I am a gentleman of a certain age (ok, I am 51) and so I remember McDonald’s as a wholesome treat of childhood. I remember going to McDonald’s with the Thompson twins or the Adler twins (two sets of twins who lived on my street in 1969 – and yes, they were indeed twins named “Thompson”) and pretending the french fries were cigarettes. I remember how long it took to get my hamburger without pickles on it. What is more wholesome than being a 4-year-old and pretending to smoke like a grownup?
My kids grew up learning the health risks of McDonald’s, and thinking of it the way I might have thought of, say, heroin. So I’ve never taken them there. They’ve never wanted to go. I’ve offered, and they’ve always stared at me sort of aghast, as though I wanted to add vodka to their orange juice. Now they are teenagers. The opportunity for sharing that particular joy is lost forever.
Second, I visit McDonald’s once a month or once every other month. I’ve always thought that part of the pleasure is getting to “supersize” my fries. McDonald’s has of course eliminated this option, so now I order the largest fries they have (large? extra-large?) PLUS another order of small fries. This completely baffles the counter-staff, every time, and I think once they realize that I intend to eat two servings of fries, it vaguely disgusts them. This is gross, even to someone who works at McDonalds. But I need my supersize, even if they don’t call it that anymore. It is a storied tradition, and it is all their fault.