What I'm not particularly fond of regarding Micky D's is that current slogan. McDonald's used to introduce a new slogan every few years or so. Remember "Food, folks and fun?" I loved that. It was the perfect distillation of every McDonald's experience I had when I was a kid: The food I craved, eaten with the folks I loved, and the post-meal fun/high that one experiences after eating American fast food, you know, the one that makes you feel like a million bucks for roughly five to ten minutes before you find yourself sweating on a toilet, cursing the creation of the drive-thru concept? That probably wasn't the fun they were talking about. They were probably referencing that awesome McDonald's dance party scene in Mac and Me. Damn, that looked so fun!
"I'm lovin' it" has been around since 2003. That's a long time. Too long as far as I'm concerned. But it works. I mean, I guess. I'm pretty sure people would continue to line up at McDonald's counters all over this great land if McDonald's commercials were nothing more than a list of heart disease facts and figures accompanied by somber acoustic guitar strumming. People know it. Let's put it that way. If you run into a middle school cafeteria or a prison yard at recreation time or Bingo night at a retirement community or graduation at a School for the Deaf, and shout out "Da-da-da-da-da...," you'll get a resounding "I'm lovin' it," in return. It's become canon. Scripture. It is wired into the brains of newborns from birth. It must be something they coat the fries in. It worms into your DNA.
But is it accurate? Are we, in fact, "lovin' it?" Short answer: Not really.
"But, Matt, you started this whole thing off saying you loved McDonald's. What gives? Are you a dirty, godless liar? I don't get you, man."
Look, I love McDonald's like I loved cigarettes when I smoked. I knew what they were doing to me, but, wow, did they ever make me look cool and feel good. I looked cool until I realized my t-shirts smelled like shit, and I felt good until I woke up at 2:30 AM unable to catch my breath most nights. McDonald's feels good on the way to the restaurant--I call this the "I'm Lovin' It Phase"--and it is enjoyable going down, but when I reach that final, aforementioned sweaty bathroom scenario, yeah, I'm not really in the mood to declare my love for anything. So, am I lovin' it? Yes. Kinda. I love the idea of McDonald's and it tastes so good in my mouth. But then I find myself at 37-years-old at the doctor's office being warned that if my fatty liver gets any worse I'm going to die (it wasn't said that way at all--I'm being dramatic...for comedy?). I can't really say I love something that is killing me. "But the act of living is killing us," you might say. Then, ok, I can't say I love something that is killing me faster. Does that work for you, person I just made up?
I think it's time for a new slogan, and I think I actually found a good one this week. And I mean this. I didn't write all of the preceding to end on a hacky joke slogan that I dreamed up in the midst of a Taco Bell coma last night (That's right--the wife and I ate Taco Bell at 11:00 PM last night...in our bed. Marriage is awesome, guys! Don't let anybody tell you any different!). No, this week a woman in Dallas, TX came up with the greatest, most perfect slogan for McDonald's that has ever been. It didn't hurt that she was overdosing on a variety of synthetic marijuana known as Brainfreeze at the time, in fact, I'm pretty sure I should be giving the manufacturer of said product the credit. Anyway, here's what happened:
Police say a Dallas woman was driving with her two children last week when she overdosed on a drug called Brainfreeze.
Angela Williams, 37, remains in the Dallas County Jail on a charge of driving while intoxicated with a child under 15, as well as a hot check charge. Her bail is set at $7,000.
About 8:20 p.m. last Thursday, Williams parked on a median at Samuell Boulevard and St. Francis Street, apparently having a seizure in her Chevy Malibu, a witness told police.
Her two children, ages 11 and 13, told officers that Williams was driving “crazy” and acting irrationally, laughing at nothing in particular. The witness removed both children from the car for their safety, the police report says.
Officers found two packets of Brainfreeze, a synthetic cannabinoid, in Williams’ purse, according to police documents.
When police got her out of the car, Williams grabbed one of the officer’s gun belts numerous times and repeated, “I want my McDonald’s,” the arrest warrant affidavit says.
Officers took her to Baylor University Medical Center for treatment. She was later released and booked into jail.And that's what McDonald's is, man; the salty, greasy, delicious fuel only a crazy person would want to ingest. You are grabbing at the gun belt of life when you invite a McDonald's Big Mac into the fragile ecosystem that is the human body. You don't "need' your McDonald's. You "want" your McDonald's, and you're willing to reach for a police officer's weapon to get it. Obviously, Ms. Williams is a terrible mother, but even terrible people can stumble into something brilliant.
All I'm saying is try it, McDonald's. "I want my McDonald's." I mean, that's a slogan right there! No tweaking, no focus groups necessary. We aren't eating in your restaurants for nourishment. We're addicted. Our parents threw a Happy Meal into our laps because they were too tired/lazy/angry to cook a proper dinner, and we've continued the trend because we're heroin addicts, only for French fries. We're grease zombies with dead, Mayor McCheese eyes, wandering through the night with ketchup on our shirts and sesame seeds in our beards. We want our McDonald's, and we don't care how many cops we've got to manhandle to get it.