Obesity

McDonald's to Happy Meal Haters: Drop Dead!

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This ad encourages children to engage in irresponsible hand painting behavior

McDonald's Happy Meals have been in the headlines lately, with activist group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) threatening to sue them for "using toys to lure small children into McDonald's."

The official response from the CEO of the nation's purveyors of burgers and fries is in, and it's kind of badass:

CSPI's twisted characterization of McDonald's as "the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children" is an insult to every one of our franchisees and employees around the world. When CSPI refers to America's children as "an unpaid drone army," you similarly denigrate parents and families, because they are fully capable of making their own decisions. You should apologize….

The public does not support your lawsuit. Internet sites, blogs and network surveys suggest that public opinion is running overwhelmingly against your premise. Our customer websites and phone lines at McDonald's are also busy, with more than nine out of 10 customers disagreeing with your agenda. Parents, in particular, strongly believe they have the right and responsibility to decide what's best for their children, not CSPI. It really is that simple.

Next step: McDonald's CEO vows to include tiny airline-sized bottle of vodka in special edition adults-only Happy Meals. Sigh. If only…

Happy Meals are still in trouble in Santa Clara county, however.

NEXT: Republicans to Activists: Don't Throw the Tea Overboard

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  1. You just got schooled by a clown, yo.

    1. Wouldn’t the CEO be more Mayor McCheese than Ronald McDonald? Besides, we all know that the true badass is Grimace.

      1. You know there’s a horrific story about how he got that name.

          1. It’s good that you’ve come to terms with your past, and can discuss what Grimace did to you. As your therapist, I think that’s healthy. But I don’t think you’re ready to go to a McDonald’s playground yet. We’ll keep working on that.

            1. Therapist? I thought you were my analyst.

              1. Analrapist, of course. It’s on my business card.

                1. Hah! I’ve been watching that recently. A friend downloaded all three seasons and I caught most of the last half of the 2nd and third – now I’m going through from the beginning.

      2. Come on, you know you love the dirty-talking Grimace.

        1. He has a strange affinity for nipple clamps and butt plugs. Well, at least that’s what NutraSweet told me. I’d take it with a grain of salt; you know what he’s like.

          1. Your act has all the appeal of a two-day-old Filet-O-Fish.

            1. Thanks; that means a lot coming from…no one.

            2. Epi at least deserves the respect of being addressed in person by his detractors even if you have pictures of him eating deep dish or begging a Seattle hippie girlfriend to shave her legs.

            3. It’s weird, but during my high school days, I used to get cashiers to break down in giggles (this is back when only women were typically allowed to handle money), by ordering a Filet-O-Fish and carefully articulating the “O”.

      3. Oh, please. There is none more badass than the Hamburglar. Robble robble.

        1. Are you kidding? Homer Simpson kicked his ass!

          1. You just try saying that again here!

        2. Are you kidding? Homer Simpson kicked his ass!

          1. Wow. That’s the first time the server squirrels got me. Then again, it was a point that needed emphasis.

            1. I think they got fed up waiting for you to say something significant and intelligent for them to screw up.

              ;P

        3. The Hammurderer was way more badass.

  2. Not a big fan of McDonald’s in general, but I gotta say good for him, telling CSPI exactly where they can put it.

    1. Not a big fan of McDonald’s in general…

      Please share with us how you are able to resist the all-powerful Golden Arches. According to the CSPI, that’s a trait few of us can ever hope to possess.

      1. And while you’re at it, please share how one can close tags in html, as that’s a trait I obviously don’t possess.

        1. Avoid advice from SugarFree on that.

      2. It’s a Jedi mind trick.

        1. No way! It’s a Vulcan mind trick.

          1. It’s a Transylvanian time warp.

    2. Actually, their food these days is better than it deserves to be, IMHO. Their Angus burgers are quite tasty if you ignore the fact that they are a “g” away from not being so.

      1. I almost choked on my big mac lauging at that.

    3. I love their desserts and the McCafe drinks in the summertime.

  3. Fuck you. I’m eating.

    1. That was Carl’s Jr.

      1. I’m fucking it.

  4. Vincent Vega: [Y]ou know what the funniest thing about Europe is?

    Jules Winnfield: What?

    Vincent Vega: It’s the little differences. I mean they got the same sh** over there that they got here, but it’s just, just there it’s a little different.

    Jules Winnfield: Example.

    Vincent Vega: Alright, well you can walk into a movie theater and buy a beer. And, I don’t mean just like a paper cup, I’m talking about a glass of beer. And, in Paris, you can buy a beer in McDonald’s. You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

    Jules Winnfield: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?

