This is one of two sketches I wrote for my Writing Humour unit (the other one is here). I got an overall Credit for both of them. Obviously, it’s a satire although I do love the occasional Maccas binge (don’t judge me).
The internet (namely, Time magazine) recently ambushed me with an article brandishing the terrifying headline “McDonald’s is Closing Hundreds of Stores This Year”. Shaken, I hurriedly clicked through to get the full scoop; turns out seven hundred stores worldwide will be closed. No doubt hippies and foodies the world over will be rejoicing. I, on the other hand, was sent into a panic.
How can we let McDonald’s fail? Then again, ‘fail’ is probably a strong word. Seven hundred restaurants is a drop in the ocean of the nearly 33,000 McDonald’s stores worldwide but, still, they’re clearly hurting. If the U.S. government sees fit to bail out some money-grubbing banks and poorly managed car companies, surely they can do the same for that stalwart of quality, low cost food that’s been feeding humans ever since they discovered that grilled meat between bread is an honest-to-god thing. Fun fact. Did you know that the first McDonald’s used brontosaurus meat in all their burgers? Beef only made an appearance post-asteroid when brontosaurus became a tad difficult to come by (and prices skyrocketed). True story.
Personally, I don’t want to imagine a world without McDonald’s. Many of my favourite childhood memories feature a cheeseburger and fries, two and a half McNuggets and a strawberry thickshake being greedily consumed in the back of my mum’s Toyota Lite Ace. You knew you were mummy’s special little girl when a hot fudge sundae got added to the mix (and the fabric of the backseat of the car). Eating a rapidly melting sundae in a moving car at four years of age never ends well (for the car or the mum). Ah, the nostalgia. I partook of many a McDonald’s ice cream cake while dressed in my weekend finest at a friend’s birthday party. We always looked out for Ronald but he never came. Actually, it’s probably best I don’t think about it as it was a near constant source of disappointment. Taking a picture with his statue never really cut it for me, I wanted the real deal.
But don’t let my petty childhood grievances deter you, McDonald’s doesn’t stop being relevant just because you grow up. How many of us got our first taste of the working world right there beneath the Golden Arches? Not me personally, but many of us did. I was way too cool. I worked in an independent bakery, selling (and eating) pies for the little guy. But still, there was and is a place for McDonald’s. Without it, many ambitious teen workers would be back out on the street mowing lawns and delivering papers for chump change and, let’s face it, your scope to spit in people’s food narrows somewhat when you’re stuck babysitting the neighbour’s six year old. Talk about limited prospects for career development. And without those teen McDonald’s workers, I wouldn’t have had anyone to look down on when I was growing up so, clearly, it’s an important rite of passage (for losers).
But it’s not until you’re an adult that McDonald’s really comes into its own (coincidentally, right around the time you’re legally allowed to start drinking alcohol). Where else can you get quality late night food for under ten bucks? In the wee hours of the morning, a McDonald’s triple cheeseburger with extra cheese and no bun seems like the greatest idea in the world. Until you have it (the cheeseburger, that is). In fact, McDonald’s is the go to place for alcohol affected people at any time of the day. If they take it away, where will the drunks go? KFC and Hungry Jacks simply don’t have the pedigree. And what about Macca’s breakfast, the perennial favourite of the hungover, the broke and the late? When times get desperate, the desperate go to McDonald’s. That’s just nature, baby. Don’t fight it.
The closure of seven hundred McDonald’s stores will mean that seven hundred towns, streets and corners will have to go without their treasured Big Mac and bucket ‘o’ Coke. It’s a grim thought and one that must fill those affected with a hopelessness that only the now unattainable Big Mac can fill (unattainable, that is, unless, they’re willing to walk two streets over to the next-nearest McDonald’s). Such a terrible scale back of one of our most recognisable cultural icons will surely affect our society in the worst possible way. Hordes of hungry drunks and jobless teens roaming the streets cannot end well for us. Cue the zombie apocalypse. If anybody needs me, I’ll be hiding in my shuttered local Maccas. No one will think to look there.