Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Two reflections about McDonald's

Inspired by Bill Harris's story about bringing his son to McD's for breakfast.

Reflection #1

Have you ever noticed that the toys which come with McDonalds happy meals are exceptionally well made, much higher quality than the tat you get in discount shops? In addition they ususally have some trick that immediately grabs your attention like a doll that sings the first three words of the latest hit song or a toy car with working electric windows. However the most amazing thing about McDonalds happy meal toys is that they provide precisely 5 minutes of play value, no more no less. I suppose they are designed to keep kids entertained for as long as it takes to eat a McDonalds meal. Indeed I have found that there is no point in taking these toys home with you. The kids have generally exhausted their play value by the time you are ready to leave. How they engineer such precisely contolled utility into each toy amazes me. A triumph of design, every single one.


Reflection #2

A former boss of mine who's job involved much global travel but who was unfortunately given to fairly conservative eating habits confessed to me once that McDonalds was the saviour of the picky eating travller.

It is true. No matter what far flung corner of the world you find yourself in you are bound to find the welcoming inverted W. Spurning local delicacies (which doubtless involve generous helpings of sheep eyeball) you can tuck into a Big Mac and Fries secure in the knowledge no one has ever heard of anyone who got food poisoning from McDonalds.

I had occasion to put this theory to the test myself last year while on Holiday in Hong Kong with my family. It was wonderful. It was exotic. It was strange. It was a bit too strange for my kids unfortunately who refused to eat the glorious oriental dishes on offer in restaurants ("It doesn't taste like Chinese food at home Daddy!"). The kids got hungrier and crankier and my wife and I were genuinely worried about how we would feed them.

Then we saw a McDonalds in the distance. We were saved.

"Come on kids the happy meals are on me" I said.

"Daddy"

"Yes"

"You know how you are always telling us that fast food is bad for you"

"Yes"

"Well you are right. We don't like McDonalds any more"

I didn't know whether to rejoice or despair. We ate in Pizza hut.

1 comment:

Crimson Starfire said...

Lol! Its so true, each McD's toy is a triumph of design, every single one. Although the quality does seem to be deteriorating over years...

I try to avoid eating Maccas, but if I have no other choice, then I don't usually complain ;)

Cool post.