    Vincent Vega: No, man, they got the metric system, they don’t know what the fu** a Quarter Pounder is.
    Jules Winnfield: What do they call it?
    Vincent Vega: They call it a Royal with Cheese.

    Jules Winnfield: Royal with Cheese.

    Vincent Vega: That’s right.

    Jules Winnfield: What do they call a Big Mac?
    Vincent Vega: Big Mac’s a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.

    Jules Winnfield: Le Big Mac. What do they call a Whopper?

    Vincent Vega: I don’t know. I didn’t go into Burger King.

    1. lol Pulp Fiction is a classic

    2. Ah, back when Tarantino could still write dialogue.

      1. Yep. I had great hopes for Inglorious Basterds but walked away wanting.

        1. C’mon, the Jew Hunter Nazi guy (sorry, don’t remember his name at all) was great. I also liked the scene in the bar with everyone playing drinking games.

          Other than those scenes (and the ultraviolence) I’m not remembering much else, so you may have a point.

          1. It needed more Natzi scalpin’.

            1. Tarantino is a hack, though with some limited talent.

              1. He is responsible for making Travolta relevant again (somehow). You really can’t understate the damage done with that one casting decision.

                1. Wasn’t he filming Get Shorty before Pulp Fiction was released? To be honest, I think Get Shorty was a much better movie, and Travolta did a decent job as Chili. It always help to have Elmore Leonard writing your dialogue, of course.

                  1. Wasn’t he filming Get Shorty before Pulp Fiction was released? To be honest, I think Get Shorty was a much better movie, and Travolta did a decent job as Chili.

                    Both were good. However, the first Get Shorty was great, the second was unwatchable.

                    1. I heard the second one sucked, so I avoided it. Has anyone read Be Cool? I picked it up cheap at a library sale ’cause it was Elmore Leonard, but I’ve never read it.

              2. Two words: Jackie Brown. That alone negates any claim to talent he might make.

                1. Film school types LURVE themselves some Jackie Brown. So you won’t get far demolishing his reputation with that one.

                  1. I liked Jackie Brown. However, the signs were there that Tarantino was getting self-indulgent, and starting to focus the on long, drawn out mindless, boring dialog sessions that are now is trademark.

                    1. Anyone who praises the dialogue in Death Proof, Kill Bill, or Inglorious Bastards gains my immediate disapproval. This includes a lot of movie critics.
                      When you listen to long segments of Tarantino’s pointless dialogue, you can almost see the man sitting at a typewriter pretending that these people are talking back and forth, unaware that every character in these movies sounds like the same person (Quentin Tarantino).

                    2. you can almost see the man sitting at a typewriter pretending that these people are talking back and forth, unaware that every character in these movies sounds like the same person (Quentin Tarantino).

                      Or that anyone except the man at the typewriter are interested in what these people have to say.

                      There’s definitely an art to snappy dialog, and if Tarantino ever had it (disputed) he doesn’t seem to have it any more.

        2. Are you kidding me? Basterds is my favorite Tarantino film. Disclaimer: I have not seen the Kill Bill movies.

      2. Ah, back when Tarantino could still write dialogue.

        Isn’t there a conspiracy theory that suggests that Tarantino could never write good dialog, and that it was his writing partner that actually wrote the good dialog in Pulp Fiction?

        It makes a lot sense when you see everything that Tarantino wrote by himself after that.

        1. Or before that.. *cough*From Dusk Till Dawn*cough*

          1. I saw Dusk Till Dawn one night when I was trapped in an airport hotel with nowhere to go and nothing to do and having seen all the other movies on the offering and not being in the mood for more bad hotel porn.

            What a wierd, fucked-up movie that was. And Cheech Marin as a vampire zombie thing? Totally wierd movie.

          2. I thought FDTD was a great movie, especially if you didn’t know that a getaway movie was going to suddenly turn into a vampire/zombie movie.

            Much of the dialogue in it is pretty memorable and funny too.

        2. There is enough Tarantino work out there with good to excellent dialogue that I’m pretty sure it’s him. Fuck, Reservoir Dogs alone is 150% win, and that’s one of his earliest scripts.

          1. I did have to give Tarantino credit for disassociating himself with Natural Born Killers, a movie so bad I almost walked out of it, and I don’t walk out of movies.

          2. In addition to being a secret Predator 2 fan, I am a secret True Romance fan. And Tarantino wrote that.

            Gary Oldman alone has several immortal lines in that one.

            “Bitches leave.”

            “Y’know what we got here? Motherfuckin’ Charlie Bronson. Mr. Majestyk.”

            “This motherfucker’s carryin’ on like he ain’t got a care in the world. Who knows? Maybe he don’t.”

