Defending the KFC gift card

Article by Lauren Rosewarne /
ABC The Drum /
December 14, 2010 /

Click here to view original /

There’s an adage about it being the thought that counts. Too twee and treacly for my tastes, of course. Besides, simply thinking nice thoughts has won me few favours. (Fortunately to date the bad thoughts remain unpunished).

When it comes to Christmas 2010 however, little thought appears necessary at all. If we’re to believe the weekend papers, this year KFC apparently has Christmas all wrapped up.

KFC are now selling gift cards. Right up to the value of $500. Cue the outrage. Cue the calorie calculations. Cue statistics about love handles and health experts plugging non-fat ice milk.

My day started with a hazy intention of defending Kanye West and his corpsey video. I paused however, because a) I despise his music and b) think he acted like a moron in an interview with Matt Lauer and I love Matt Lauer and nobody should sass Matt Lauer. Kanye can sort himself out. Today I’m defending the Colonel.

I’m a vegetarian. Nobody is going to give me a KFC gift card. Well, maybe my grandmother. A couple of Christmases ago she tried to convince me that the stuffing was vegetarian. That it’d been inside a turkey appeared a trivial objection on my part.

I appreciate that, by their very nature, weekend papers are routinely chockful of filler. The suggestion however, that a KFC gift card will see people substituting their granola for a Variety Bucket is taking the Sunday puff piece idea just a tad too far.

Truth be told, I’m not even slightly interested in writing about obesity. I’m not interested in defending the consumption of vast quantities of fried chicken or the inhalation of vats of potato and gravy. Eat the chicken, don’t eat the chicken, I don’t care about the chicken.

I’m going to defend the KFC gift card on the basis that there are so many other gift cards out there that could unleash catastrophes much scarier than any Zinger BBQ Bacon and Cheese Burger.

Yes, I could be a smartarse and ponder people spending Sanity gift cards on Susan Boyle besmirching all that is holy, or cashing in their Dymocks card on tales of boy wizards and booby vampire bait. All quite obviously conflicting with celebrating the birth of Santa, of course.

Instead, I’ll just focus on the Christmas booty that newspapers dare not speaketh.

Pop into Bunnings and a $500 gift card will score you enough potassium nitrate to get an eager beaver start on your “DIY with Al Qaeda” home project. Equally so, a nice chainsaw or razor sharp axe will settle that dispute with your neighbour once and for all.

$500 at Liquorland could buy enough lolly-flavoured, rainbow-coloured alcopops to aid in “seducing” vast numbers of teenage girls; $500 at Priceline and you can buy the pregnancy kits and Klennex for the bonbonniere.

An Officeworks gift card and I can buy the toner cartridges to hide my fertiliser bombs. Harvey Norman and I can get the computer to download my favoured hardcore blood-porn.

And forget the fried chicken: after swinging by customer service and stocking up on ciggies the remainder of the Coles gift card can buy calories galore in the butter aisle.

Today Tonight and women’s magazines consistently demonstrate: fat sells. Too fat, not fat enough, hidden fats, fat babies, fat dogs, fat old people, fat cats; fat a’plenty to sink our teeth into. That most other gift card peddlers sell products equally as dodgy as greasy chicken scarcely gets a look in.

Yes, I’m a bleeding heart so of course I favour a slew of safety-net social policies that the major political parties balk at. I’m also incredibly keen on personal freedoms. And public policy consistency. And even more so on not treating people like half-wits.

Let them eat their bloody chicken!

And really, is the KFC gift card any worse a present than a foot spa?

© Lauren Rosewarne