Joe Camel Eats a Happy Meal…in Jail!


I was just holding those toys for someone! They weren't mine!

First they came for Joe Camel, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a camel. Or a smoker. Or whatever.

But now they're coming for the plastic crap in McDonald's Happy Meals. It was inevitable, really. The notion of sin being marketed to kids is a powerful one: There are already bans on flavored cigarettes "to deter youths." Likewise on candy cigs, and cartoon cigarette mascots.

So it was only a matter of time before someone applied the principle to fast food. Safe money was on California for this one, and lo and behold our sad tale takes place in Santa Clara county. And what better place to start than with a marketing gimmick that is, for once, actually aimed at kids: The toy in the Happy Meal.

Convinced that Happy Meals and other food promotions aimed at children could make kids fat as well as happy, county officials in Silicon Valley are poised to outlaw the little toys that often come with high-calorie offerings….

Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the proposal would forbid the inclusion of a toy in any restaurant meal that has more than 485 calories, more than 600 mg of salt or high amounts of sugar or fat. In the case of McDonald's, the limits would include all of the chain's Happy Meals—even those that include apple sticks instead of French fries.

And the justification? Health care costs, of course:

[Ken Yeager, the Santa Clara County supervisor who is behind the effort,] knows that even if the board passes his proposal, its effect would be small. Even so, he says, it's worth it.

"We're responsible for paying for healthcare in the whole county," Yeager said. "We pay close to $2 billion annually on healthcare, and the costs have done nothing but rise." A big part of the increase, he said, is costs related to obesity.

Government health care: Taking toys from children.

NEXT: Peak Everything?

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  1. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

    1. Hey Man, It worked for Ted Kennedy.

      1. I must point out that Sen. Kennedy was a Harvard man while Sen. Blutarsky was a Dartmouth man, how could you get those two confused?

  2. What a crock.

  3. this goes to show how messed up our government is. Targeting fast food chains because the advertise to children. If the do this then they would have to pursue every video game and toy manufacturer because there may be the slight chance that kids will be influenced by them

    1. If the do this then they would have to pursue every video game and toy manufacturer because there may be the slight chance that kids will be influenced by them

      Give them time. I’m sure they are working on it.

      1. The video game one has been going on for a while….

    2. Hey, at least this probably isn’t your government. I live in Santa Clara County.

      Dear, Supervisor Yeager:

      Don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but if you want to keep my kid from wanting to go to McDonald’s you need to tear down all the Playlands, too.

      1. Dude, don’t give ’em any ideas, even in jest. It could come back to haunt you.

      2. McDonald’s is slowly removing the Playlands anyway. I’m sure there’s an insurance hassle, but more importantly the company thinks there’s more money to be made selling expensive coffee-based drinks to adults.

        In 30 years coffee will probably be illegal in California and there will be new, obedience-based benefits of nicotine touted by the uplifters.

        1. You sure about this removing the Playlands, anyway, thing? Seems like a suicidal move business-wise.

      3. Those kids get too much exercise as it is.

    3. But it’s okay to use children in political advertisements, have them as a back drop at political rallies and sing praises to our “dear leader” in our public schools

  4. Is there ever going to be a backlash against this rank totalitarian stupidity? Ever?

    1. No, because people generally seem to see the government as an “other” that they have no say in. We think the same, only it enrages us.

      You and I and everyone else on the board see it everyday. You mention some rank stupidity like this, and most people think it’s stupid as well, but also accept it as inevitable. They just don’t give a shit. Maybe a few of them will defend it; making them the active part of the problem, but the passive part has so much inertia that I can’t conceive of a lever long enough to shift it even an inch.

      1. I’m intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newletter.

        1. At this time Libertarian Pessimist Quarterly Review is only available online.

          1. Quarterly seems overly optimistic.

      2. It’s the complacency towards petty tyrannical banning that I truly don’t get. I mean, it’s a fucking toy in a meal that most of us have gotten at some time in our lives. So even though we’ve all had the happy meal toy and had personal experience that it doesn’t make you fat through some magical “I must eat more for a toy” property (how many of us have gotten the meal not for the food but just for the toy, and maybe only ate a little food from the meal?), people just shrug and go “oh well, it’s for the children”?

