Monday, October 27, 2008

McDonalds, Embrace Who You Are

I hit a McDonalds drive-through this morning on my way to work. It’s the first time I’ve been to a McDonalds in a few months. I was itchen' for a greasy, salty sausage biscuit with cheese. I get to the menu / order box and I noticed that all the photos of the food have them displayed on plates. As if I’m expecting some howty towty (sp?) fine dining experience. Then the cheerful voice comes chirping through the speaker, “Welcome to McDonalds, what can I make for you today?” Really? Make? If by “make” you mean "defrost and microwave", I’ll take a greasy, salty sausage biscuit with cheese.

Look, I’m not a big McDonalds fan. I was once arrested for stealing Grimace and a Fry Guy from the McDonalds playland on 21st south. It wasn't a hate crime or anything. Just something to do when your bored and seventeen. But that's a story for another day. (I'm pretty sure that my mom has never heard that story and just learned of it for the first time.)

I can only handle one of their double cheeseburgers about once every other month. Although I do love their extra wide straws and their fries are glorious. Simply glorious. And they have the best soft serve ice cream on the planet. It’s always fun to order a hot fudge sundae for a buck and then ask the lady at the window for an extra nutsack. Don’t smile. You need to have a straight face. They giggle nervously and hand it over. I figure it gives them something to laugh about after I leave.

But with that being said, McDonalds needs to stop living a lie. Come on! (to be read as if spoken by GOB Bluth). You own the market. Stop apologizing for who you are. You do not serve fresh, good food, you never have. And yet billions and billions have been served. Has Morgan Spurlock really messed with your head this much? You don’t need to pretend to have any quality whatsoever. Everyone knows exactly what they are getting when they pull up to a McButtholes; greasy, processed, soggy food that somehow tastes delicious when eaten once every six weeks. You don’t need to shine up that turd. People are quite happy to eat your unshiney turd food. That is the best description of McRib I have ever heard.

Your competitors don’t live a lie. Burger King doesn’t give a crap about appearing to be a nice place. They take the Marlboro Man approach and say, “Yeah, our food will kill you, so what! You’re not a pussy are you? No? Then eat our double bacon, sausage, cheese crousandwich like a man!”

This is all Morgan Spurlock’s fault. A couple of years ago, that red mustached pile of human waste made a self indulgent, obvious “documentary” where he espoused the danger of McDonalds. This guy makes Michael Moore look like Frontline. It turns out, shockingly enough, if you eat nothing but crappy food you feel terrible and get fat. Holy shit! Really? It took almost two hours for the film to draw that conclusion. But it somehow gained traction and McDonalds overreacted in their attempt to overhaul their image.

My buddy John wrote a very insightful review of Spurlock a few years ago on his blog. Here’s the link. It’s worth a read. Here is an especially perceptive paragraph:

Morgan, who likely has not completed a lot of courses in scientific research, made a fundamental mistake with his conclusions in Supersize Me. He contributed most of the adverse health effects to McDonald's less-than-healthy food when I would argue, in my scientific opinion, that 75-80% of Morgan's problems stem from being a pussy, not from eating fatty foods.

So embrace who you are McDonalds. Don’t let some preachy, unfunny douche like Spurlock push you around. Don’t ask me what you can make for me when I order my food. Instead say, “What item of ours will you regret eating in 10 minutes?” or “How specifically would you like to get fatter and more sluggish today?”. And instead of nice place settings with china and flatware, display your food half eaten on crumpled, grease speckled paper bag sitting on an empty passenger seat. That’s how your food is consumed. So stop lying to yourself. We see through it.


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