My middle daughter, a sophomore at Purdue University, just texted me for ideas on one of her assignments. She has to write a poem about McDonald’s. At this very moment I am sitting in McDonald’s, trying to write on a different topic because I covered that one in last week’s article.
It’s not surprising that the place keeps popping up in my life. It has been this way since the early 70s when my family moved, and we no longer lived near a Burger Chef. I loved Burger Chef with their kids’ Funmeal and Funburgers. Thanks to their “Works Bar,” I learned at a very young age that I prefer my burgers topped with lettuce, tomato, and onion.
The first time I remember going to McDonald’s was in Chicago. My dad said I could order anything, so having seen a few commercials, I asked for a Big Mac. My mother promptly attempted to intervene, stating that there was no way a five-year-old could eat such a large sandwich. Dad bought it for me anyway, and I ate the entire thing, all the way down to the final sesame seed. Apparently, I worked up quite an appetite in the Windy City.
At the age of 16, my first job was at McDonald’s in Chattanooga, Tenn. My second job was at a McDonald’s near Nashville, Tenn. And when my family moved back to Indiana, I worked at McDonald’s in Lebanon. Fifteen years ago, they tore it down and built a bank in its spot. But being the sentimental person that I am, I still have a brick from that building.
I recommended that my daughter look up all the old McDonald’s slogans and see if she could weave them into a poem. I also suggested that she could write about two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. I mean, who doesn’t love a good Big Mac poem?
I reminded her that no matter how far across the world one travels, they can find a McDonald’s nearly anywhere and feel right at home. Granted, international locations sometimes have unique menu items. Like the one in Mexico that offered an English muffin smothered with refried beans, and packets of jalapeno sauce. Or the one in Lithuania that had an unusual shrimp sandwich. And in Germany, I was disappointed that I couldn’t order the Quarter Pounder, because they are on the metric system. But on the upside, they serve beer.
I also reminded daughter that her existence in this world is due to McDonald’s, for that is where I met her father. If not for a flirtatious glance across the chicken nugget bin, and an extra squirt of special sauce, she never would have been born. I used to say I was his Happy Meal prize until someone observed that he must have REALLY supersized. Of course, now that toy has been recalled, and I spend a lot of time at Burger King. I’m rather partial to the Whopper these days.
I don’t know how her poem will turn out, but she is a good writer so I am sure it will be awesome. In the meantime, I came up with something of my own:
I’m fond of McDonald’s
And Burger King too
But if Chef returns
I’ll bid them adieu
Ginger is an author, motivational speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook (Ginger Claremohr), find her on the web: www.gingeretta.com, or contact ginger.columnist@gmail.com.