We don’t generally align with conspiracy theorists. Sure, their claims are worth looking into.

Emanating from within the D.C. Beltway are all sorts of tales of conspiracies. Some might well have merit, some not so much. Witch hunts, quid pro quo and all of that make for great headlines and provide fodder for talking heads and those who claim to be purveyors of news but are, in actuality, positing permutations. Or something like that.

But what about closer to home than the Beltway? Why has no one offered a conspiracy theory as it relates to food? More specifically, fast food. Are we the only ones to notice what is happening here?

The McDonald’s on the west end of the 72 bypasses all but shut down recently for a remodeling project. It has kept its drive-thru lane open, but a dumpster on the site caught fire. Coinciding with these events, and on the other end of the bypass, Burger King posted on one side of its marquee that it was remodeling. On the other side was a more accurate claim — “Closed.” Not even the drive-thru survived this remodeling activity and soon the entire building was demolished.

Then it happened. On Monday, a kitchen fire at the Hardee’s in Ninety Six has shuttered that restaurant for the foreseeable future. The old jingle “Hurry on down to Hardee’s where the burgers are charcoal broiled” gained new life. Fortunately, there were no employee or diner injuries as a result.

Does no one else wonder if there is something bigger going on here? Consider: Popeye’s is coming back to town in a location where it’s obviously going to be ready to go beak to beak with Bojangles and those places that serve burgers. The facelift McDonald’s is going through appears to give the restaurant a look that puts it in competition with Panera.

We don’t know, but one could surmise that someone has it in for fast-food chains. Or, rather, has it in for certain chains. Chick-fil-A and Popeye’s did seem to be having some good-natured fun over who has the best chicken sandwich and we would certainly want to believe it hasn’t gone further than that, right?

Hey, if you made it this far we congratulate you. We just wanted to provide a little diversion from some of the other conspiracies being bandied about in print and on the internet.

Wait. Do you smell something burning?