Ham Heaven"Ham Heaven." To millions, these two words bring happiness and relief from hunger. To others, they are a symbol of capitalist oppression.
[Opening credits for a very serious and conservative current affairs show, "Capitalism This Week". The "s" letters in the title should be represented by dollar signs, "Capitali$m thi$ Week". This is followed by a talking head in front of a black background. The talking head is facing to the right, as if for a mugshot. The talking head then turns toward the camera and takes a breath in as if to speak, but the momentum of the talking head continues, and it completes an entire revolution. As the talking head faces the camera again, it begins to speak...]
SHOW HOST: Ham...
[the momentum that the talking head has built up continues unabated. As if in some sort of low-friction universe, the talking head makes one more revolution before stopping in front of the camera head on.]
SHOW HOST: "Ham Heaven." To millions, these two words bring happiness and relief from hunger. To others, they are a symbol of capitalist oppression.
[Cut to stock footage of Ayatollah Khmonei speaking Persian. Underneath reads the caption, "Ham Heaven is the Great Satan!" Fidel Castro speaking in Spanish, caption: "Heaven of the Ham is Hell of the Peasant", Pope John Paul II speaking in Italian, caption: "Ham Heaven is the anti-Christ!"]
SHOW HOST: But have you ever stopped to think how the ham-based restaurant chain grew into the corporate megagiant that it is today? It all started over four years ago in the tiny Nashville suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.
[View of a man dressed in a white suit walking overly deliberately into an office.]
SHOW HOST: [voice over] That's where we meet this man. And when we say "meet", we mean "meat".
MAN IN SUIT: [southern U.S. accent] The idea behind Ham Heaven came when I opened my refrigerator one Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, I had unplugged my refrigerator by accident the evening previously, and the enormous amount of ham that I had stored in my refrigerator had gone "bad" as the kids say.
INTERVIEWER: [not the same person as the show host, clearly not in the same room as the Man in the White Suit. He is leaning forward in his chair, pretending to talk intimately with the Man in the White Suit. Interviewer has a thick Parisian accent and rolls his "R"s.] Would you say that the meat had gone rrrancid? [switch back to view of Man in White Suit].
MAN IN SUIT: Yes, I would. Anyway, I thought to myself that ham must have a soul, and that when it dies, it must go to Ham Heaven. [switch back to view of Interviewer, now outside, still leaning forward in his chair, pretending to be in the same room as Man in White Suit by nodding his head every so often. We hear Man still talking.] And that's how I got the idea for a restaurant called Ham Heaven.
[Cut to picture of a tent in a shanty town]
SHOW HOST [voiceover]: A single restaurant grew into a large chain.
[Cut to Man in Suit, holding a chain]
[Cut to picture of pastureland.]
MAN: I discovered early on that there are two things that make us American: our love of Christian fundamentalism and our love of ham. Mix the two together, and you've got Ham Heaven.
[Cut to inside a Ham Heaven Restaurant. On the wall are many cartoon pigs with halos and wings. The waiters are also dressed in halos, wings, and pig snouts. One approaches the camera.]
WAITER: [Two pig grunts, then in a southern accent] Welcome to Ham Heaven!
SHOW HOST [voiceover]: As you can see, Ham Heaven International does nothing to hide its fundamentalist roots. In fact, it has learned how to turn a literal interpretation of Scripture into a multi-billion dollar industry.
WAITRESS: [overenthusiatically] We have ham & cheese, ham on rye, ham on pie, and of course our world-famous Ham Burger, 8 ounces of ham in a bun!
INTERVIEWER: [leaning forward in his chair, outside]: I understand that you also have [pause, Parisian hand-waving] specials, which focus [pronounced in a very rude way] on Biblical events?
WAITRESS: Yes, our specials are: Adham & Eve, The Little Town of Bethleham, The four-course ham of the Apocolypse, Sodham & Gomorrah, the Parting of the Red Sow, King Sowlomon, the Ark (that's both male and female ham), the Ten Comhamdments, the Code of Hammurabi (which isn't in the Bible but is very similar to the Ten Comhamdments), and the Abraham & Issac [pronounced I-sick], which is a favourite for bulemics.
[Picture on the wall of a crucifix and a ham and snake platter, saying "Don't get CROSS, try our SNAKE HAM-DLER PLATTER"]
SHOW HOST [voiceover]: This mixture of fundamentalist religion and ham has been so successful that other religions have been trying to copy the Ham Heaven formula, without much success. [Pictures of the restaurants appear on the screen as he names them.] The Roman Catholic "Hammaculate Conception", the Bhuddist "Path to Nirvhama", and the Jewish "Ham is Unclean" have all gone belly up-- pork belly up. [Picture of an upside-down cartoon pig].
INTERVIEWER: Do you feel that you are cheapening the Word of God by using it to sell ham?
MAN IN SUIT: I think that the Lord was very clear on this. He said, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." And we're not serving either of those things. We're serving ham. So it's fine.
INTERVIEWER: Ham Heaven believes that, by spreading around the globe, it is spreading freedom.
MAN IN SUIT: We're opening in Red China next month. Unfortunately, "Ham Heaven" in Chinese means "Slap the Stone Monkey." Since Mao Tse-Tung's nickname was "the Stone Monkey", we thought we had better change the name. So Ham Heaven will be known there as "The Great Wall of Swine-ah".
SHOW HOST [voiceover]: Others worry that Ham Heaven is really spreading fundamentalist indoctrination.
BRITISH PROFESSOR: I worry what this is doing to our children.
SHOW HOST: [While British Professor is doing a bad job pretending he's talking on a telephone] Doctor Quimby Naysayer is a professor of Religious Indifference at the University of Canada.
BRITISH PROFESSOR: I think that this restaurant chain is brainwashing our children with subtle Christian fundamentalist beliefs. For instance, as you can see here, [pulls out a hambruger wrapper] printed on the wrapper of a hamburger, where a good corporate citizen like McDonald's would print "100% beef", the Ham Heaven wrapper reads "Humans lived alongside dinosaurs". Or look at some of these t-shirts that Ham Heaven was giving away during its "Be a Pig Event." This one reads, "I'm a ham lover, not a hamosexual". I think that these messages are warping children's minds so that they can't think for themselves.
INTERVIEWER: But are not children stupid?
BRITISH PROFESSOR: Yes...
INTERVIEWER: So they cannot think for themselves, no matter what?
BRITISH PROFESSOR: That's true...
INTERVIEWER: Are you a... hamosexual?
BRITISH PROFESSOR: [shrugs his shoulders]... I'm British.
SHOW HOST: I'm joined in studio with Jean Delicieux, who helped to put together this documentary. Jean, what impressed you most about the global Ham Heaven empire?
INTERVIEWER: What impressed me most was the story of a young man named Kimbo Kuno, who had lost two hands, a leg, and his lower neck in the conflict, and who nonetheless hobbled from village to village for five days in order to cast his vote.
SHOW HOST: [quietly] What's that got to do with Ham Heaven?
INTERVIEWER: Oh, I'm sorry, did you ask about Ham Heaven? When you asked me what impressed me the most, I automatically thought of that anecdote, which I made up out of a composite of unimpressive anecdotes.
SHOW HOST: [hurt] You never listen to my questions.
INTERVIEWER: But you are so inane!
SHOW HOST: Hamosexual... Well, wham-o ham-o, we're almost out
of time, but if you have comments on what you've seen today, send them
That's all for Capitalidollarsignm thidollarsigns Week. Now stay tuned for Communism this week.
[A test pattern appears]
See you next week!
Written by chrisdye