        Because you now what–then fuck them. They deserve to be controlled by petty bureaucrats and technocrats; they really do. But these sheep scum are making it so that I end up controlled along with them, and that I won’t have.

        1. I mean, it’s a fucking toy in a meal that most of us have gotten at some time in our lives.

          Which is exactly why the statist fellators will tell you why it’s no big deal. “It’s just a toy.”

          They really can’t see their complicity in the steady and incremental erosion of liberty, all because some douchebag politician “cares.” Really that’s all that matters any longer.

        2. Even as a kid, if I wanted the toy and didn’t crave the food, I’d ask for the toy by itself.

          The fact is, kids love junk food and really love fast food. This force can be dealt with, over time, but it cannot be denied.

          1. I had the full set of the first run Burger King Star Wars glasses. My mother refuses to admit what was done with them.

            1. I also had a full set of the posters, but I know what happened to those. They went up in flames the day I burned my playhouse to the ground.

              1. I envision Luke as a fry guy. Really, he’d probably be a better fit at Taco Bell, as he was clearly a stoner before becoming a Jedi like his father before him, but BK it was, so fries.

              2. What was so funny was that you thought you’d get the insurance money, but then it turned out your dad never activated the policy and pocketed the money. That’ll teach you to commit arson so casually.

                1. But all my subsequent arsons have been successful. It pays to learn your trade early.

            2. I also had the Star Wars glasses. They all broke eventually, mostly because my sister is a fucking klutz.

              1. I had the entire collection of Star Wars cards. My brother did something with them, which means no early retirement for me.

                1. Lucky bastards, trips to Mickey D’s were few and far between, the only times we went to fast food joints was when they had promotional glasses. I still have the Lando one.

              2. But she puts out, so that counts for something.

        3. If it’s just a “fucking toy”, why do you think they’re included [a free handout btw] in the meal? Because restaurant owners love kids?

          My control over my kids is not being relinquished by laws like this, it’s being restored. Junk food pushers have had way too much leeway in luring kids with their addictive products by using every trick in the marketing and child psychology books, all designed to bypass the [sometimes less then optimal] authority of parents in the well being of their children. There’s a big reason why poor people with less time to spend with their children succumb to letting them eat like hogs.

          Those times are ending. Health care reforms will make that business model unprofitable, relegated to the history books in the Age of Torture section.

          1. Grow some balls dude. I never had a problem controlling my children.

          2. In other words, we should have to suffer because you’re a shitty parent?

          3. Actually, in your case the state can indeed play a role: you’re incompetent and your child should be taken away and given to someone who isn’t.

          4. You ought to try that word “no” some time. It’s a really cool feature of parenting.

          5. How exactly would your kids get to McDonalds or similar places and buy anything unless 1) YOU take them there and 2) YOU give them money or pay for it yourself?

            1. Sadly enough, I have always lived within walking distance of a McDonalds or similar drug food establishment. And I have always found a way to get money, whether from well-off friends, a paper route, or the change return on a phone booth.

              I’m guessing by capitalizing “you” so much, you’re trying to imply something about me? What exactly? Are you saying that it is MY responsibility to prevent my children from ever eating at a drug food restaurant? Well, of course it is. And what happens if said children decide not to listen?(assuming my jobs in the free market even afford me family time) Should I just suck it up like our ancestors sucked up losing children to lions once in a while? Sorry, no. I’m evolving and most of the world is too.

              1. Should I just suck it up like our ancestors sucked up losing children to lions once in a while? Sorry, no. I’m evolving and most of the world is too.

                This is awesome A+ trolling.

                Again I say to our D- trolls, this is how it’s done.

              2. gregg, when your children grow up and confess to their psychiatrists that your were a shitty, unloving parent, will you go crying to the state to make sure they rectify that problem, too?

              3. How old is the child. A four year old is not likely to be able to walk to McDonalds let alone pay for anything. An 8 year old on the other hand can go to McDonalds but the wlaking is exercise,a dn unless they have a job or an allowance they need to ask for money. If you pay $10 a week that buys two hamburgers and nothing else, if they have to do chores thats exercise.

