Wednesday, May 26, 2010


McDonald's marketing department, bless their tiny little souls, have made certain services an essential part of American culture:

- Vaguely warm piles of processed... well, processed something, liberally drowned in stale condiments, which we can gulp down before we reach the next traffic light

- Slices of healthy vegetables  fried and salted completely beyond recognition

- Huge ice-crammed cheap sodas in flimsy containers which threaten to collapse into themselves and form a unique black hole in the middle console of your Toyota.

- Drive-thrus (and Sierra Vista. Arizona was the location of the VERY FIRST ONE, I would like to note, for Mickey-Dee's) where you can order unhealthy and fattening food items without even having to work off a grand total of 14 calories by getting your butt out of the car and walking ten feet to the counter of the 'restaurant.'

- And indoor playgrounds, made of plastic tubing, slides, ramps and plastic matting.

The greatest impact of this last item would be in regions of cold long dark winter days (did you know the first shopping mall was in Kalamazoo, Michigan?), where playgrounds were inaccessible for five months and house-bound moms were ready to murder any small loud child - places like Kalamazoo - Milwaukee - Buffalo, New York.

But to be able to purchase the afore-mentioned warm, unwholesome 
foods and then turn your children loose on an enclosed area (which someone was actually PAID to design specifically for your offspring to injure themselves) while you could drink coffee and talk to your neighbours... pure heaven.

It does seem ludicrous here in paradise- you can get fresh and HOT food on almost any street corner, the weather is perfect 362 days of the year, there are parks everywhere.

But the McDonald's I and Kate stepped into late this morning had a bathroom (when a three year-old tells you she needs to "GO POTTY RIGHT NOW", you find one IMMEDIATELY), and it had one of those huge indoor playgrounds.

So I bought a newspaper (since I don't drink coffee), and sat down to watch Kate play with probably seven other kids on the varying levels, slides and climbing bars.

It was sorta fun.

And then the Pearl Harbor Holy Family School Pre-School Class, all 38 screaming, crying and low-blood-sugar-before-lunch two and three year-olds, poured in.

When the decibel level hit 125, I grabbed Kate and we left.

Sometimes I am grateful I already have permanent hearing loss.


Lisa said...

I have to say, having 3 kids in carseats makes me INFINITELY GRATEFUL for drive-thrus. But I agree- when the weather is nice enough to be outside, we'd rather go to the park.