April 22, 2005

Chili finger woman in a Biggie Size heap o' trouble

The woman who claimed she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili last month has been arrested, the latest twist in a bizarre case about how the 1½-inch finger tip ended up in a bowl of fast food.

Anna Ayala was taken into custody late Thursday at her Las Vegas home, police said. . . .

As it turns out, Ayala has a litigious history. She has filed claims against several corporations, including a former employer and General Motors, though it is unclear from court records whether she received any money.

She said she got $30,000 from El Pollo Loco (search) after her 13-year-old daughter got sick at one of the chain's Las Vegas-area restaurants. El Pollo Loco officials say she did not get a dime.

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At this point, it looks like Wendy's was just one more big corporation she tried to give the finger to, but when their own internal investigation failed to find a credible source for the offending digit, the evidence pointed back at Ayala . . .

I think I'm going to go have a chili tonight.

Update:Ayala has been charged with attempted grand larceny, "including a penalty enhancement for inflicting more than $2.5 million in losses on Wendy's." Turns out the infamous fingertip wasn't cooked in the chili, either, although its origins still haven't been accounted for. And yes, coincidentally, I had just sat down in Wendy's and opened a large cup of chili, spiked it with five packets of hot sauce just as the story came across the 6 o'clock news. Never has Wendy's chili tasted so good.