                1. Well, 10 hamburgers at Mcdonalds.

          6. I guess I knew in advance that nobody here had a real argument, only ad-hominem attacks. Figures.

            1. I too have kids and, well, yeah it’s hard to say no. That doesn’t mean the state should, though. My kid isn’t fat. Would you agree to let him have a toy with his food if he stepped on a scale? Is that an ad hominem question?

            2. It’s not a fast food restaurant’s responsibility to control my child’s diet. It’s mine. I don’t want the options for feeding my children restricted by the government; I want to use my own judgment in selecting among such options. And, of course, the education of my children in such matters is also my responsibility, ultimately.

              I just got back from Tennessee, where I took my kids to restaurants serving Deep South goodness for three consecutive dinners. If that were somehow made illegal, I think I might get violent.

              1. Shoot. I think we got suckered, ProGLib. I think “gregg” is pulling our legs.

              2. Yes, that’s understandable. But how do toys come into play here? As I mentioned, they are there for reasons not at all benign. You still have a choice on what food to eat and what food your children eat. This law (as geographically limited as it is) just levels the playing field so in the battle of the gullet, the only two contenders are food from them vs. food from you without trickery.

                Companies that constantly try to pull children away from their parents are evil to me. They are no playing on failed or bad parents, they are playing on imperfect parents. And there is nobody who does not meet that description.

                1. Interesting.

                  As a child, I never really ate that much, so the toy was actually a useful toy my parents used on the rare occasion of us going to McDonald’s to get me to actually eat an entire meal, whereas my brother was a fat kid who my parents had to hold back from eating my food. I find my nieces and nephew have the same eating habits.

                  The government wouldn’t dare (at least not this week) come into my kitchen and tell me I can’t bribe my kid to or restrain my kid from eating too little/much so why does it think McDonalds is any different.

                2. I think I’m beginning to appreciate Gregg’s position. Fast food restaurants are like government directed education (schools); both work to alienate children from their parents by gaining the little ones heart and soul (and in the case of restaurants, stomach).

                3. Do not ever allow your children to play WOW for they are truly evil.

            3. You set yourself up for that by claiming that you lost control of your kids to a cheeseburger and a plastic toy.
              I have a four year old boy who asks to go to McDonald’s almost every day. Do you know what I tell him almost every time? Lean in and I’ll whisper it to you:
              “No, not today.”
              Sometimes we’ll have to have a little talk about why we aren’t going to go that particular day. The day I need a law to establish the ground rules in my relationship with my kids, I’m done as a parent. I ought to hang it up.

              1. That is fascinating. You’re blaming me for the tone of other people’s responses! LOL. What happened to their personal responsibility in controlling how they act in public?

                I never once said that I lost control of my children. I was speaking of others less fortunate then me but the previous responders (and you apparently) saw only what they wanted to. This is an all too common in selfishness. But this is Reason and selfishness is an asset right?

                1. I was speaking of others less fortunate then me

                  Ah yes, the ol’ “I’m better/more capable than other people” shtick. Which is basically an ad hominem in itself.

                2. I did like the “drug food” bit. Nice touch.

                3. “Governments loathe people who are free.”

                4. gregg :
                  I never once said that I lost control of my children. I was speaking of others less fortunate then me but the previous responders (and you apparently) saw only what they wanted to. This is an all too common in selfishness. But this is Reason and selfishness is an asset right?

                  Excellent Trollocity! You don’t have any trouble handling your kids with Happy Meals, but other people that aren’t as good as you do, so you want the government to step in and take over their parenting decisions for them. Brilliant! Extra bonus points for claiming that it is selfish to want government to stay out of other people’s buying decisions (and by implication that it is selfless to want the government to ban Happy Meals). Truly, this is a dizzying intellect.

            4. Reach around and feel that bumpy part on your back. Feel that? Good. That’s your spine. Try using it in a straightened and firm position, since the lump attached to it on the top is being controlled and manipulated by small children.

            5. This is no attack. If you can’t set your foot down over a fucking Happy Meal-bigger problems are coming. Please, do your kids a favor and show them that someone loves them enough to risk being an occasional prick.

