Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Scarlet Arches

I had my 6th birthday at McDonald’s. It was kind of a big deal although I’m pretty sure all we did was eat and wear hats. Regardless, it was the shit. The 70’s and 80’s were The Golden Ages of The Golden Arches. Ronald even had an entourage. Grimace, The Hamburglar, Mayor McCheese, and some Fry Guys were The Trans Fat Pack. McDonald’s was all about people deserving a break and by break they meant stuffing your fat face. Then things started to change. The clown got greedy. McDonald’s went from 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun to you are now being considered for “The Biggest Loser.” As a rule, anything in life that’s “Super Sized” is probably going to hurt. What goes in must come out and Ronald’s Revenge is swift and mighty.

McDonald’s has been backpedaling for years. It’s a little shady to build a house in order to help children while also fattening them up. I’ve read that story before and it ends with a red headed clown being pushed into a scalding fat vat. I’m not fooled by the Apple Dippers and Yogurt Parfait. Who the fuck goes in for a double QPC but ends up with an Apple dipper? As a parent in a country of Oompa Loompa’s, letting your child bask in the glow of fast food heaven is a no-no. If CrackDonald’s is what you crave you gotta go on the DL.

A few weeks ago my son dropped his organic nut free lunch on the strep infested classroom floor. He wasn’t happy and I could foresee my day ending with Sake infused tears so I whispered, “I’ll take you to McDonald’s.” It was as if he had a mega-phone affixed to his tiny mouth. He announced to everyone within a 35 mile radius he was going to “McDONALD’S.” He also shared he was gonna have 2 cheeseburgers and fries just like he always does. Always does???? Time stood still. That little Assjacket put The Scarlet Arches on me. I swear one mom covered her child’s ears. I know some were thankful it wasn’t their kid outing them.

Fast Food is bad for you but it’s called a “Happy Meal” for a reason. Don’t “THEY” say everything in moderation? At least I’m honest. I hate those people who try to rationalize by saying they only crushed a 20 piece because they were wasted or on the road. Yeah, your arteries totally know not to clog because you ate a Big Mac with a cheese burger chaser at a rest stop. I’m starting a secret underground society of moms who occasionally worship those big floppy clown shoes. Who will join me?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shhh... it's not the guilt of the grease and the carbs I bear. It's the playland. I try not to think about the godawful germs crawling on every surface of the room, but when the weather's bad or I'm just too lazy (or in the middle of a reeaallly good book) to actually play with my kid: it's off to McD's PlayLand of Ebola & Strange Kids. For the record, I always make her get the apple slices instead of fries. See? I'm a good mom. - SuzsPetals

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, during Cheerleading Comp. season the Golden Arches is a once a week for my girls. What irony that before I take them to a 3 hour , intense aerobic workout, I feed them a clogger meal. Yhey always get apples and bottled water, instead of fries and soda...no dipper allowed...I'm mean like that.

mixorr said...

Boy did you hit it out of the ballpark with this one....I'm going to get my Scarlet Arches sweater now, and wear it with pride, not shame! I had a "big mac" necklace as a kid: it was lead probably, and painted with lead enamel I am sure, the pendant was a big mac,with the words of the ingredients painted for the appropriate part of the "sandwich" ... See Moreso it looked like a big mac. To be honest, I have never had a big mac, but I liked the ad campaign. I probably sucked on that lead infested pendant all day.......

And, funny, you forgot to mention that McD used to be the Green enemy, remember those styrofoam packages? These days you can feel great about going to McD bc of their recycled packaging.......

LOL

nuckingfutsmama said...

I will totally join you! I hate those tree hugging bitches who shoot death daggers from their eyes at the very mention of the Golden Arches. They're called Happy Meals for a reason -- they make kids HAPPY, which, in turn, makes parents HAPPY.

As usual, another kick-ass post, sister!

Rock on,
Nuckingfutsmama ;-)

melissa said...

long live the golden arches.
my kids eat mcdonalds embarrassingly too much. but i'm ok with that because i'm a cool mom.

lahikmajoe said...

I'm still fondly remembering those characters you mentioned...the rest of what you wrote sort of washed over me.

My mother didn't allow McD's, so all my grandfather had to do to keep his awesome title was take us there when they visited.

Ok...now I reread the stuff after Hamburgler & co. Very funny stuff.

mepsipax said...

About time...great fucking post. Also, although fast food is good every once in a while, I can't jump back to McD's. Scary red headed clown giving little kids toys to "eat his meat". Something rings wrong with that message.

