When most people think of Macaulay Culkin, they think of the lifestyle maven and international sex symbol. Few know of his true passion: Prison reform. Specifically, fighting against mandatory minimums for hamburglars—i.e. people who steal hamburgers.
Most people aren’t even aware that hamburgaling comes with a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison—for a first-time offender. Steal more than one, and you’re staring down life without the possibility of parole. “He’s using his platform to bring attention to the issue,” said Howard Morris, founder of the Fast Food Freedom Project, via a phone interview. “A lot of good people have been put behind bars because of a single hamburger-related stealing incident.”
That brings us to the case of The Hamburglar, a lighting rod in the burger burglar reform movement. To law and order legislators, he’s the ultimate Big Mac boogeyman—a repeat offender with a bottomless hunger for hamburgers. But to advocates and activists like Mr. Culkin, this rascally robber is part of a larger problem, one that treats stealing meat sandwiches on par with murder. And the fact is, our legal system tends to punish those who look like the The Hamburglar at a disproportionate rate. The justice system is far too willing to let fast-food filchers who look like us walk away scot-free, while foam freaks like The Hamburglar do hard time.
We don’t mean to imply stealing delicious hamburgers isn’t a serious crime. No one should have their hard-earned burger snatched out from under them just as they’re about to take a beefy bite. But until Mayor McCheese and his ilk crack down on white collar criminals with the same ferocity, this particular burger thief should be welcomed back into society.
As Mr. Culkin recently stated in a press conference held in the heart of McDonaldland, “Who among us hasn’t coveted another man’s hamburger? You, Officer Big Mac? You, Captain Crook and Fry Guys? You Birdie the Early Bird and Uncle O’Grimacey? I say, let he who has never hamburgled in his heart cast the first stone.”
Images: McDonald’s, Getty Images