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Wow, another Sad Girl Taste Test so soon after last week’s 7-11 Thanksgiving chips despair?! I mean, to be fair, the current political climate makes me feel like technically everything could be considered a Sad Girl Taste Test, but tax bills and sex offenders aside, the catalyst for the SGTT I’m about to discuss with you was when my WiFi went out yesterday, a Saturday, aka the worst possible timing.

I had been geared up to have a productive morning getting some writing done, and then planned to shift gears to YouTube black hole territory mid-afternoon. But then, the WiFi signal (like Optimus Prime) left us.

At first I tried to make the most of the situation by reading, but the only books I own are depressing ones by Sartre and Borges and Plato, so that was quickly scrapped. Then I did what any sensible 29-year-old would do – I went to the GameStop around the corner from my apartment and very nearly bought a Nintendo Switch for $300. But then I remembered I had a family who would be requiring Christmas gifts later this month, and I talked myself down off the impulse purchase ledge. To fill the void, I went to Burger King to buy a 5-piece order of Flamin’ Hot Mac ‘N Cheetos instead.

Burger King is always depressing, but the one that’s in my neighborhood is as bleak as they come. Everyone is always yelling at each other, and there always seems to be a woman selling bootleg DVDs to the people in line. (I didn’t buy any, because what even is a DVD.)

Finally it was my turn to order, and I paid a grand total of $3.24 with tax. Then I stood near the bathroom for a long time while (I assume) my Flamin’ Hot Mac ‘N Cheetos were carelessly prepared! (Also, while I was waiting, I noticed that I really like the Burger King employees’ polo shirt uniforms. They kind of look like a minimalist cheeseburger. I kind of want one. Is that weird.)

I grabbed a $1.75 24-ounce Coors Heavy from the deli downstairs before returning to my living room to conduct the taste-test., because this was going to be a trash meal, and what pairs better with a trash meal than a trash beer? (Hint: nothing!)

Now, even though I am shit-talking Flamin’ Hot Mac ‘N Cheetos, I’d like to make something very clear – Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and mac ‘n cheese are two of my favorite foods. I usually try to eat things like kale and nutritional yeast so I don’t die, but when I am feeling less inclined to treat my body well, bags of FHC and boxes of mac ‘n cheese are, typically, my go-to items. (And corn-dogs. Because I am five, apparently.) So theoretically, Flamin’ Hot Mac ‘N Cheetos should have been the most amazing food collab of all time.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

First of all, the shape of these things is very off-putting. I know they’re meant to look like Cheetos Puffs or whatever, but they’re so dense that when you’re holding them, you (or at least I) can’t help but be like “THIS IS A GIANT RED TURD.” (Maybe foreshadowing trips to the bathroom later?! SORRY THIS IS GROSS.)

I shoved that unappetizing image to the back of my brain, and took a bite. I liked that the outside was crispy, because I wasn’t sure the mac ‘n cheese wouldn’t sog things up. But that was about the only redeeming quality, because while the spice from the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos was definitely there, somehow the flavors just didn’t complement each other at all. The thing that works with normal Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is the corn base. The mac ‘n cheese foundation of these things was just like…too salty? So there was heavy-handed heat and heavy-handed salt, but pretty much nothing else was brought to the table; there was virtually no balance, and I regretted having bought an entire order since I was finding it hard to eat the whole first one. And that’s saying something, because I have pretty low standards when it comes to eating fast food. (Or any food, really.)

Would I recommend these? Fuck no! Go buy a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for $1.79, get you a box of $1+ mac ‘n cheese (I’m partial to the white cheddar shells at Whole Foods) and ensure yourself a much better life experience. Want to sprinkle the Cheetos dust on your mac ‘n cheese? Amazing! Want to just eat the two foods separately? Also amazing! But I definitely would skip this new BK Frankenfood menu item if you can help it.

(PS, my internet came back on immediately after I finished eating the FHM+C’s. Because that is the luck of a sad girl.)

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