            “He must have thought it was white boy day. It ain’t white boy day, is it?”

            And let’s not even get started on the scene with the late Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken.

            1. “‘Cause you, you’re part eggplant.”

              1. Hopper and Walken ad-libbed that whole part, reportedly.

            2. Is it wrong to enjoy True Romance? It does have Cristian Slater which is reason enough to hide your enjoyment.

              Aside from the obvious highlights there’s also Balky with a face full of coke while his lady laughs at his scrubby ass.

            3. I love True Romance. I need to watch it again soon.

              1. Brad Pitt’s best movie.

            4. In addition to being a secret Predator 2 fan, I am a secret True Romance fan. And Tarantino wrote that.

              No need to hide your love for Predator 2. It was misunderstood and underappreciated.

              True Romance was good but it wasn’t exclusively written by Tarantino. Roger Avary was uncredited.

              I still believe that Tarantino is best when he’s got checks and balances on him.

            5. “Bitches leave.”

              He stole that from Robocop.

              1. He steals everything. The guy simply isn’t worth the attention he gets.

        3. Roger Avary can write great dialogue for instance he wrote Killing Zoe which was great. But I don’t believe the conspiracy that he wrote all the best stuff in Pulp Fiction.

  5. What if McDonald’s started paying their drone army?

    1. That would make them mercenaries.

      Still not acceptable to progressives – unless they were mercenaries who went after enemies of Obama. Then that would be all right.

  6. Speaking of clowns, the CSPI are gang of unfunny media whores who would be invisible and impotent if not for their accommodating and sympathetic fellow statists in the various news media.

  7. Best way to deal with a bully is to face him down. McDonald’s isn’t doing anything wrong. This idea that parents and even kids are fully programmable morons is stupid, and only an evil plaintiffs’ attorney would run around suggesting it. McDonald’s throws a lot of money into marketing not to program people but to keep up with their substantial competition.

    It amazes me that these clear attempts to replicate the tobacco settlements and earn some attorneys a few more billion aren’t totally laughed off by everyone.

    1. And as a bonus, McDs has a history of paying out on frivolous settlements.

      If CSPI was serious about fucking up Ronald, they’d file a suit for a Happy Meal burning their lap or their tongue.

      1. Nah. CSPI would rather die of starvation than eat a Mickee Dee’s product.

        They would also rather that WE die of starvation than be allowed to eat a Mickee Dee’s product. (TBS, I have to be pretty damned hungry to go in there myself.)

        1. Fair enough i spose, since i want them to get cancer or die in a fire.

    2. A friend and I were just talking about how the first sign of weakness is to feel guilty. If they make you feel guilty, you’re already on the defensive.

  8. Between the Happy Meal hate and the hate-speechifyin’ meanies on Facebook, fatties just can’t catch a break. (No surprise that the content-police extraordinaires at Jezebel are perplexed at FB’s reluctance to censor.)

    1. Where would be without busybody assholes policing our opinions? It’d be chaos, I tells ya! CHAOS!

      1. Have you ever been told you’re Miss New Zealand; have you ever had hurt feelings?

        1. Hurt feelings lead to shame eating; shame eating leads to being fat and getting your feelings hurt.

          Since the eating link of the chain can’t be broken, and the shaming part isn’t going to magically go away due to nagging, maybe it’s time to give up hurtable feelings.

          1. This.

            (A word offering to the serversquirrels, for passage through the spamgate.)

      2. You mean all those sacrifices to Arioch are finally working? Sweet.

        1. Personally, I prefer Xiombarg.

          1. Well, blood for the blood god just wasn’t getting any results, so I went back to the religion of my elders.

            1. Duke Teer needs more blood for his blood castle, damn it!

              1. Why am I having visions of the blood head from Lifeforce right now?

      3. one thing that reminds me of late unpleasantness ofjoe is his use of that phrase ‘I tells ya!’. In that link you provided last week it was obvious one troll was his by the placement of that phrase (and the disingenuous thrust of the post).

      4. Hey I only became a devotee of Slaneesh ’cause they’re not reall picky about who they let join in the orgies.

        Also that the orgies are mandatory.

    2. From the Jezebel commentariat comes this gem:

      SkaHimself
      01:09 PM

      Serious question (because I do not know answer off the top of my head):
      Does obesity qualify as being part of a protected class?
      Reply

      1. Fuck that handle stealing scumbag!

      2. Obesity may act as a protective cushion in cases of trauma. However, the coronary arteries are certainly not protected.

