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This Is So Stupid

We Will Plunge The Depths Of Unlimited Shrimp Until The System Is Broken

The exterior of a Red Lobster restaurant illuminated by its neon sign at dusk in South Carolina.
Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Perhaps it is only fitting we find ourselves on the cusp of feasting season, where gluttony reigns supreme and repressed emotions are the undercurrent that threatens to cast sparks off the aging electric outlet of our familial or societal order. But I did not come here today to speak of your dry turkey and its beige accompaniments. I bring news of the fight against unchecked capitalism!

Hail to the crustacean eaters and their commitment to strip-mall indulgence for bringing the Great American Commercial Project one step closer to its annihilation. Of course I am speaking of the latest quarterly readout from Thai Union Group, which reported an $11 million operating loss in the most recent financial quarter. Obviously we are all familiar with the Thai Union Group, famous for its Chicken Of The Sea brand tuna and synergistic ownership of Red Lobster. Thanks to the chain's Ultimate Endless Shrimp deal that lets savvy eaters inhale as much shrimp as humanly possible at the low price of $20, we now know that if you turn on the unlimited shrimp spigot, Americans will show up and unhinge their jaws, per Restaurant Business:

“We knew the price was cheap, but the idea was to bring more traffic in the restaurants,” Thai Union CFO Ludovic Regis Henri Garnier told investors this week, according to a transcript on financial service site AlphaSense. “So we wanted to boost our traffic, and it didn't work,” at least not in terms of improving the chain's overall economic performance.

To a keen observer of the class warfare or a comrade in the great fight against the foodstuff trade, when Ludovic Regis Henri Garnier says, "it didn't work," there is a implied question to answer: work for whom? Restaurant Business reports visitors to Red Lobster increased four percent over the previous year, meaning no small number of humans showed up ready to shove fistfuls of crispy dragon shrimp down their gullet, a twinkle in the eye as their omega-3 fatty acids levels rise and the pleasure centers of the brain slowly drown in the satisfying froth of piña colada dipping sauce. The result? Red Lobster is now expecting a $20 million loss on the year.

Far be it from this humble correspondent to downplay the chaotic hi-jinx that comes from committing to the plot of accumulation of appetizers at the expense of your own health and mental well-being. We live in a world where TikTok and deep fryers are in abundance, humanity has unlocked the secrets of both accordingly. But it is important to examine the Ultimate Endless Shrimp through the lens of struggle. This is Cheddar Bay biscuits as praxis, brothers and sisters.

When a family-friendly chain restaurant offers you the chance to quite literally eat into their profits, it is your duty as a revolutionary to slip on the plastic bib of righteousness. Our current economic outlook demands you brace your intestinal tract for violent protest! Salaries and wages seem frozen in amber and inflation's stubborn decline do not make for rational actors on either side of the daily deals menu. Corporate profits are high and keeping the price of everyday shit you need higher. We are saddled with debt, individually and collectively, that feels inescapable after the weight of medical, childcare, and housing costs. In this climate of uncertainty are we not entitled to a proxy class war waged in fields of buttery scampi? If the so-called economic experts can't navigate the Taco Bell value menu, or escape a replacement-level airport bar without decrying the cost of an expense-card scotch with a burger on the side, what choice does the common man have?

There is great moral clarity here, and it only requires loose-fitting jeans and a penchant for light skullduggery. The Chain Restaurant Industrial Complex will only continue its play for unlimited food deals in a cynical gambit to boost their earnings. Unlimited shrimp are not going anywhere, my friends. To quote the prophet Fat Joe: Yesterday's price is not today's price. Ludovic Regis Henri Garnier told investors as much: “We want to keep it on the menu,” he said. “And of course we need to be much more careful regarding what are the entry points and what is the price point we are offering for this promotion.”

Don't you see that the Ultimate Endless Shrimp is a lightly breaded ouroboros, a cycle that can only be stopped when the common man seizes power back from the conglomerates that control our good time food-drinkeries? If the shrimp must flow, fill your novelty totes and stuff the lining of your favorite winter coat with enough contraband to feed your family. Make yourself big like you're standing down a grizzly and lock eyes with your server as you stuff the diaper bag with popcorn shrimp while shouting Public Enemy lyrics. You have nothing to lose but your chains!

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