Tuesday, April 05, 2005
McDonald’s Diary It must have been as early as 2nd or 3rd grade when I would venture, along with older siblings and neighborhood kids to the local McDonald’s hamburger stand. At the time (about 1970) there was no inside seating and you would order through a window. The ‘local’ place was about 5 miles from home and so we would take our bikes there on weekends or in the Summer time. By today’s standards it seems crazy—I cannot imagine my eldest daughter, who is 8, walking or riding her bike to the closest Friendly’s, which is only about 2 miles from home. Our parents didn’t seem to mind or care where we were when we were out playing as long as we didn’t get into trouble. In thinking of that age, I don’t exactly remember being hungry all the time but I do recall that an extra meal was always welcome and would never spoil my appetite for the next scheduled meal. We would save up our allowance money and buy as much McDonald’s food as we could afford. If I have any regrets now, it is that I didn’t eat more of it then. I was skin-and-bones and an extra burger and fries would have made no difference, except for possibly making me more healthy. Now of course, I can easily afford far more food than I could consume and I could stand to lose 15-20 lbs and so I eat far less than my stomach will hold. I miss that golden era when I was young enough to eat a lot and yet old enough to afford as much as I wanted. In 7th and 8th grade I had the money from a paper route and those are the prime big-eating years. I would normally have a Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder (with cheese), large fries and a milk shake. I would be full after all of this and it felt good! Our parent’s would take us to McDonald’s from time to time—quite often after Sunday’s late morning mass. This was appreciated but not as good as when we kids went on our own. First, we had to wait until we were home before we could eat, instead of eating it hot right there at one of the picnic tables. Second, while my parents ordered enough food for us, they by no means ordered as much as we would have liked to eat! All three of our daughters love to go to McDonald’s yet they hardly ever eat heartily and can best be described as ‘svelte’. Yet, they do eat enough to satisfy themselves and seem to enjoy it. They probably most like to go due to the play structure and Happy Meal toys that they get. It really is a good deal—they have fun, get fed and have something they can keep and the cost is very little. Now, what do I think of Morgan Spurlock and his movie Super Size Me? Well, I don’t like to spend scarce time and money on anti-corporate agitprop. First of all, who in their right mind would think that an all-McDonald’s diet would be good for you? Why waste a perfectly good movie proving a moot point? Hey, if you think the food is gross or unhealthy, fine: Don’t eat there then! Why should you care if others don’t share your opinion? Please do not tell me that my health is your concern: I will not grant any rhetorical paving-stones for your Road to Serfdom project. dbp ps I don't remember what inspired this posting, but about a week later I came across a blog with a MacDonald's posting so I just pasted it into the comments section. The blog is "A Small Victory" which I just stumbled across. At least I know what an Instalanche is though.