        1. Gold star for you!

  9. I now only want to see Jim Skinner finish off Jacobson in the manner of Mortal Combat.

  10. Given all the shit they take for simply running successful businesses, I’m not surprised to hear badass statements from fast food CEOs. The head of Carl’s Jr. they had on Bullshit seemed pretty cool too.

  11. McDonald’s food is shit, their employees range from indifferent to outright rude, and every meal, not just Happy Meals, is likely to come with additional freebies in it, just not the kind you want to play with (unless you’re fascinated by fungus and nematodes).

    That said, CSPI needs to STFU.

    1. This explains their spectacular failure as a business model.

    2. Weird, I feel exactly the same way about World Market’s food court.

  12. Comedy gold if the hand were flipping the bird.

    1. or the shocker

    2. IIRC, it is the sign for “up yours” in a couple of European countries.

      In Italy, I think that sign means “your wife/girlfriend is screwing somebody else.”

  13. Remember, being a food snob isn’t about what foods you like: it’s about the stuff that’s Below Your Mighty Standards that you feel the need to bash at every opportunity.

    1. Case in point: I thought I heard somewhere that Episiarch considers himself quite the food snob, and will only eat the deepest of Chicago-style deep dish pizzas.

      1. I heard that too. Something about it not being pizza if you didn’t need a knife and fork, right?

        1. That’s funny, my classification for pizza works the exact opposite. Utensils? You’re doing it wrong.

          Not saying its not tasty….but its not pizza. Unless we want to completely dilute the meaning of the word. Hey, i just put some tomato sauce on a cracker with some spray cheeze, I call it Pizza a la Ritz.

          Also working on a recipe where i combine the dough, sauce, and cheese of a normal pizza in a blender, then pour the mix into cupcake pans, and steam them. They’re more like chinese steamed buns, but I’m calling them pizza.

          Oh, and cheesesteaks…those are also pizza now.

          1. I like onion pizza.

            1. Vidalia or Walla-Walla?

        2. (and obviously pizza flavor goldfish crackers are Pizza now as well.)

      2. They have to be deep for what he does to them prior to eating.

        Nah, that sounds nothing like me. Have I been possessed by the mind rays of SugarFree? Must. . .consume. . .sugar.

        1. Blame the American Pie franchise.

      3. Actually, Epi once claimed that ‘true good pizza’ couldn’t actually be had. That it was an ideal, not yet reached by even the mightiest pizza makers.

        1. My honest, not-engaging-in-Eternal-War-with-Episiarch opinion is that I can tolerate all sorts of “pizza.” It’s just that there is great pizza, then there is the rest. Barbecue is kinda the same for me–I can eat the ordinary, but the superior is awesome.

      4. And I concur with him. Zachary’s in Berkeley, CA. Its the one reason Berkeley is worth preserving.

        1. Bah. Blondies!

      5. Pizza isn’t pizza unless it comes from the freezer section.

        1. “Freezer section”? What am I, a fucking Newfie or something?

        2. MMM, burn a Mr. P’s, dribble Pappa John’s garlic butter on the top, fold it into a sandwich.

      6. I refuse to engage a bunch of tasteless philistines in a discussion about pizza. It’s like Hedonism Bot discussing…well, anything with Fry.

        1. Late at night…

          When he thinks no one’s looking…

          Episiarch goes to the refrigerator and removes that familiar green, red, and white pizza-slice box…

          That’s right; Sbarro!

          DUN DUN DUUUUN

          1. Americans arguing about pizza is like pigs arguing about Puccini.

            1. Italians thinking they matter is hilarious.

              1. When is the rest of the world going to understand that we own everything?

                1. I paid the funny little greasy haired guy to say that.

            2. Italians thinking they invented pizza is like a Californian assuming the Tooth Fairy comes from San Francisco.

        2. Sirrah, how deliciously absurd!

  14. So will no one else step up to the plate (hehe, so punny) and defend the greatness of McDonald’s hash browns? Salt and grease merge into a perfect blend on those bad boys.

    1. WTF man. Everyone knows you don’t talk about their hashbrowns unless it’s past 5am but before 10:30am

      Now i have to wait all that time to get my fix, thanks a lot.

      1. I like the McMuffin, with the proviso that I have some hot sauce to flavor it up. Otherwise, I don’t eat much there.

        1. I hear the coffee is good.

          1. Their coffee is atrocious. Think beach saamdwashed in distilled water, then covered with black dyed mulch, and hot water poured though it. Gah!

        2. I dig the biscuits, but I never seem to get there in time for breakfast. Once I almost throttled a McDonalds employee because the breakfast menu had been left up past 10:30, but they wouldn’t let me order a bacon egg and cheese biscuit.

