There’s one thing on Sunday, December 21st I hated more than the McDonald’s commercials that insult intelligence, and that was the Eagle’s offense. Between the McDonald’s R&B boy and the singing fish, my screen flashed “Happy Holidays” before the start of the game. The game was to take place in Landover, Maryland, as the Eagles had already lost to the Redskins earlier in the season at the Linc. FEDEX field was a place I had come to hate, not only because it was home to a division foe, but also because of my personal experience with Football Gatsby and Satan’s magical hangover elixir.
It’s difficult to fight with reception, fend of my pets trying to sit in my lap, and watch the game on a television of Umpa-Lumpa size. Often I can’t handle the FOX announcers, for this particular game troy Aikman and Joe Buck. Instead of listening to Joe Buck repeat himself, I will mute the television and listen to Merrel Reese call the game through the speakers of my computer. I couldn’t say it better regarding the magnitude of this game: “There is so much at stake. This is basically a play-off game for the Eagles. Win this game, beat Dallas next Sunday at the Linc, and the Eagles are in the playoffs. Lose this game, and the Eagles are all but dead.” The Eagles lack of intensity became the reason I wanted to kick my We-man television across the room when the Eagles could only muster a grand total of three points in such an important game.
The menagerie that is my house exploded with experlatives when McNabb laid two balls into the arms of De’Sean Jackson during the second half. Jackson, solid all year as a rookie, suddenly developed a case of Ben Grimm syndrome. In the end McNabb got the Birds close, but Reggie Brown continued to be a thorn in my side and forgot how to run a route with five seconds left in the game. To me, a spectator to the sport, it would make sense to run your route as a wide receiver into the actual end-zone in case time expires. That way you’re not helicopter-tackled on the one-foot-line, leaving Reese to say, “As Reggie Brown goes down there is no way the ball is across the plain of the goal line and I think the season has just ended.” Why is Reggie Brown smiling and hugging Redskin players at the end of the game? Stretch the ball over the goal line, Reggie and you’d have a reason to smile.
Do I seem bitter? It’s probably because I am. I’m all for sportsmanship like inhockey: I think the tradition of shaking hands after the game is important for the integrity of the game. Maybe it’s just me, but I hate players that laugh and joke after a loss. How could I possibly take the game more seriously than they do? Behavior like this makes me want to go serial-killer on fans and players alike that don’t take Sunday seriously.
John Wayne Gacy used to dress as “Pogo the Clown.” He was convicted and later executed for the murder and rape of thirty-three boys and young men.
The original Ronald McDonald was Pogo scary. My body went into spasms when my parents had a surprise birthday party for me at McDonald’s, complete with Ronald McDonald stand-in.
My brother and I would visit the local McDonalds each Saturday with our dad. He’d pretend not to notice when we’d steal as many ketchup packets as would fit in our pockets, jam them under his tire, then laugh hysterically when the ketchup splattered all over the car next to ours. I swear I saw my dad smiling a few times.
Pogo buried his victims in shallow graves in his basement. Pogo was so confident the lye would cover the decomposing corpse he invited a local law enforcement over for dinner. The cop’s keen nose recognized the autopsy smell. One thing I have in common with Pogo: I’ve tried covering up smells. I worked at McDonald’s one summer, and tried everything to cover the distinct smell that had burrowed like a weevil into my pores. Ever since then, McDonald’s customers eating cooked flesh remind me of Dahmer opening his freezer for a midnight snack.
Recently, I’ve thought back to these experiences and contemplated: Who’s in charge of the current McDonald’s ad campaign? It’s sure as hell not Pogo. Some version of the psycho clown and the cop enjoying a Big Mac together would be better than roller skating basketball players, or a wall-mounted depressed fish singing: What if it were you hanging up on this wall/If it were you in that sandwich you wouldn’t be laughing at all. A bonding experience, like the one my brother and I had with my dad in the Vet parking lot, would be better than a love affair with a ten piece McNugget as the estranged lover sings, Girl you got a ten piece/ please don’t be stingy.