            6. It seems to me, Gregg, that if your kids are old enough to totter over to McDonald’s with cash in hand, they’re probably not ordering the meals that come with the Shrek XXVII action figure in them.

          7. Good point. If they didn’t have toys encouraging them to get happy meals, they would probably get some other, more wholesome nourishing fast food.

            If there’s one thing kids like, it’s wholesome, nourishing food.

            1. If they don’t get the happy meal, they will probably get 2 double cheeseburgers and a large fires instead. The toy is not relevant. You can just buy the toy too, if that is ever what the kid primarily wants from a happy meal.

          8. That is just fucking stupid. If you don’t want your kids to eat McDonalds, don’ take them there.

          9. My control over my kids is not being relinquished by laws like this, it’s being restored. Junk food pushers have had way too much leeway in luring kids with their addictive products

            Holy fuck dude! Paraphrasing Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is you.”

    2. No Epi, I t will never end. The corporation I work for just made an annoucement that all employees must quit smoking by October 1st. I couldn’t bekieve all the employees that thought this was a wonderful thing.

      1. bekieve = believe

      2. I just don’t understand how a corporation thinks that banning its employees from smoking–even when in off hours–is advisable, enforceable, or even legal within our framework. Is their excuse something related to group health care?

        1. To save costs of healthcare.

          1. I pay $10 more in health ins. premiums per check ($260 per year) because I am a smoker. But I shouldn’t mention that – it’s potentially a market-based solution… That means it’s pure evil (or so the voices on the CNN tell me…)..

            1. the evil corporation would continue to collect your elevated premiums until you reached 50 or so, when most smoking related illnesses manifest…then let you go.

        2. Yes. Private employers have instituted these policies using the rationale of “health care costs”. Which perplexes me because in my state of OK, Medicaid is funded directly from our state’s tobacco tax, along with matching federal funds.

          And doesn’t a private employer have the right to hire whomever they wish? The libertarian case can be made to support hiring the best employee, and the cost benefit analysis, from the actuary POV, would favor an employee with a lower cost expectancy because of a healthier lifestyle.


        3. It’s not enforcable or legal IMHO. The company is saying it will be treated like alcohol. If you come in smelling like smoke or alcohol you will be sent home & will face disciplinary action. When asked about enforcement of the no smoking policy they change the subject to “I don’t think we will have that problem, because our employee’s want to do the right thing”. They say they are trying to help society by creating a sustainable health care system. This is just the start of their plans. The company has hinted their will be other coercive health care policies in the future that will require employee compliance for futher employment. I except they are planning a ban on unhealthy foods on company property in the near future.

    3. The real problem is that no one can get outraged by this law unless it can literally stop them from caving in to their children. Parents can still go buy a toy and stick it in a toy-free happy meal if they want to. Parents can buy two toyed Happy Meals and the kid gets as much food as he can eat. For people who don’t care (and cave to their children and are the real problem when it comes to childhood obesity), those are acceptable work arounds.

      I worry outrage won’t come until each human has a personal assistant (re: government handler) who monitors everything they do. And even then, I’m skeptical of people actually being outraged at that. Except of course, us loonies on the fringe.

    4. First, they came for the cigarettes, and I did nothing, because I was not a smoker.

      Then they came for the Happy Meal toys, and I did nothing, because I did not play with Happy Meal toys.

      Finally, they came for the Smurfs, and I helped them, because I HATE FUCKING SMURFS.

      1. Na’vi is the prefered nomenclature, dude.

  5. And Big Brother keeps getting bigger; only not “fat” bigger, that would be hypocritical.

  6. Do they still put cheap toys in breakfast cereals? Because…


  7. Epsiarch, I sadly doubt it, very much. Accepting incremental infringements is just too easy. I know that I do it.

    Would it be a meaningful form of protest to find a McDonalds at the border of Alameda & San Mateo counties and start buying up Happy Meals? Or is that just an excuse to eat junk food?

  8. Prohibiting the distribution of toys with food meeting the stated criteria will clearly result in improved health. This is a great idea.

