Happy Meals

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has announced they’re going to sue to get McDonald’s to stop putting toys in their Happy Meals ©. They say this encourages kids to eat said meals (well, duh!) and that’s the reason many of our first graders are so overweight that our elementary schools are having to widen the doorways to the classroom. By sixth grade, many of the classes are forced to meet outside, which of course leads to an increase in colds and flu and absenteeism, which leads to a decrease in federal funding, making it harder for the school systems to hire district office personnel at five times the volume and salary rate of an actual in-the-classroom teacher.

This, obviously, is a problem.

And thank goodness we have CSPI (no, not that show on CBS where they dissect the dead bodies) to protect those parents who are apparently incapable of telling their children, “No.”

I don’t consider myself either a McDonald’s advocate or enemy. I went several years without eating at one, but since moving to Dumas I’ve probably averaged eating there once a month. This is for the simple reason that it’s a central place that I can meet with friends and we can all get cheap soft drinks or coffee. Sometimes I get a burger. McD burgers are not the best in the world, but the not the worst, either. What sets them apart—for good or bad, depending on your personal preference—is that the burgers at every single McDonalds in the continental United States taste exactly the same. No drama.

I should throw in here that I have come to enjoy their bacon cheeseburgers. But I also need to throw in a caveat: I like one of them. You see, they cost a dollar apiece. So, for a while, when I would meet my friends in the middle of the afternoon, I would get a one dollar bacon cheeseburger and a one dollar large soft drink, which would be not just my snack but my supper. And the burger always tasted GREAT! So, one day my wife and kids were off somewhere and I was left to fend for myself for lunch. I had something like $2.25 cents on me. I thought, excitedly, “I’ll get TWO bacon cheeseburgers.” I don’t know if I learned something about bacon cheeseburgers from McDonalds or just something about myself, but I did learn that I only like one of them at a time. The second one sat on my chest like a lead balloon.

I still go to McDonald’s occasionally when I’m getting together with friends, and I’ll still order a bacon cheeseburger on some of those occasions. But I learned quickly and well to say no to the second one. If I’m really hungry, I can get fries or one of those yogurt cups (also $1!).

My point is (see, I knew there would be one in there somewhere) that I didn’t need The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to sue McDonalds to keep me from eating a second hamburger. Unlike their constituency, I have the sense to say no.

Having written all that, I have a sudden urge to go to McD’s. Be back in a few.