If advertising had its way, we’d all believe that prawn-rings from Iceland were the height of Christmas party sophistication, KFC was the best choice of family dining fun and buying cosmetics from Boots automatically made us part of a fabulously stereotypical girl gang.
Here come the girls. Available at Boots.
We’d also trust that McDonalds was the first choice of eateries for dates, business meetings and holding all sorts of important conversations. “I’m having my cousin’s baby” over a Mcflurry, “I’d like to be your love slave” over a Filet O’ Fish and “you’re fired as I saw you putting your dirty tissues in the staff fridge” over Mcnuggets. Although I haven’t seen Alan Sugar down my local Maccy D’s just yet.
I’m sorry, Johnny. I flushed your budgie down the toilet by accident. It looked like this. Enjoy your Happy Meal.
In light of such inclusive and democratic Mcadvertising, I thought I’d pop along on a Sunday morning to do some work before the library opened. Had I been 10 years younger, I probably would have been distracted by the smell of mcgrease, mcsalt and mcprocessedmeat but having acquired a slightly more sophisticated sense of taste over the years, the aroma of fried food doesn’t turn me on anymore; it tends to turn my stomach.
You don’t need me to tell you that the McDonalds adverts are all lies. The sites are not friendly or the perfect place to spread the good news or gossip. And as I found out, they’re not the kind of place to go if you want to get anything done. In fact, they’re a bit like a noisy kind of doldrums.
You can’t leave until you’ve upgraded to a super value meal.
Distraction #1: DVDers
Apparently 10.30am on a Sunday morning in McDonalds is prime time and place for DVD selling. Of course it is. As obvious as a parrot in the snow, the small Asian lady carrying a plastic bag full of counterfeit products came over to each table saying nothing more then “want DVD?” It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t heard it repeated several times in the space of a minute, but as I understand, that’s the nature of salesmanship. Repetition + harrassment = job well done. Unfortunately in this instance, potentially due to the recent financial crisis, there was little buying and selling going on.
I prefer to buy my illegal DVDs from a street stall, not McDonalds.
Distraction #2: Phone Fury
I’m all for obnoxious phone conversations in the public sphere; we’ve all been there at some point when we’ve had to talk slightly too loud when on the train when our dear old Granny can’t hear us, or cracked up at the hilarity of our good friend’s account of a disastrous chat up situation, but we do our best to respect our fellow carriage sharers and keep it short. However, on this glorious morning in McDonalds, just as I had got used to the bellowed never ending conversation had by the chip-chomping woman sat opposite me, her other phone rings! Ending her current phone call to move onto the next, the lady went forth to smash through my concentration shell with violent laughter. I admit, I think I’m far too used to the Library Police marching phone-chatting individuals outside, but honestly, this lady was like a loud circle.
Put. The phone. Down.
Distraction #3: Sports Commentary
I don’t like football. I don’t watch Match of the Day, buy football shirts and tend to skip the sport section of the newspaper. However, I know many people love the beautiful game to the point where it causes tears before bed time, and I accept that rather than respect it. But I curse the very day when some boys decided to kick around an old pigs bladder, when I am non-consensually subjected to it. I was enjoying some classical music being played over the audio system in McDonalds that morning, until the distinct sound of someone watching a football match on their phone made its way into my earholes. Already annoying, the men watching it decided it would be all the more fun to comment on the game. Loudly. Sentences such as “Oh, he’ll never get it now”, “There he goes” and “Better make a run for it” were sporadically roared over the rustling of burger wrappers and I speak for the whole of McDonalds who were not part of this football party: it was bothersome.
If you want to watch football go to the pub. Or stay at home.
The long and short of it is, despite being suggested as a multi-occasion fast-food fun-time joint, McDonalds is not suitable for anything other than grabbing a dry piece of shoe leather in a bun to be used in a science experiment or popping into the loo when desperate times call for desperate measures. Nothing more.