    Now gimme my cheeseburger and Coke, and no, I don’t want the fucking dork apple sticks, I want me some FREEDOM fries.

    See, I feel better already! Thanks, California!

    1. I want me some FREEDOM fries.

      Make mine Liberty Cabbage.

      1. Just went to a Rays’ game and got a hot dog with Liberty Cabbage. Great stuff.

  9. No! I love my toys with my happy meals! Imagine not having any laughs at McDonalds. What a shame, at least I got

  10. And the justification? Health care costs, of course:

    Aside from the obvious, there were two reasons to hate health care reform and fight it tooth and nail:

    (1) It increases the dependency of citizens subjects on the Total State; and

    (2) It kicks down the door for the Nanny State.

    Of course, these are the reasons (not social justice or whatever claptrap they were mouthing) that the Dems fought like starving hyenas for it. This is their vision for our future.

    1. Goddammit, I remember when proposing shit like this was Stephen Cobert style satire. And it wasn’t that long ago. The momentum on a slippery slope sure builds up fast.

      1. Fuckin’ squirrel. That wasn’t supposed to be a reply to RC.

  11. Is there ever going to be a backlash against this rank totalitarian stupidity?

    In 2030, the Reason Foundation will commission Larry Summers to do a cost-benefit analysis of rank totalitarian stupidity. In its conclusion, he’ll recommend a state-run system of rank totalitarian stupidity vouchers.

    At “Hit & Run,” Maisie McArdle-Suderman will remind us that in the era before rank totalitarian stupidity, gays couldn’t get married in Arkansas (but cousins could), so opposing rank totalitarian stupidity in principle is really like a mask for how you’re all, like, “patriarchy yeah!” because you went to state school, which is, like, fine, but not for me, y’know?

    1. Whatever you’re trying to say, you get an A for effort.

      1. B-

        Off to a good, Onion-esque start, but fails to make the conclusion that in the pre-rank stupidity era, and the post rank-stupidity era, government was the source of the woes.

        Thread, meet connections.

      2. I think he was trying to say, “Call me an English-as-second-language teacher, stat!”

    2. For centuries I have wondered what the opposite of a point would be. I’m still am unable to understand what it is in substance, but what ever it is your post was it.

      1. I’m still am unable

        As you see, math was my strong suit.

  12. “We’re responsible for paying for healthcare in the whole county,” Yeager said. “We pay close to $2 billion annually on healthcare, and the costs have done nothing but rise.” A big part of the increase, he said, is costs related to obesity.

    I could say I told you so… and you know who you are… but I did tell you.

  13. “We’re responsible for paying for healthcare in the whole county,” Yeager said.


    You should be saving up for the cost of having a toy dump truck removed from your ass.

  14. This could kill an entire industry: http://www.amazon.com/McDonald…..0891457836 Just imagine the lost jobs…

    I’m the proud owner of a McD’s coke spoon (those drink stirrers they discontinued because… er.. for the children?) and a McD’s branded ash tray (can’t smoke in McD’s anymore because… er.. for the children!)


    I’m still waiting for Owen’s Corning to get nabbed using a kid’s icon to sell ‘dangerous materials’ (aka fiberglass insulation)…

  15. I’d love to see more folks express anger with the petty bureaucrats, make their day as lousy as possible.

    At the airport, I love to see folks get pissy with the TSAr. I’m usually flying on the company dime, so I don’t feel as free to act up, but I at least try never to make small talk or smile at the goons. (Yeah, yeah, they’re just low-level goons doing their job. Whatever.)
    On family trips, though, I let my wife handling them. She makes me look like Mr. Rogers. She is always in their face. They try to make coochie-coo talk to my young ones, she puts a stop to it. They make any small talk, she snubs them. Fuck no, she’s not going to play nice. She glares all the way through security. And she is seriously pissed at the nonsense. Makes me proud.

    1. She glares all the way through security. And she is seriously pissed at the nonsense. Makes me proud.

      I feel your pain, but at some point you’re going to see the dreaded four ‘S’ stamp on your boarding pass.

      1. Oh, I’ve gotten those several times, but never when traveling with her. Seriously, she’s like a tigress protecting her cubs. Fuck — I’d be scared of her — those TSAr shits are probably terrified.