    2. You know, it’s funny… I love potatoes, and I love fried foods, but fast food hash browns and tater tots just don’t do it for me.*

      *Unless you add Mexican spices to the tater tots a la Potato Ol?s from Taco John. Then they’re awesome.

      1. Haven’t ever bought a tater tot since sixth grade cafeteria lunch time. Bad cuisine memories.

    3. The biggest shank job on these is that they went from 2/$1 to $1 each recently (around here, anyway.)

    4. Nope. McD’s fries beat McD’s hash browns.

    5. Their hashbrowns are wonderful, and those McGriddle things are freaking amazing.

  15. I have been depriving myself of those amazing fries for a solid two months now due to my diet and exercize regimen in preparation for my Hawaii vacation next month, but I am so enamored with this response that I will be getting a large fries from the Golden Arches on my next available opportunity.

  16. Hopefully, as a middle finger to CSPI, McDonald’s will switch back to frying their fries in beef tallow. Fries cooked in vegetable oil are garbage.

    1. Or they could go full flavor and cook them in duck fat, like Quinn’s.

      1. Either I’m a philistine or you’re a snob, because I can’t tell the difference between duck fat and lard. Both are splendid, of course.

        1. I’m a snob, you’re a hirsute philistine, there is a difference, but it’s subtle.

          Lard is great, but the rendering gives it (in my opinion) a slightly heavier flavor than the duck fat.

          1. I use bacon grease more often than lard. If your cooking fat overpowers the taste of your food, then you know you chose the right fat.

            1. Episiarch uses the Most Dangerous Grease.

              1. Yes, the sebum that drips from his scalp in copious amounts.

    2. But then how would vegantarians get their fry fix….wait, nm, screw them.

      1. Vegans? Fuck them. A few months on the Wheel of Pain will fix them up.

        1. I miss the beef tallow fries. 🙁

  17. To really piss off the nambies they should bring back the beef fat fries. Hell, a public campaign should be in the works.

    and, fuck you, Phil Smith, you clueless bastard.

  18. Sorry, Warty I had not updated before you addressed that very subject.

    1. I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson.

  19. I’m glad someone finally stood to these hysterical dumbasses.

  20. I seldom eat at McDonald’s unless there’s no other choice, but this pleases me. Maybe I’ll swing over there and get an apple pie and a sweet tea.

  21. Jim deserves a happy meal for that response. Maybe two.

  22. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

    Just who are (is) the CSPI and why should anyone care what they think. I can easily imagine that the CPSI, like Chony & Shrike, is just a lonely fat fifty-five year old in their mommy’s basement complaining that they’ve just messed their pjs.

  23. Does CSPI go after higher end eating establishments or do they only think the poor are “fully programmable morons” (thanks, PL)?

    1. Clearly the latter. It’s incredible to me how many people who purport to represent the interests of the downtrodden despise them and do everything in their power to manipulate them. All these bastards seem to see are votes–for elections or for juries. Nothing else.

      1. CSPI’s targets are remarkably similar to that of PETA’s, who pick on rich old ladies in fur, but avoid leather-clad bikers.

        1. Thank you for saying that.

          I just had a wonderful image of the result of CPSI picketing a Hell’s Angels bar demanding that the Hell’s Angels give up their leathers.

  24. These CSPI guys always make me think of Denis Leary in Demolition Man:

    “You see, according to Cocteau’s plan, I’m the enemy, ’cause I like to think; I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I’m the kind of guy who likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?” I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I’ve SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It’s a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing “I’m an Oscar Meyer Wiener”. “

    1. Love that speech. Also, the one at the end of Escape from LA.

  25. The problem is media outlets, local news etc., pick up and run with the CSPI releases because their name sounds so official. No such entities will even bother to report on McDonald’s response.

  26. After spending a few nights in a Ronald McDonald House I feel compelled to choose them over other forms of fast food burger.

    Damn that clown for being so thoughtful.

  27. “CSPI’s twisted characterization of McDonald’s as ‘the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children’…”

    Yeah, that is douchebaggery on a par with Rob Reiner’s best agitprop. On the other hand, have you ever met “Ronald McDonald” in person? The dude didn’t even look the kids in the eyes as he shook their hands, he merely stared up at the sky and let the makeup do the work. Extremely creepy.

  28. Do the idiots at CPSI know the happy meal toys are made in China, not the U.S. of A?

  29. Who cares if there is a toy in a meal. The parents are in charge and if they don’t want their kid to eat fast food at McDonalds then don’t take them there. Tell the food police to go chomp on some lettuce and celery!

  30. Mcdonalds fucking sucks. Burger King all the way white trash!

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