Department

JOEY HEADSET: “Saving Micky D’s”

Joey HeadsetWhat happened to McDonald's?

McDonald's used to be the big daddy of fast food franchises. They had it all - burgers, fries...larger burgers, larger fries. But while the competition innovated, the Golden Arches stagnated. Wendy's currently offers salads and baked potatoes, Hardee's provides fried chicken and biscuits. Burger King...well, they're doing straight up crazy shit. Remember the BK Stacker? And what does Mr. McDonald have to say about all this? "Hey guys, here's a new 'Premium' Chicken Sandwich...and, uh... we're thinking about offering breakfast all day along!"

Pathetic.

McDonald's holds a special place in American culture. They are the fatteners of our asses, the bringers of diabetes to our children - they are the reason why the terrorists hate us. Journalist Thomas Friedman once wrote that no country that has a McDonald's has ever gone to war against another country with a McDonald's. The decline of the McDonald's franchise doesn't just threaten the economy, it could eventually cause World War III!

Though war certainly makes for great television, I can't in good conscience let this happen. For this reason, I offer the following humble suggestions for how McDonald's can once again claim its title as the premiere fast food restaurant in America - and the world.

McHaggisFirst and foremost, McDonald's needs more menu variety. When Ray Kroc founded the franchise in the late 50s, it was sufficient to serve nothing more than burgers, fries and shakes. You know, traditional drive-in fare. But in the modern fast food era, this is not enough. Customers crave variety, and though Micky D. has taken a few tentative steps toward expanding their menu, they need to start thinking outside the box. Way outside the box! Let's brainstorm for a moment... what's the last thing you would expect to see on a McDonald's menu? Sushi? Herb encrusted lamb shanks? Baked bean sandwiches? Yes, these would be surprising...perhaps even surprisingly delicious! However, I've got an even better idea. McDonald's has never really capitalized on the uniquely Scottish nature of their franchise's name-identity. In the long history of the restaurant, they have never served any traditional Scottish cuisine. I say it's time for the company to embrace their ethnic heritage.

Mmm! Americans will love the taste of McHaggis just like they love the taste (metaphorically) of ignorance and violence! And McDonald's already has a classic slogan they can adapt when marketing this delicacy: "Two all-sheep lungs, liver, heart, onion, stock, oatmeal, spices in a boiled sheep's stomach!"

Speaking of edible viscera, I've always been a big fan of Chicken McNuggets. They are everything I like about chicken, but in convenient bite sized chunklets that may or may not be made of chicken. I wonder, why can't McDonald's make all of their menu items available in some kind of McNugget format? Cheeseburger McNuggets would be pretty awesome, as would Big MacNuggets. Who knows, in the future we might even be able to enjoy an icy cool Coca-Cola in the form of refreshing CokeNuggets.

GrimaceAlso, do you remember Ronald McDonald? That ass-clown has got to go. Clowns are freaky and unpleasant. They are not funny, they are not entertaining, and most people who dress up like clowns are actually child molesters. It's a fact. McDonald's needs a new mascot, and they don't have to look far to find one. They already have a wonderful character who would serve brilliantly in this role.

This is Grimace. He was named after the facial expression most McDonald's executives make when they first learn the terrible secret of "special sauce". Grimace is a spokeman, er...spokesthing we can trust. He's blobby, he's androgynous, he's purple. He looks like America. Except for the androgynous and purple part.

When lefty activists need a poignant symbol to deface at anti-globalization protests, they need look no further than the Golden Arches. And, if McDonalds makes the simple changes I've proposed, those arches will represent corporate greed and American gluttony for decades to come.

For more Joey Headset: www.joeyheadset.com
September 25, 2006.