      2. From the link:
        “Some other criteria that sometimes generate a SSSS are:

        * Passengers travelling alone.
        * Passengers travelling as a group.
        * Passengers travelling together who share certain characteristics such as their last name.”

        Doesn’t this mean that everyone traveling would get the SSSS code? How can you fail to either be traveling alone or in a group? And why would traveling with your child, spouse, sibling or parent be suspicious?

      3. I don’t think any of this is applicable anymore. At the airports I frequent (ATL, MIA, PBI, MSP…) they no longer check your boarding pass as you pass through the screening area. They check ID and boarding pass once as you enter the final line, but well before you get to the “additional screening” decision point.

  16. When I went to school, we often stopped at MacD’s to get a big mac and large fries and all of that – but none of us were fat. Why? We walked. We didn’t have school buses, we certainly didn’t have “soccer moms” driving us around. We walked anywhere from 4 to 8 miles per day. Today, when I want to shed a few pounds, what do I do? I walk. We could fix the school obesity program by ending the school bus program and banning parent drop-offs. Let children walk, it’s good for them.

    1. uphill, in the snow, both ways of course

      1. My grandfather went to school with MC Escher. For him, it really was uphill both ways.

    2. This really is the key to childhood obesity problems, such as there are. Kids should be outside all of the time. When I was a kid, that is what you did: spend several hours every day basically running around, just for the pure fun of it. The problem is idiot parents who don’t encourage this, not the types of food that are available (bad food has always been an option, at least for as long as obesity has been more of a problem than starvation).
      Get off my lawn! (or should I say get off your ass, then I can chase you off my lawn.)

  17. I have noticed that every obese person happens to drink water, therefore I believe we should ban the intake of water because it obviously leads to obesity. Since we all must pay for health care and obesity is a primary cause of rising health care costs, this is a logical step in protecting our children.

    Just wait, if an elected official can seriously be concerned that Guam might tip over – some imbecile in state government, probably CA or NY will make this connection.

    1. If we weren’t all such fat fucks, Guam would be in no danger.

  18. Awesome! A new excuse for me!

    “I wouldn’t be so fat if it weren’t for those god damn happy meals”

  19. Yes, lets ban the toys, ban salt, sugar, HFCS, TransFat, tax soda, sue the food makers for obesity. Where does it end? In the name of reducing health costs will they force us to exercise, ban all junk food, tell us when to go to bed, how much fiber to eat, ban alcohol ads that may possibly by some chance be seen by 20 year old adults, I mean what is the practical limit to all this before most people say enough is enough?

    1. It’s the immigrants that done this to us. They, like, don’t share our culture and shit.

      1. If it wasn’t for those damn socialist Mexicans, no one in America would think this way.

    2. This is what I was getting at a few weeks ago, when I told America about my lovely-but-tubby daughters and the need to give me complete overlord control over the diets of all children… and, eventually, adults.

  20. Hey Johnny! Here’s a box of uncooked white rice…and a toy!

    1. WHITE rice? Are you fucking crazy? That ain’t whole grain! Are you trying to poison kids??

  21. Government health care: Taking toys from children.

    How long before they actually start taking candy from babies?

    1. mmmmmmmm candy……

      mmmmmmmm babies……

  22. McDonald’s should respond by offering combos of radishes, apple slices, steamed beats, and a tasteless grill chicken wrap and call it a Frowny Meal.

    1. lol good one!

    2. A Progressive Meal. Eat for the earth, and for the national budget, children.

    3. Chicken?? What TRUE progressive would feed their children… meat???

  23. It’s already available in Mickey D’s Russia, comrade!

  24. Yes you can encourage kids to eat healthy but just becuase you eat one burger and one fry your not gonna make kids overweight ya if you eat like 20 of them but shouldent that be up to the parents?Geez! talk about the grinch who stole the toy from the happy meal!

  25. I would think a cash-strapped area like California could come up with a better idea that an outright ban. Like a toy tax or something.