My word verification
bubut

Hawthorn said...

Totally. I took my younger two to McD's on Monday - their choice for a treat lunch, since eldest was whooping it up on holiday with a friend.
Felt so very wrong, in so many ways, but they haven't stopped thanking me. I think that single visit racked up enough parent-points to see me through the next month of homework arguments.

Logical Libby said...

Sometimes McDonalds is the only thing that stops a meltdown. And I am totally cool with that.

Remember when the fish sandwich was considered the "healthy" option?

Apryl's Antics said...

Guess what? If the apples aren't organic, they're loaded with pesticides. Like #1 on the list of fruits highest in pesticides.

Yeah, I'm a downer like that. I do take my kids to McDonalds on occasion and I ate there at least once a week when I was a kid. My brother also had his birthday party there. I know the nutritionist on "Super Size Me" said "NEVER", but WTF, sometimes you just have to!

The Daver said...

Oh HELL no. Any parent who looks with shame in their eyes at another parent who gives their kids The Smackdonald's once in a while will get a Smackdonald right across the kisser from Dear Old The Daver.

Yeah, I said it. Chicken McNuggets & chocolate milk? SOOTHE THE SAVAGE BEASTIES.

phd in yogurtry said...

Husband and I lurrve hamburgers but McD's are the worst. That said, when we traveled with our three young kids in tow? We became like crack addicts searching the blue road signs for the yellow arches. Happy meals and indoor playscapes. That is the genius of McD's.

I will add, McD's fries are the best. When I was a hungover undergrad driving to my too-early morning shift, I would make two drive-thru stops: Wendy's for the burger, McD's for the fries. Pure decadence. But hangover cravings must be obeyed.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally there with you. When my husband is out of town (which is often) We eat at McDonalds alot. After I get off work at 6pm, pick up the kids, drive to another town, it almost 7:30pm. I can't go home and cook at 7:30...we wouldn't sit down to eat until 8 or 8:30 and thats bed time. Anyway, we stop at Mickey D's on the way home. I guess thats means I'm kinda lazy, but hey, At least they get to eat.

One Crazy Mom said...

Ah, fast food. It's one of the luxuries that drew me to live in the city. Generally we reserve the golden arches for the grandparents to treat the kids with. My mil loves to take the kids and treat them to all that trans fat and sugar, and my mom loves sending the kids gift certificates for the place so that she can treat them long distance.

And I will admit that I take my kids when I just need some me time. I can enjoy a tall coke and large fries all to myself while my monsters expend their excess energy.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

iheartporkchops said...

We didn't have a McDs in our town until I was in High School, and thankfully we still had an open campus so I ate there every single day. I would get the two cheese burger meal. And you know what? Now that I don't eat there...I have a weight problem. Oh wait maybe it was because I played basketball 24/7 in high school and now all I do is sit on my ass.

Kisha said...

I live in Seattle. It rains a lot here. McDonalds has an indoor playplace. Enough said:)

Mandy said...

I'll see your Happy Meal and raise you McMocha! Dude, send me the scarlet arches too. My best friend is one of those tree hugging, no sugar allowing, whole grain eating carrot stick pushing super moms. I tried to emulate her style when my son first started eating, HA, that lasted until Mini Maurer had his first McNugget! I limit it to once a week, so, like, that's good right?

Aunt Becky said...

McDonald's is my fucking hero.

Amber Page Writes said...

I will join your secret society...but only if I can have the occasional affair with Burger King.

Jennifer said...

If you can escape the draw of an indoor play area with giant hamster tunnels (it rains a LOT in Miami yo), deliciously decadent food, AND a freakin toy, what kind of parent are you, really? A sadist, that's what I say. Seriously though, sometimes you need to save your sanity. I limit it to once per week at most.... unless of course it's a real bad week. And about half the time, I don't eat there, just feed the short people. Didn't I read somewhere that fat helps kids' brains develop properly??? My kid just turned four and can read... must be the McD's!!!!!

Swirl Girl said...

I think they use subliminal sensory messaging on us. All I need to do is drive by the place and the hairs on my arms stand on end. I can smell those fries , and I get all twitchy and...


...then I remember what happens to my digestive tract and keep driving.

the InsolentBitch said...

