Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Would you want to eat at Burger King every day?
I'm not sure I would.
Nor would I want to eat at any single place every day. It would surely be rather, well, samey.
Yet one intrepid Oregon resident insists that he should be able to eat at Burger King for the rest of his life.
The story -- at least according to his lawsuit posted by Oregon Live -- is that Curtis Brooner partook of a fine Burger King meal at a Portland-area restaurant.
Next, he went to the bathroom, an understandable progression after a fine Burger King meal.
Things didn't go smoothly. The lawsuit describes the action:
When Mr. Brooner pulled on the door handle to leave the bathroom, the door would not open. After repeatedly pulling hard on the door handle without success, Mr. Brooner took out his phone and called the Burger King number listed on his receipt. Burger King employees repeatedly tried pushing on the bathroom door but were unable to open it. Burger King employees eventually slid a fly swatter under the bathroom door and told Mr. Brooner to use it to pry the bathroom door lock open.
A fly swatter? How on earth was a fly swatter going to help?
Brooner claims that fly swatter didn't work. Worse, he says he cut his hand, trying to swat open the door.
But now we come to the meat of the claim:
Mr. Brooner could hear Burger King employees and customers laughing while he remained locked inside its bathroom for well over an hour before a locksmith finally came and broke him out. Burger King provided Mr. Brooner a Band-Aid and ointment for the cut on his hand, and offered to settle in exchange for a lifetime supply of Burger King meals at no cost.
This sounds like a reasonable compromise.
Who, indeed, is going to eat at Burger King every day? And goodness, such a suggestion saves on the expense of, say, hiring lawyers. They usually charge 100 Burger King meals an hour. At least.
Here's the problem.
Brooner told Oregon Live that he really did eat at Burger King most days.
When he tried to cash in his golden ticket, everything went well at first.
But then, he says, after 13 days his free privileges were halted by "district management."
Which has led to Brooner claiming $9,026.16 from Burger King. This, his lawyers calculate, is the cost of one free Burger King Whopper meal per week for the rest of his life.
Brooner is currently 50. His lawyers believe he'll live till he's 72. Yes, despite perhaps eating very often at Burger King.
Naturally, I contacted the burger chain to ask for its views and will update, should I be served a response.
Brooner's lawyers say that the chain should have maintained the bathroom in working order.
They claim their client suffered pain (from the cut allegedly incurred while he used the fly swatter), discomfort (from allegedly being locked for over an hour in the toilet) and embarrassment (from allegedly being laughed at by Burger King employees).
Could anyone imagine that a Burger King employee might have offered him free meals for life?
Could anyone imagine this might have been in jest?
Could anyone imagine what it would be like being stuck in a Burger King toilet for over an hour?
I fear that whoever adjudicates this dispute will need a vivid imagination.