    When I was a kid, my “happy” meals came with the occasional “WTF is this?” toy which was merely some propaganda of sorts that went in the trash as soon as I figured it out. Like the Archie comics that had some weird religious vibe in them. I figure California might at least want to try that – leave the toys in as long as the state approves the toys. For example, a plastic fat fuck in a noose or a calorie counting toy.

  26. GOOD. Because someday when I have kids I want to take absolutely ZERO responsibility in their health and well-being. I’m glad the government is finally stepping in and preventing me from having to educate myself out of poor decisions!

  27. also banned: parents rewarding children with baked goods. No cookies after cleaning your room!

  28. gregg,

    I suggest that you (or a proxy) periodically dress up as Ronald McDonald, and then severely beat your children while so disguised.

    They need never know that it was you, and they will have a lifelong aversion to McDonalds.

    I can provide this service to you for a modest fee.

  29. This is just a trial run at this. We are lobbying for this nationwide. Since you guys want to leglaize our weed, we need a new gateway drug – happy meal toys, salt shakers, and funions.

    As you pull out of that Santa Clara drive-thru, watch for “Lenny”, wearing his duster full of toys. They will be “free” this week, next week…

  30. Those Californians are amateurs. We forced McDonald’s to replace the toys with little Bibles. Satan, don’t mess with Texas!

    1. I am always hearing how good I am at quoting scripture, but truth is, I suck at it.

      The other devils know it to — the other day Baal yells out while I’m wining and dining a pair of succubus twins at a party in a nice little snow cabin up on Inverness, ‘hey Satan, why don’t you quote some scripture for us. Everybody says you can quote scripture. How ’bout you quoting scripture for us!’

      I was like, ‘okay. okay, uhm, Einess begat Phearmeer, Phearmeer begat Legolas.’

      And every body was laughing, at Me, Satan!

      Fucking Baal digs at me with, ‘that sounds more like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you big wanking nerd.’

      Did I get to take those hot succubus chicks back to my palace? Fuck no.

      Oh, btw, the only version of the Bible allowed in Texas is the one I had a homosexual Scotsman write up. So Texas is totaly my bitch. I also poison the air of Texas with psilocybin laced spores. How no one has caught on to that obvious fact is a mystery even to me.

  31. It’s about time! Next they need to move on to souless corporations using beloved cartoon characters CLEARLY designed to dupe innocent children into purchasing whole life…

  32. So charge 2.99 for the toy and throw in the happy meal for free. McDonalds wins round 1.

  33. How about a little common sense: put a cigarette in its stead and curb the little bastards’ appetites. Or, fucking or, maybe parents, fucking parents, limit the number of Happy Meals their little bastards eat. No, I am only kidding. Take the toys. But not the salt.

  34. Not difficult to circumvent. Give the toy away with the purchase of half a hamburger roll (which is well below the calorie and sodium limits), and price the half a hamburger roll at the same price as a Happy Meal is.

    Then offer a new “open-faced” Happy Meal missing half a hamburger roll, and as a limited time offer, you get a free half hamburger roll package (including toy) with the purchase of a Happy Meal.

  35. Santa Klara Kounty, Kalifornia, AmeriKKKa.

  36. When you outlaw Happy Meal toys, only outlaws will be happy.

  37. I know why the political class doesn’t do it this way, but I’d love for these sorts of laws to be written in such a fashion that the prohibited action was on the art of the parent, e.g., any parent who allows their kid to eat a happy meal gets sent to the pokey.

  38. Wow, love all the dialog. I can only say I control my kids diet. I remember we would go for a 9 mile bike ride then treat ourselves to a A&W root beer float, what’s the harm in that? We just burned massive calories. Maybe they should also take away video games. Maybe kids should get out of the house (see free-range kids). As I remember my child who is now an adult would often ask for the meal just for the toy and not really eat the food.
    Ken Yeager will never get my vote that’s for sure.