Oh my Goddamn I am so glad you posted this. When I was pregnant I had disabling nausea and vomiting for 5 months straight. 24/7. The only thing I could eat? Golden Delicious Arches. It was the only thing I could keep down. Plus, if I ordered a large meal I got a free awesome Coke glass. So worth the heartattack and cankles.

Anonymous said...

I HATE AUNT BECKY! She linked your site, and now I am laughing my head off. I do not have time for all this reading, so please stop being so funny - it is way past my bedtime, since I don't think I have slept in two days. Maybe I will take the kids to McDonald's tomorrow... BTW, if you and Becky ever socialize in real life, it must be lethal :)! Oprah and Gail would not know what hit them!!
Lisa

Sharon said...

Fantastic post. Sign me up and fuck all those self-righteous granola motherbots. Happy meals = happy.

Anne Marie said...

I'll follow you - lol! I agree, everything in moderation. I was recently, we'll call it "irked" by some moms at my daughter's school who want group snack to be changed. I don't know if you know this but apparantly Goldfish and Graham crackers are kiddie crack as well. Get a life!

LittleAnimation said...

I've never taken our kids to McDonalds. Sounds strange, right?

Sabreena said...

Hell yes I'll join you. I take my kids there at least every two weeks as well as on the occasional lazy weekend day. Due to the obesity train people have jumped on we have gone completely overboard about McDonalds. Moderation is key. We don't eat there every night but we also don't avoid it like the plague. Besides, many more nights than I like to admit my boys are gobbling Tyson chicken nuggets with Oreida fries and chasing it with apple juice. Does that make me an unhealthy weeble creator? I think not. As long as I am concious of what's going in and how much activity is being spent I am doing my job and doing it well! At least I think so.

Shannon said...

I'll join too! However I usually only do drive through since my kids are young and its a pain in the ass to haul them in and then drag them kicking and screaming from the play area after we're done.

Happy meals are awesome b/c I can get something mostly healthy for the kids (they get apple dippers) and fries for myself which I justify by "sharing" with the kids (they each get 1 or 2 ff).

Wombat Central said...

I can't wait to reach in that greezy bag and pull out the prize to assemble it myself. Just don't make me go in the greezy hamster tube play place.

Beth in SF said...

Scarlet Arches, I like that. I get a mega-craving whenever Aunt Flo comes around, and usually I have my kiddo in tow, and I feel like ALL EYES are
on me when I walk through that door. He's 21 months, still too young to get it, but getting there. I'll have to curb the cravings real soon. I've let him have a fry now and then, but that's it. I don't want fast food to be the self-medicating fix-all that it's become for me.

J.R. Reed said...

McDonalds back in the day was the shit huh? I remember going to see Ronald McDonald and that thievin mo-fo the Hamburgler. No one knew at the time that Mayor McCheese was ready for a full on Marion Berry coke and ho scandal, but I suspected. Even at 7!

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

Bitch- I am right there with ya, sign my ass up I'm all down for a secret society and floppy clown shoes!

ZDub said...

I made the mistake of taking my son to the goddamn playground at McDonald's. I let him eat apples and as I was looking around in disgust, I noticed a sign on the wall: "Free Wi-Fi".

Fucking A.

The Expatresse said...

Now and then. You gotta have McDonald's now and then. Not Wendy's. Not BK.

You gotta.

PS: When the kids were too little to know any better, I used to get them milk with their Happy Meals. Now they're onto me . . . oh, well.

karen said...

nope. sorry no. except the egg mcmuffin, the stuff that has come out about preformed burgers is just way too gross for me, and I don't feel secure about my kids eating there anyway.

THAT SAID, what business is it of mine if you want to take your kids there, if it gives them pleasure. I don't even have an opinion if you aren't moderate (and I believe you when you say you are) because really, if you aren't doing something that directly harms my kids, something horribly malicious, what business is it of mine.

Truth be told, I have severe mamma guilt about being so freaky about MickeyDs, and their cohorts. Will my kids become fanatical about it because I can't be moderate? Worse, will my kids become self-righteous foodies?

I make sure I surround myself with people who aren't as freakish as I am. I also am studiously oblivious of those who don't live by the "Different Strokes" rule.

Ilana said...

My kid isn't even walking yet so I am not one to judge a mom who must take the McDonald's route every now and then. I do know that as a child who grew up in a house that was very restrictive when it came to junk food, I ate my face off at my friends' houses. And the second I realized I could buy a candy bar with my own money when no one was looking? I bought TEN. Yeah, so striking a balance is key to a healthy kid.