It’s Wednesday so it’s McDonalds again

I see in a lot of the newspapers that it’s ‘have a go at McDonalds day’ again – golly, it must be Wednesday already.  This time a group calling itself Corporate Accountability International organised a group of 550 doctors, professors and healthcare groups to sign an open letter to the CEO of McDonalds asking him very nicely if he would stop using his clown mascot to market to children, all in the interests of preventing obesity and type two diabetes   Yes, very noble …. But can someone tell me why on earth that McDonalds is to blame?  When I was a kid and I asked for even more chips or chocolate or cake, my mother would simply say no.  Then I would cry and stamp my feet and mumble under my breath and then my mother would walk over and put me to bed for being naughty and talking back.

Now my mother and especially my next door neighbour were also very good cooks and I can remember hiding to avoid going to Sunday School so I could go visiting on bake day and enjoy licking the bowl and eating far too much.  But my neighbour knew when enough was enough and she didn’t need 550 doctors, professors and healthcare groups to tell her so.  She was a mother too and had enough common sense to recognise that too much of anything would have turned me into a walking tub of lard that would need a electric scooter to get around the supermarket when I grew up.  Gosh – she didn’t even need Oprah or Dr Oz or Dr Phil or some TV show called you are too fat for that dress to tell her either.

When I got to school, every class had the kid that was too fat, who walked around in a sweat all day and dropped chocolate from every pocket.  That kid would be singled out in gym and some petty, little, vindictive, moustachioed, SS-trained  gym teacher would shout at the top of her voice screaming what she called character building encouragement whilst we all sniggered because the big kid couldn’t run out onto the field.  (oh, the last laugh is usually the fat kid’s because they usually become your boss or loose their puppy fat, become a famous rock-star or something and marry the really beautiful person that that you would die for.)  The fat kid was worked out, their parents put them on a diet and the school made them do extra laps of the playing field.  But nowadays, the playing fields have been sold off for housing or a parking lot and any kid or teacher who makes any reference to another kid’s size is slapped with a lawsuit for discrimination and sent off to an awareness training camp for the next three years. (Didn’t Stalin send people for re-education as well?)

But anyway.  It turns out that in the eyes of some people,  the reason certain children are differently sized is all the fault of a single, particularly evil corporation that magically gives children the ability to force their parents  to take them to a burger joint  to eat nothing but high fat, high sodium meals.  Digestive waste matter of the species Bos primigenius, I say.   Just take a look in the phone book:  listed under hamburgers, there are FORTY establishments in a 5 mile radius of my present location, not to mention 70 listings for Pizza and 65 sandwich bars.  And this is typical:  Every town in every country in the world has a quite a number of places you can go and get food.  So why just pick on McDonalds?  Why are there not protesters writing to Bill’s Burger Van because he has that really cute puppy outside and the kids insist on going there because he gives them free ice-cream?  I’ll tell you why:  No-one cares about Bill’s salmonellae sandwich or the fact that every single one is packed with enough calories to make you put on 200lbs just reading the menu or even that the kids get fleas from stroking the puppy.  No, It’s not that McDonalds is bad, it’s just that almost everyone has heard of McDonalds. 

McDonalds makes an easy target because they advertise.  They do this because they are a business and they want people to buy their product.  More importantly, they want you to choose their restaurant over Burger King or Wendy’s or In and Out or Carls Jnr.  It’s like detergent.  You need to buy laundry soap, you are only going to buy one box, so Proctor and Gamble and Unilever run commercials to try and make you buy their product.  The same way that Mercedes advertises against Lexus or BMW.  Most advertising is not to try and enlarge the market, but against the competition.  When you put on your short skirt in High School, it was to compete with the other Heather for the attention of Jason Dean.  Not in an attempt to make another Jason, but to get that Jason’s attention.

I wish I was the owner of McDonalds.  I would say ‘mea culpa’ and close down every single restaurant I owned.   I would put over 1.7 million employees out of work.  I would stop giving the government over $1.3 BILLION in taxes, stop spending over $5 billion on food and paper or $4 billion on wages. I would stop the environmental improvement programs and the charitable donations, or the employee development programs or the social responsibility programs aimed at my suppliers.  Then what?  Well, I would take my millions and invest in alcohol, armaments, tobacco, oil and mining.  And make money without the hassle of being attacked on behalf of a few people who cannot say no to their kids.

Assume the campaign against McDonalds was successful and they closed down.  So who is the next target?  KFC?  Kraft?  Mars?  Will we end up with having to show our driving licence to buy chocolate sold from behind a security grill just in case Mrs Smith’s little boy is a bit of a porker?  Will every restaurant be forced to install a machine that calculates your body mass and say “sorry, you can only buy an apple slice because you’re fat?”  Or will the campaigners pat themselves on the back and go out for a drink and a smoke to celebrate a job well done whilst half of America starves to death, not because there is no fast food, but because they are unemployed workers who either worked in or supplied the fast food industry.  All because someone thought it was easy to attack a brand-name instead of explaining that Child Protection Services will not raid your home because you declined Joey’s demand for a burger.

But one last thought.  If you can get 550 doctors, professors and healthcare groups to campaign, let’s make it worthwhile.  Let’s campaign for more playing fields in schools, or gym lessons or, perish the thought, free healthcare and an end to doctors treating the local un-insured in football stadiums or tents in Los Angeles like a scene from M.A.S.H.  And don’t stop me enjoying my double Western bacon burger because little Johnny is fat (sorry, differently sized) and his mother didn’t know how to say no because TV’s Dr Phil or Dr Oz hadn’t told her how.   You’ll try and stop me smoking next!





About cryptothinker

One Response to It’s Wednesday so it’s McDonalds again

  1. jokerscrowbar says:

    Welsh Farmhouse Breakfasts including bacon,eggs,sausage,black pudding,fried bread and mushrooms will cure a hangover but kill you with heart problems unless you actually work on a farm, same with fast food, only eat it if you need something fast. If you intend to sit in front of your monitor/TV all night then you should maybe consider something nutritious that will help replace the brain cells lost through sitting in front of your monitor/TV all night.

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