(As an aside, since I’m using a corporate slogan as the title of this post: Does anyone else find the latest Budweiser slogan totally hilarious? “This Is Beer?” Seriously, guys? The only rational explanation I can find for this is that they’re getting desperate to convince the public that their product isn’t, in fact, like having sex in a canoe. “No, we swear, it’s beer!”)
As promised, this post is about McDonald’s. Specifically, the most recent McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal I purchased. Now, before anybody gets all up in arms, I’m well aware that food from the golden arches is among the worst stuff I could put in my body. They’re probably ruining rainforests and beaching whales to make my clogged artery with a side of fries, and yet somehow I manage to hand them money with a totally clear conscience. I know the food is unhealthy, I assume they engage in shady corporate practices, and it’s clear to me that they play a pretty big part in the way obesity may disproportionately impact children from lower-income families.
None of that changes the fact that I enjoy the taste of their food, or that I have nearly lifelong fond associations stemming from a childhood injury involving a concrete parking divider and my front teeth that left me unable to eat all but the mooshiest of foods–like greasy McDonald’s french fries. So I continue to eat from the establishment in moderation, now moderated even more by the Sig Fig, owner of Looks That Can Kill, or at least maim if the situation warrants.
Anyway. As of late I’ve started ordering only Happy or Mighty Kids Meals, since I can get a milk instead of soda, fries in the only portion that approaches sensible, and a toy. So on our way to parts west this past weekend, the Sig Fig and I stopped at one of those weird service plazas and I made a beeline for the extremely busy Mickey D’s. I ordered a double cheeseburger with extra pickles meal, got my milk, and approximately three days later received my order. Ravenous, I took the bag to the car and we hit the road again. Thus, it was not until we were well on our way that I discovered my toy was a Hello Kitty compact, complete with lip gloss.
Let me just say that again, to make sure it sinks in for everybody: my toy was a Hello Kitty compact, complete with lip gloss.
I was totally crestfallen. Lip gloss? Seriously? Usually I get a gender-neutral plastic monstrosity from some animated feature I haven’t even seen, but at least that’s generally mildly entertaining. I examined the bag. It encouraged me to play dress up with my friends, and possibly give them makeovers. Now, I may have failed royally at being a girl in my earlier days, but I went to enough sleepovers to know that you canNot do a proper makeover with just lip gloss. I also found a brief explanation of how Hello Kitty got her nickname (her full name, apparently, is Kitty Somethingelse. I didn’t keep the bag so I’m going from memory here), and a lot of pink.
“Well, at least they correctly assessed your gender,” the Sig Fig offered.
I turned the bag around. On the other side, I found the Totally! Awesome! Things! Boys! Can! Do! when they have some weird wheel toy. Not having said toy, I don’t really know what it is, but I was able to gather from the bag that it’s some kind of wind-up and release car thing. Or maybe just a wheel. Regardless, this side of the bag included a tongue twister, suggestions for challenging your friends to races, and a few words with more than one syllable.
This is total bullshit. I know I shouldn’t expect much from McDonald’s, given that several summers ago, in one of many attempts to appeal to the “urban” population, their ad campaigns featured the slogan “I’d hit that.” In reference to a Big Mac, and various other foodstuffs. Yeah, think on that one for a minute, and try to figure out how anyone ever thought that could possibly be a good idea.
Anyway, I’m still peeved that the gender-appropriate toys and their accompanying literature given out by McDonald’s encourage boys to be active, creative, and competetive while encouraging girls to… uhm… to… put on lip gloss?
And, finally, while I guess I am a little glad the dude who took my order correctly assessed my gender, I don’t see how he could have expected I would want a goddamn Hello Kitty lip gloss holder.