  39. While I don’t completely agree with this, I am very interested to see how this plays out. As a parent, I have never once taken my children to a McDonald’s (Although I am guilty of grabbing a double cheeseburger or two for lunch every once in a while). I see kids every day asking their parents to go to these fast food places, begging to get these “happy meals” just so that they can get the toy.
    Believe me, I am in NO WAY about the government controlling any aspect of our lives, but I have to say I am intrigued at this. I believe that the PARENT should be the one “forcing” a healthy diet on their children, but there is not a single person in the world who could honestly say that every parent does their job as a parent. Too may people nowadays eat way too many calories, and it’s being passed onto our children. For the good of all of your children… I think you should all think of the benefits of what this will bring about for your children, not just the fact that your kid isn’t going to get his chintzy, made in china toy. Please, teach your children how to play chess, make hemp jewelry, or play soccer.

    1. My kid is almost three years old and I’ve only taken him to McDonald’s once. But I can hardly get all self-righteous about it. When we go out to our favorite yuppy family restaurants he pretty much always eats a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries; not that different from McDonald’s but at three times the price.

      My kid is a soccer nut, but I will send him to his room without dinner if I ever catch him making hemp jewelry.

      1. What’s wrong with hemp jewelry?

        1. It’s a gateway to Patchouli Oil and attending Phish concerts.

          1. Personally, I prefer music jam festivals to Phish concerts… just a bunch of scene kids.
            And I LOVE patchouli oil… it’s an insect repellant for my dreads!

            But that’s all beside the point. Point is, healthier kids, who cares?

    2. Furthermore, I know several Santa Clara County parents who are trying to get their kids to ingest as many calories as possible because they are having exactly the opposite of the obesity problem.

      And it is precisely because my kid loves to play soccer and run around the playground that I could feed him cheeseburgers every day and he wouldn’t be a bit overweight.

  40. It’s okay since Santa Clara County is not located in the land of the free.

    1. Well, yes and no. It’s actually the epicenter of the most regulation-free and successful business sector in the country. A lot of the people whole-heartedly support the nanny state while bristling at the slightest hint of regulation of high-tech.

  41. Yep, because we all know what an enormous drain the children who eat Happy Meals are on health-care resources. And for that very reason!

    By the way, the linked-to article doesn’t mention it, but this ban only affects restaurants in *unincorporated* areas of Santa Clara County. And we’re pretty incorporated ’round these parts. So it actually only affects about a dozen restaurants. Does that make it more lame (because it’s so pointless and ineffectual), less lame (because at least it’s ineffectual), or about-the-same lame?

    1. Really?! It definitely makes it more lame. Parents will drive a little bit out of the way to go to the McDonald’s that has toys. The few McDonald’s victimized by this law will be screwed. And not one child’s eating habits will change.

  42. Is this really a surprise? Next up, mandatory morning exercises. Can we earn tax credit for losing weight or maintaining our ideal BMI? We thought we were regulating health care costs, but an individual’s health is society’s business now. When do salt regulations evolve into mandatory multi-vitamins or daily coffee limits? What about food that you can play with? A breakfast burrito dragster with hashbrown wheels?

  43. If I were a McDonald’s franchisee in that market and they actually passed this nanny law, I’d simply take the toys out of the Happy Meals and put them in a bin behind the counter, available by request, one per customer. Then when the Nannytroopers stormed in and told me I had to give them away, no purchase necessary, I’d do that too, until word got out that I was giving away free Happy Meal toys and folks from miles around swarmed my place demanding free crap for their kids, after which I’d just go home and drink.

  44. Why is that all the organizations, groups and governments are going after companies instead of the real reason why children and people in the states have become fat.

    The companies are just doing business as they have always done since the dawn of time.

    It is us, the consumer, who choose to buys or not buy. No company has the power to influence us that much, we are not slave or mindless idiots to marketing, no we choose – we decide.

    So enough with going after companies. Go after to real power, decision makers, us – we the customer.

    It is parents who take their children to McDonalds not the other way around. It is parents who choose the food for their children, not the kids and not the companies.

    To blame companies for the choices of parents is not only wrong to is down right stupid. It is time to stop blaming others for the obesity problem.

    We choose to buy, we choose to eat, we choose for our children.

    The responsibility is with us and us only, to blame companies for providing products and, or incentives to purchase their products is just plain wrong and dumb. It is us the consumer who really chooses.

    So it there are to be legal suits, blame, punishment to should be set squarely with the consumer, we the customer who decides.

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