Wendy's Chili Finger - 5/19/05
About a month ago, a woman in Las Vegas tried to defraud Wendy's by planting a severed finger in a bowl of chili.

From what I can gather, she just went up to the counter and calmly ordered some chili, sat down with it, and, when no one was looking, took out a severed finger and put it in her food. Then she pretended to flip out, like "AAIIIIEEE, THERE'S A SEVERED FINGER IN MY CHILI! I'M SUEING!" and tried to get a nice cash settlement. I guess eventually she fessed up, is being charged with attempted grand theft, and last Saturday Wendy's offered a free milkshake to all of its customers in an effort to win back some of the folks it had lost due to the fallacious story.

Now I never knew about this story, or even that they had chili at Wendy's, but I'm glad I caught wind of it. Because the whole thing raises some interesting questions for me:

- Where did this women get this severed finger? I'm assuming it wasn't hers, or she would have had a difficult time A) getting away with her scam, and B) carrying the chili back to her table.

- Can you finger-print a severed finger? Is there some manual-math challenged person out there who saw this story on the news and was like "Hey, that that's my finger!"

- What did the manager on duty at that Wendy's think right when this all went down? I have to imagine it made him reconsider his career path. I bet his first thought was one of the following:
- "The Regional Vice President is not going to be happy about this."
- "This is totally not worth $26,000 a year."
- "Christ, not again."

- Did anyone in the Quality Assurance Department at the Wendy's chili factory lose their job over this? And when the truth came out, what kind of embarrassingly generous welcome-back comp package did they get? Did they even want to go back to working in the Wendy's chili factory Quality Assurance Department?

- Why did the woman fess up? Seems like she had a pretty good scam going - it would be pretty hard to prove that a severed finger didn't get into a batch of meat at the Wendy's chili factory. Did she feel bad about causing a reputable restaurant chain to suffer critical 3% second-quarter profit loss? I find that explanation unlikely - I mean, apparently it didn't bother her to go and get a severed finger from somewhere and slipping it into a bowl of chili.

- Did she really try and sell the scam by eating some of the chili first, before she "found" the finger? Did anyone else eat the chili afterwards, like on a dare? I know that's gross, but wouldn't you eat some severed finger chili if you worked at Wendy's and all 20 other Wendy's employees had each agreed to give you $100? It's just chili, after all - it's not like you'd have to eat the finger.

- What if, last Saturday, someone had tried to plant a severed finger in one of the free milkshakes? Would anyone believe them? Probably not, but I really couldn't see Wendy's pressing charges for a second time. I mean, they'd have to admit, it would be a pretty funny reference.



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