A Day Late and A Dollar Menu Short

Or, Suing the Fat

Recently, the famed burger stand chain known as McDonald’s has come under fire and is being sued by at least nine families claiming that the food caused serious health problems in their children. Leading the lawsuit is Gregory Rhymes, a fifteen year old who, “used to eat a burger, fries and shake at McDonald’s every day, sometimes several times a day. Now he weighs 400 pounds, has diabetes – and blames McDonald’s. (Article, ABCnews.com)”

The suit is based upon the brain washing of children from an early age via clever marketing strategies on television and radio. As we know, the ads feature clowns and other fuzzy creatures that would appeal to the taste buds of children.

Prior victorious class action court battles against such megacompanies as Philip-Morris for their distribution of hazardous materials give the plaintiffs hope that they too will win such a frivolous and unfounded claim.

Sure, McDonald’s is a large multinational that cares not for the plights of their customers, but they are merely a service. They provide an array of foods to countless people around the world; people who are for the most part, not grotesque. Why is that? And if that be the case, who is to blame?

Well to answer the first question, there are a few reasons. The first is freedom of choice. Despite being bombarded by TV spot after TV spot, the consumer still can decide whether or not to eat said products. For you see, this is not the future, and the television is not a hypnotic device. If that we’re the case, every time you saw a burger you’d be scratching at the door like a cat in heat. Only weak-willed fools would go Pavlovian over pixilated pictures of moist and delicious beef by-products, covered in lettuce and ketchup and yummy pickles… err, sorry.

The Clown Prince of Cholesterol
BRAGA, Port. – This vacation snapshot was taken just as deranged fast-food server, Raul Juan fin de Semanas Smith, abducted the family (identities withheld) and forced them to consume burgers and shakes at gunpoint. When the ordeal was over, the family had a combined weight of 1099lbs. They are, however, doing fine and are attending a heath spa at Matosinhos, Portugal, courtesy of the Portuguese authorities.

Also, no one has a gun to your head. Unlike the unfortunate incident in Portugal, where a vacationing family (right) was taken hostage by a crazed Ronald impersonator and fed Big Macs at gunpoint, your life does not hang in the balance when passing a McDonald’s or any other fast food joint.

Third point, they do sell salad you know.

And fourthly, unless you spend the entire day in the restaurant (like these kids apparently must have), there are places that can deal with flab. Gyms, a walk in the park and running for the bus are amongst the activities proven to burn McCalories and are enjoyed by fast food patrons.

Now to the second question, where to lay blame? Let’s start with the parents, shall we? According to all the sources, the parents are claiming that their kids were known to eat multiple meals in fast food facilities. May I ask why? I can see once a day, at lunch because all school cafeteria food stinks. But what about dinner? Does no one at home cook? Breakfast? Well?

And since it is the parents levying this suit, they obviously knew that their kids were eating too much fast food. The parents should have regulated their diets. This is what parents are supposed to do, watch and guide their children! Not let them become their ticket to big dollars! >>begin rant here<< I mean where were these so called guardians? Huh? The kids in question grew to 400+ pounds! That’s four hundred plus pounds! Do you know how much is 400lbs? LARGE, THAT’S WHAT! I don’t mean to sound mean (ok I do), but I would think when someone should have noticed something when this fifteen year old, 5ft 1inch boy reached 200lbs. Someone had to be thinking “what’s up with that,” and then act upon this reaction. But apparently, no one did.

So now McDonald’s is made the scapegoat for neglect. YES, NEGLECT! You know, the stuff that is supposed to get kids taken away and given to people who care! Secondly, we should blame the lawyers. For without them, this suit could never had come to light. These people went through years and years of schooling and you mean to tell me they never got the common sense necessary to see this whole thing is ridiculous? I don’t buy that one bit. They actually do have the sense to know its stupid, but they also acquired the sense to know it will rake in loads of dough and publicity. It is for this sense that lawyers sell their souls. I’ll save my anti-lawyer rant for another time.

Finally, we cannot forget the actual plaintiffs themselves. But wait… aren’t they the victims? In a word, yes. In another somewhat related word, NO! Even if their parents couldn’t tell their weight was out of control, the kids should have been asking, “what’s up with this?” THIS IS WHAT PHYS-ED IS FOR; health class, physiology, bodily upkeep 101, call it what you will… by age fifteen we all should have learned that what causes obesity —–> Greasy food. Me thinks someone was asleep during the simulated artery clogging.

Also, friends must have noticed something. THIS IS WHAT PEER PRESSURE IS FOR. You know, public appearance. The pointing, the laughing, the staring… All schools have it. True, you should always be true to yourself and not listen to the crowd just for the sake of the crowd. But for god’s sake there are exceptions (I.e. some one tells you that you’re overweight, and, well, you ARE).

This just shows that the kids in question are dim and/or apathetic about themselves and their surroundings.

They’re also a bit ungrateful too. I mean come on… isn’t it phat to be fat these days? The Fat Boys, Notorious B.I.G., Queen Latifa and Louis Anderson all are in style. McDonald’s merely was trying to help.

Of course, the fast food franchise is not doing a whole heck of a lot to help relax the situation. McDonald’s has plans to allow people to pay via credit card. “McDonald’s said that with the technology it is installing, a customer should be able to place an order, swipe his or her credit card and get approval in four to five seconds, with no signature needed. (Article, USA Today)”

That just doesn’t seem right.

You just know that the plaintiffs will try to use this to add weight to their case… I’ll wait… For it’s obvious that this will allow kids to get food even without cash on hand; we all know every nine-year-old has a platinum card these days. Oh wait, they do, don’t they?

I guess they’re doing this to alleviate the strain on cashiers who have to make change. Well, at least there will be one easy avenue to use stolen cards.

So, in closing, McDonald’s should not be held accountable for making the youth of today overweight. Instead, hold them accountable for making second-rate burgers (though the shakes are top notch, I must admit).


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Written by

Ryan Livingston

Ryan Livingston