by Mad Dog
To put it another way, its over a billion patties, nearly 2
billion bun pieces, 15 billion sesame seeds, and enough cattle to upholster 75,000 living
|| The Big Mac is
thirty years old. Think about it, if this was the 60s we wouldnt be able to trust it
anymore. If this was the 80s it would be starring in a TV show about whining yuppies who
have nothing to whine about. But this being the 90s, well celebrate by leaning back
in our La-Z-boy recliner, chowing down a few more of the triple-decker burgers, and
clicking the remote until weve either watched all the TV shows that are plugging it,
from the Discovery Channels "Stalking the Wild Big Mac" to the Fox
Networks "When Big Macs Go Bad", or need to call Batteries-2-Go to deliver
some emergency AAAs for the remote, whichever comes first.
Amazingly, McDonalds sells about 600 million
of the sandwiches a year, which is three for every man, woman, and child in the United
States who should be out exercising rather than sitting in their car asking for "Two
all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bunand
while youre at it, supersize it", all the while trying to understand the
incomprehensible squawking thats coming out of the speaker at the drive-through. To
put it another way, its over a billion patties, nearly 2 billion bun pieces, 15
billion sesame seeds, and enough cattle to upholster 75,000 living room sofas.
You have to give McDonalds credit for
the Big Mac. After all, thirty years is a long time in the burger world. In that time,
McDonalds tried out a lot of new products, with only Chicken McNuggets catching the
worlds fancy, proving that the American public prefers their food to be chopped,
reformed, and have a name which resembles something you dont want to step on in a
The McDonalds in
Irwindale sell 337 Big Macs a year per resident, though to be fair that figure includes
sandwiches sold to travelers, people from surrounding towns, and Chihuahuas which are
tired of eating gorditas.
|| Not everything
theyve done has been a success. A couple of years ago McDonalds, jealous of
all the publicity Coke got for releasing New Cokethe Waterworld of soft
drinkscame out with the Arch Deluxe. In a sales and marketing coup that makes a
Pauley Shore film retrospective sound like a killer idea, McDonalds actually managed
to sell one burger for each time they ran an incomprehensible ad on TV. Unfortunately they
didnt run enough ads to make any money. While this made the Arch Deluxe at least as
good a seller as their diet-conscious McLean sandwich (motto: "At least it looks like
a burger"), thats not really saying much, since the McLean sank quicker than
"Titanic" on fast forward.
But try telling this to the citizens of Irwindale, California and
you might hear a different story. This town of 1,045 people has won the right to post a
sign declaring it to be "The Home of the Big Mac Fanatics", and who could blame
them if they did? After all, if Baker can try to attract people by calling itself
"The Gateway to Death Valley" then its obvious that good city mottoes are
getting hard to come by. Besides, it beats the alternative, "Named After a Guy Named
For reasons which even the residents of
Irwindale are afraid to think about, the McDonalds there sell 337 Big Macs a year
per resident, though to be fair that figure includes sandwiches sold to travelers, people
from surrounding towns, and Chihuahuas which are tired of eating gorditas.
In general, though, fast food restaurants
are having a tougher time of it these days. Overall sales are static at McDonalds
23,300 restaurants. Pizza Hut recently closed their two Moscow outlets, reportedly because
the Russian economy is flatter than a thin-crust pizza, though it also may be linked to
having used former Soviet president Mikhail "That Aint A Pizza Stain on My
Head" Gorbachev as a spokesperson.
This explains why they wont flambe your Crepes Suzette tableside since its too
cumbersome to roll the TurboChef out into the dining room.
|| But worse signs
are on the horizon. If a Dallas-based company has its way, the days of going out for fast
food may soon be numberedthey intend on making all food fast food. Theyre
getting ready to put out an oven called the TurboChef which they claim will roast a
chicken in four minutes, cook vegetables in 100 seconds, and turn out a four-minute egg
while its still in the hen. Just kidding. About the egg, anyway. To do that
youd have to put the hen in the TurboChef, and even then youd have to cook it
for four minutes while piling chairs against the door so the protesters from PETA
couldnt get in the kitchen.
ovens work by using a combination of turbo-charged hot air, microwaves, and mirrors left
over from a Penn and Teller magic trick that was too gross for even David Letterman to
air. Think about it. Now youll be able to make Minute Rice in ten seconds, Quick
Oats in five seconds, and have instant pudding ready to eat before you can open the box.
The company already makes a version of the
oven for commercial use. This explains why you no longer have to remember to order Peking
Duck the day before you want it, your main course so often shows up before your
appetizers, and they wont flambe your Crepes Suzette tableside since its too
cumbersome to roll the TurboChef out into the dining room.
If this works as promised, its hard
to imagine that Big Macs will make it another thirty years. Once the TurboChef is built
into the La-Z-boy well just hit the "Food" button, a menu will appear
onscreen, well choose Big Mac, and before we know it well be happily munching
our two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun
while watching PSN, the Pauley Shore Network. Does it get any better than
©1998 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
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