There are some things that simply baffle the imagination. Poking fun at the Irish Famine, the greatest human disaster of the 19th century, ranks high on that list.
That is now apparent to the gang at Denny's Spartanburg, S.C., headquarters.
The marketing geniuses at fast-feeder Denny’s are offering unlimited refills of French fries and pancakes to customers in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine. At least, that was the promise of a Denny's TV ad that now has been mercifully pulled after a storm of protests.
Geez, what a contrast! While the Irish of the 1840s and 1850s could barely find an un-blackened spud to feed an entire family, Denny's offers a veritable feeding frenzy to those eager to load up on its artery clogging fries (a five oz. serving has 425 calories and 23 grams of fat).
Alerts should go out to First Lady Michelle Obama and her anti-obesity team to saddle-up and head to the closest Denny's.
In apologizing for its disgraceful Irish Famine ad, Denny's says it has a history of using "humor" in its advertising. Perhaps I am missing the big picture, but I just don't see anything funny about a million people starved to death by potato blight and the workings of their British rulers.
Another million were tossed off the land by wretched landlords and then packed tightly into "Coffin Ships" for the long sail to New York and Boston. The Great Hunger reduced Ireland's population by 25 percent. It was hardly a laughing matter.
My grandparents emigrated to the U.S. in 1916. They were told tales of the Great Famine. Those stories were passed along to their grandchildren. If alive today, John and Nellie McCauley certainly would tell Denny's what it should do with its French fries.
Denny's' fries promotion runs through the end of the month. I wonder if they planned a St. Patrick's Day tie-in. How about unlimited boiled potatoes for all named Patrick, Brigid, Sinead, Seamus, Erin, Aidan, Deirdre, Kevin and Caitlin on March 17?
Peg it a tribute to Irish-America.