studio, and they become reclusive when they create. I find my best work still off the cuff and in the thick of people. Is that odd? If that’s the way I’ve been built, then I’d like to own that style but I don’t find too many people writing in restaurants and bars.

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