What happened to Larry Bird and Michael Jordan competing in the longest game of horse for the right to a Big Mac? Can anybody actually think of a McDonalds add that made you want to buy their product? Please don’t say that 80’s commercial with Jason Alexander, or the 90’s commercial with the slogan, have you had your break today? In this commercial McDonalds tries to show that they can appease to the masses. A black lady enters her store. The ridiculousness begins when the viewer realizes how hard McDonalds is trying. The lady seems to own a store that sells African memorabilia. At this point the statues on the wall and counters begin to dance. They are ecstatic the woman has purchased McDonalds for lunch. McDonald’s over-reliance on outdated tropes seems more insulting. I think for McDonalds next commercial they should depict a Mexican mixing tequila, wearing a sombero. Or better yet, a Native American on a reservation taking a break from drinking to use his government funded allowance to but McDonalds.
Monkeys could have written the company’s latest montage to sell its iced latte. McDonald’s slogan, I’m Lovin’ It, has turned me into a hater. There’s no way I should be subjected to these commercials fifteen, twenty times each Sunday. Sunday, you see, is my day in front of the television watching football. I live in the dinosaur age of technology. I don’t have TiVo, or even basic cable for that matter. So my duct-tapped rabbit ears cycle the same ten commercials over and over again because I’m only picking up the local feed. When I’m not at the actual Philadelphia Eagle games I’m left fighting with reception, or going to the bar. I turn into a foaming-at-the-mouth dog when the Eagles are losing, and a PCP user when they’re winning. I tend to take out my aggression on inanimate objects, including McDonald’s commercials.
Here’s a text I received from my brother on December 28th 2008 at 6:56 pm regarding the R&B McDonalds commercials:
HAAAAA! That commercial is awesome. R they serious? Whos supposed 2 b the audience 4 that? Crappy rb singers who love meat?
Maybe I’ve lost my sense of humor, Pogo the clown lodged in my head. All those Dahmer hamburgers I cooked haunting my dreams.
Come June 2009, one of the biggest cons in American history will be complete. Oprah, like she’s warning about the dangers of Chlamydia, cautions us in her own commercial about the switch from analog to digital signals. The government and Oprah make it sound like they’re doing us a favor by offering a partial rebate for a converter box. The movie, Total Recall wasn’t far off when inhabitants of Mars were charged for air. Hopefully Schwarzenegger is still on our side—we can continue to breath while listening to the radio. Have I fallen for McDonaldization in a broader sense? I continue to invite Pogo/Ronald into my house each time I turn on my television.
George Ritzer coined the phrase McDonaldization. Each Sunday, I feel my house become McDonaldized with commercials, phone calls, and my computer dinging with the delivery of new emails. Ritzer’s definition of McDonaldization is: “The process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world.” Each Sunday during Eagle games, Pogo/Ronald bunkers down inside my living room like a butcher’s dog. McDonald’s keeps asking me to McCafé My Day and To Love It. If drinking a McCafé is going to cause me to pronounce cubicle, cubiclé, I might retreat to a cabin in Montana.
Based on McDonald’s slogans, maybe they do want me to adopt a sense of humor. The 70’s saw such tag lines as Nobody can do it like McDonalds can and You, you’re the one. Recently, We love to see you smile had a decent run. I think the brain-trust at McDonalds had humor in mind when they wrote, Oh, girl, I know your secret/You got that McNuggets lovin’/Why can’t you, share your love with me? To me, crappy R&B boy seems like a psychopath singing about dead chickens? McDonaldization wants to make us all Dahmer’s of McDonald’s.
That Bobby Brown wanna-be might want to remember Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, or the french-fry advertisement fiasco when McDonalds swore they only, "peel them, slice them, fry them and that's it." Sure, McDonald’s. Finding out you were using beef in your French-fries must have brought a smile to everyone’s face. My dad liked the extra meat, but swore he would never eat McDonald’s again when he found out they used soy in their hamburgers.
What’s a hater to do? I’m a contributor to McDonaldization when I attend Eagle home games. Their stadium isn’t called Lincoln Financial Field because the owners are big Abe Lincoln fans. My solution would go something like this: Cabin in the woods. Generate electricity with home-made windmills/solar panels. Buy a thousand-dollar television with a thousand-dollar rebate. Order NFL football package.
We all have our vices.<!--EndFragment-->