Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bagels at McDonalds?

Last night, while watching the Washington Capitals fold up like a bad toupee on a humid summer morning against the New York Islanders, I saw an advertisement by McDonalds for a sausage, egg and cheese bagel.

McDonalds is now offering a sausage, egg and cheese bagel on its breakfast menu.

I had to repeat that just to make sure this is really happening.

Now, in all fairness, I haven't stepped inside a McDonalds in many years. The last time I was in a McDonalds was out of sheer necessity. I was driving home from Virginia Beach with my family, and we had run into horrendous traffic on I-95 North right after you leave I-295 to make the turn to Washington. After making this trip for the umpteenth time, I know where all the hidden exits are that allow you get off the interstate and slide over to U.S. 1. We took advantage of my crack navigational skills -- yes, that's true . . . it's the only inborn male trait I have. I can find my way out of any location I shouldn't be back to where I'm supposed to go without resorting to the local "filling station," as they call gas stations in the Deep South, for directions. Having made numerous emergency bathroom and diaper stops over the years around this interchange, I knew exactly where to find a McDonalds, and a relatively clean one.

Salads at McDonalds were strange enough, but I understood where the suits were coming from on this one. Parents are inevitably confronted by their small children with requests to go to McDonalds, and it's hard to say no, especially when you've been traveling and the possibility of a ball pit and indoor climbing structure offers some low-cost entertainment. So much so that you overlook the very real danger of God knows what diseases are lurking on those balls or on the tunnels where grubby little hands have been smearing snot and pee for hours on end. But . . . you do it anyway, convinced that you are providing your children with at least one positive childhood memory. And for parents who are long past their teen-age affinity for Big Macs and Quarter Pounders, a salad offers a reasonable compromise. We agree to subject our children to the plague, or, at minimum, hidden viruses that will affect the stomach and respiratory system, by letting them crawl around a toxic waste site of communicable disease and develop a taste for food that may well enter them into a world-wide obesity competition. In return, the grown-ups get a salad. A trade that works out well for both teams.

Sort of.

But bagels at McDonald? That's like lining up for cannoli at Ollie's Barbeque in Birmingham, Alabama, or just saying, "To hell with it, I will have the ribs," after surveying the choices at Shoney's. Some things you just don't do. Never tell someone you've started getting into jazz and then break out a Kenny G CD. Never tell someone you're "pretty good with computers," and then take the first opportunity you get to "fix" someone's balky laptop to infect it with a virus for which there is no known cure. Never tell someone you "understand women" because, since women tell me they don't understand women, there is no way that men can. Never tell someone you "know the way to man's heart is through his stomach" because, as undeveloped as we might seem to some, we're not all that stupid. Never use the inside fork first in a formal setting (outside in is the rule). Never go to the grocery store hungry. Never, EVER, go to Target without a specific list of items, or else you may as well just start a bonfire with the extra $200 you'll end up spending on useless additions to your laundry room, garage or bathroom.

And never buy a bagel from McDonalds.



Carlos said...

I'm pretty sure this isn't a new thing. They've been there for a while.

Nathan said...

Yeah, the ham, egg, and cheese bagel has been my favorite breakfast sandwich at McDonald's since high school. And that was during the Clinton administration.