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Greensboro’s Burger Slayer a virtual champion

by Brian Clarey

It was a year that saw Aleksey Vayner’s resume video course through the internet to become an electronic portrait of a textbook self-important blowhard for the ages. Millions downloaded a music video about gift-wrapped genitalia. Stephen Colbert’s face-to-face Bush bash at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner went around the office cubicle farms in record speed.

But it may have escaped your notice that Greensboro has a viral video star all its own – and it’s not Joey Cheek or Chris Daughtry.

2006 was the year Greg Cohoon, a 34-year-old software developer, earned the title of Burger Slayer, bestowed by the burger chain Hardee’s in a national competition.

“I always liked beef,” he says over the phone from Raleigh, the night before a drive to Atlanta, “so it wasn’t much of a stretch.”

The rules, according to a Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. press release, state that, “Modern day slayers, armed with their mobile camera phone as weapon of choice, gain entry into the tourney of faces by snapping their burger-devouring action shot.”

But Cohoon says he was unaware of the contest when he and his wife Meredith went into Hardee’s in October.

“My wife and I went to Hardee’s back in October” he says. “Before a couple months ago we hadn’t been to Hardee’s in a while. We stopped in and I do like those Thickburgers. We saw the contest and I’m always game for doing something silly, so I ruffled up my hair and put a jalapeño burger in front of my mouth. She snapped the picture and we sent it off.”

A couple days later they discovered on the Hardee’s website that the picture, snapped on a Razr camera phone, had won the contest for the month of October.

Cohoon and his wife are not strangers to the world wide web. He’s been maintaining a blog since 1996 and been using his current site, drmellow.livejournal.com, as a public relations machine since taking the title.

“If you’ve seen my blog you know I’ve been pimping this thing out,” he says. “Boom! I’m the Burger Slayer. I know I played right into their hands by creating content, generating buzz for their website, but hey, I got free burgers.”

Chatter in his corner of the blogosphere, he says, is what eventually earned him the prize for the month of October.

But there’s a wrinkle that Cohoon has used to his advantage.

“They started the contest in August and they had a Burger Slayer for August and September,” he recalls. “I won in October and they stopped doing it, so it looks like I’m Burger Slayer for life.

“If someone wants to challenge me,” he adds, “I’m up for it.”

Besides being known as the Burger Slayer, which he says he’s “having fun with,” Cohoon was awarded 31 coupons for free burgers at any Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr.

“So we got that stack of coupons,” he says, “and every time I say to my wife, ‘You wanna go to Hardee’s?’ she’s like, ‘Ohh-kay.’ She’s getting a little sick of it. I gave away burger coupons for Christmas this year and we got two left we plan to use on our way to Atlanta.

“They sent me a cool little certificate, too.”

Greg Cohoon, the Burger Slayer from Greensboro, is clearly having a real good time with this.

“It’s a stroke to my ego to get to say I’m the Burger Slayer,” he says.

To comment on this story, e-mail Brian Clarey at editor@yesweekly.com.

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