When I was a young lad, I had the privilege of going out to Bob’s Big Boy twice a year for a sundae. Once at the start of the school year, and once at the end of the school year. It was my mom’s treat for me, and I suppose gave her an opportunity to talk to me about what I was looking forward to in the new school year or, as the case may be, what I liked about the year that had just finished. It is among my favorite childhood memories.
We weren’t poor, but we certainly didn’t eat out much. Almost all of our meals – – nearly 100% – – were home-cooked, and quite good. Of course, as a child, passing by the brightly-lit fast food joints was a little intoxicating to me, since the allure of free little toys and ostensibly delicious food was made plain to me by the commercials I saw.
On the few occasions I had the privilege of going to a burger joint, I would invariably choose Burger Chef. I suppose the young Tim, like the older Tim, liked to make unusual choices. The older Tim chooses Philz instead of Starbucks. The younger Tim chose Burger Chef instead of the much better-known Burger King.
Of course, the older Tim also might ask of the above commercial: “Why is a very young boy hanging out all day with a middle-aged man?” But back in the 1970s, such questions never occured to me.
I never questioned the infrequency of our eating out. It was never explained to me as a health choice, nor was it stated to be a result of our impecunious state. We just hardly ever went, and I didn’t have a big problem with that.
Just last night, however, I think an old demon emerged, because I was actually at a McDonald’s. The only reason I was there – – and I always feel the need to explain myself to you when I mention my presence there – – is that there is a supercharger right next to it, and I’ll often plug in my car, head into Mickey-D’s and, without buying anything, type up a post on my laptop, using their surprisingly good WiFi.
Last night, however, I was feeling a bit peckish, so I thought I’d treat myself (and I use that term with reservations, in retrospect) to some kind of hamburger. Now let me be clear that I’m relatively healthy, but I never have a problem eating something delicious, even if it’s bad for me. And when I think of, say, a cheeseburger, I think of something like this:
Now I realize that I’m not about to get anything that tasty at a McDonald’s, but I figured I’d get something…………..decent. So I looked at their huge color electronic kiosk with its tantalizing photos of burgers (not much different than the one depicted above) and selected a double cheeseburger. I was kind of looking forward to it, which was probably an echo from the young Tim of decades ago, peering outside his parents’ car window at the glowing golden arches that were passing by.
Well, the burger came, and although I pride myself in occasionally being able to assemble words in an eloquent and evocative manner, allow me to just proffer a two-word review: it sucked.
Everything about it was disappointing. All my senses agreed. My sense of sight perceived a burger that was small, flat, and unappealing. My sense of touch felt the floury, homogeneous bun, clearly a product of mass production. My sense of smell detected no aroma at all. And my sense of taste was the most disappointed of all, since this pathetic assembly of dilapidated ingredients had all the charm of a school bus fire.
Only my sense of hearing was spared.
This is no singular phenomenon, of course. The web is littered with images of what is advertising compared to what is delivered.
And, I assure you, what I was given wasn’t even nearly as nice looking as the burger shown on the right side of your screen. It looked like something that came out of a Play-Dough Fun Factory.
Suffice it to say I won’t be making that mistake again. What astonishes me is that McDonald’s is a $148 billion company, and they sell this absolute shit every single second of every single day to people all over the planet. I found out that McDonald’s is estimated to have sold 300 billion hamburgers over the course of its lifetime. I am here to assure you, every one of those cows died in vain. This food is garbage. Total garbage.
I want to publicly Thank God (who himself is a Diamond member here) that I have the choice to not eat this stuff, which some people do on a daily basis. My view is that the McDonald’s Corporation would be a lot more honest if they resorted to their original Ronald McDonald character, who was much closer to the horrors that waited for you inside their restaurant than the treacle-sweet clown that bounces around our television screen these days.