Thursday, July 8, 2010
Now, I'm not usually one for "current" media. I read the Sunday paper, of course- the trifecta of the Sunday Mag, Parade and "the funners." Always. I try to keep up with environmental, health and local political stuff. But no, I'm not a rabid news follower. (Then again, I kinda don't have to be. I'm married to a guy who has The Huffington Post tattooed onto his corneas. He likes to tell me The Issues right before bed.)
However. This morning's Trib had a feature story about the Happy Meal. And how evil it was. Because McDonald's lures kids in with the promise of- get this- a toy. And it's making our nation's kids fat. And, I dunno, commercial. I really don't see the problem. Okay, I take that back. I see the problem of gluttonous consumerism. Everyone does. But seriously. Let's break it down:
a) The kids ain't driving themselves to Mickey D's. Toys are the big draw? False. An easy meal for the parent is the draw. (And as a parent and a ridiculously lazy person myself, I do not condemn this practice. But let's not get all high and mighty about the toy thing- a dollar burger is a dollar burger is I Am Not Cooking Tonight. Heck- the other day we took Nora out to get a corndog. Healthy? Nope. But it was easy to procure and I wanted a bite of it.)
b) They have french fries? In the Happy Meal? Yup. But they also have apple dippers and white meat chicken and milk chugs. (Forgetting, for a moment, that the idea of "chugging" milk makes me retch.) They also have salads and wraps and yogurt parfaits and grilled stuff. But my kid won't eat that, a chorus of parents exclaim, baggies of Cheerios in hand. Well, that's not McD's fault. Again, the six year-old isn't waltzing up to the counter and placing an order. (Although that would be pretty special to see.)
c) The toy itself? The five cent marvel that is the instantly breakable piece of indeterminate plastic? Really? This is the thing causing all the fuss? Yeah, kids really crave that piece of ribbon attached to a piece of plastic [a current, AirBender-related toy choice]- so much, in fact, that it instantly ends up under the backseat of the car. Also, did you know that they offer crayons at Denny's? Yup. LURES THEM IN. Do we really want our kids to think it's okay to eat Moons Over My Hammy every single day? Uh, then why the crayons?
I totally dig why people are up in arms over this. It took this company waaay too long to offer healthier choices and come clean on nutritional listings. But somewhere along the line people need to take personal responsibility for individual items of food which they place in their individual mouths. Going to McDonald's was a special- and extremely rare- treat for us when we were kids. As Peej said to me this morning- it wasn't the toy so much as it was a chance to eat a burger in a place that made him feel like a big kid. And, of course, the Play Place didn't hurt. ('Cept when it did.) And let's not forget about the Hamburglar. (I really, really couldn't NOT mention him here.)
Heck, little kid P.J. was bribed with a Happy Meal to "be okay with" moving to his new house. As in, "If we take you, will you stop whining about the move?" Yup!
And what about Mayor McCheese? (That's all.)
In short, don't take your kids out to have fast food. Except when you want to. But don't do it more than every once in a while. Or- if you do- you lose the right to say things about fast food luring you in.
Now I am simply starving.
Media rant= ended. Back to hard-hitting issues like this or this or (takin' the Wayback Machine) to this.
Be good to your cecum. (Eww...)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Today's note- vmpre bathroom. (See? That second word wasn't even any different!) I was pretty sure I meant "vampire" bathroom, which made me feel good to figure out. Then I felt badly again, realizing that I still had no idea what a vampire bathroom was.
I was thoroughly, utterly confused for perhaps way too long. Was this a True Blood reference? Blade? A bathroom in my house? (No longer scary, but perhaps this was an old jot?)
Then it hit me. The night that we saw Avatar at Webster, I ran into the bathroom pre-3 hour long viewing. Have any of you ever been in this ladies' room? I thought that there were only about five or six stalls with opposing sinks and mirrors. When I went to check myself out in the full-length mirror on the far wall- I saw nothing. No reflection. My first thought- obviously- was that I was a vampire. Yep. (Apparently at any given time I am one step away from believing something supernatural is occurring. Please do not ever 'punk' me.) So what really happened?
I was looking into a doorway. That's right. What I thought was framing for a mirror was actually a pass-through for another identical set of five or six stalls and opposing sinks. And what's amazing...is that this is not the first time I'd been to this bathroom. Or had this thought.
I've probably jotted it down before and been unable to decipher. Aren't you glad we figured it out?
And now onto- pesticides.
I have never cared much about food additives, chemicals in beauty products- although I've always been staunchly against animal testing, unless it's voluntary, or unless the animal looks REALLY pretty afterwards- or harsh things in household cleaners. Heck [one of ] my middle names is 'Splenda.'
However, my mother sent me this article yesterday. It will haunt me forever. Basically, it concerns a number of household products that are slowly killing you dead. Like the rubber duck.
I've always thought mothers and fathers who were strictly organic and chemical-free were a little a)crazy hippie, probably a holdover from my Hampshire days, or b)able to throw around their copious piles of cash on the trendy new "green" product. (I put "green" in parenthesis, for most of these families do not recycle. Just spend money on expensive "green" cleansers. See? I did it again.)
I swore I would never be one of those But What About The Children parents, nor one of those who only bought free-range piles of meat to go with my macrobiotic side dishes. I guess I always felt that stating the only types of food my child could eat would kinda go hand in hand with PickyEaterdom, which- as everyone knows- is a one way ticket to anorexia. (I had a LOT of ideas before I had a child.)
So what happened? I had a child.
Suddenly, every rash is a chemical burn, every projectile vomit is a direct response to the second cup of coffee I ingested that morning (that one's probably true) and the Clorox which, months before, was okey-dokie for (in theory) scrubbing the bathroom, was now slowly poisoning my kid's lungs, brains and toenails.
I'll admit it. Having a baby has made me certifiably insane about Products and Food. And not because I want to keep up with the Joneses nor turn up my nose at People Who Hate The Planet.
It's because I'm madly in love with Nora. I get it now. I don't want things around her that will stunt her growth (she's already pretty short) or halt her brain development or give her a moments pain for even a second of her long, wonderful life. I get it. As it turns out, we are responsible for everything that happens to her up to and including the age of eighteen. This is in the booklet you get at the hospital. You nod and smile. Because she's just a person- a wonderful person, mind you, but no more deserving of a clean planet or Egyptian cotton than anyone else you know. Right?
Oh, hah ha. How we are now laughing.
Okay, too heavy for a Thursday morning.
The other day on Facebook I feel like I really keyed into a portion of the general populace's brain. Specifically, I mentioned that Mayor McCheese made me laugh until I pee. This is true. Something about that random figure with a sash (why the sash?) and ginormous burger-head gets me going every time. Especially when I think of the Hamburglar chasing after him and trying to steal his big ol' head of meat.
That paragraph took me way too long to type.
However, the comments, emails and texts that started rolling in made me realize- the majority of us have a shared response to McDonalds and their cast of lovable, wacky characters.
We all think they're flipping insane.
Apparently, everyone wanted a party at the Playland, no one gets why most of the characters run around trying to steal your milkshake/fries/burger face, and no less than two of my friends have gotten stuck in the throat of a metal burger head.
Seriously. Typing is hard when you're Ugly Cry-laughing.
This is not the first time I've posted about Mayor McCheese. (Nor will it be the last. I could write forever about this.) Also- nothin' organic in THAT last segment, eh?
I think we'll all be okay.
As long as we size up the metal burger head accordingly and wait our turns.