In a rush of idiotic fancy, I went to McDonald’s last night and ordered a box of Chicken McNuggets.
When I was younger – much younger – Chicken McNuggets might as well have been a basic staple food for me. Between work, school, and whatever else was going on, the fabled CMcN provided basic nourishment and were probably third (after the Filet O’Fish and bags of Peanut M&Ms) on my “must have” list. I can’t begin to count the number of CMcNs I have had – goodness knows that McDonald’s should probably name a wing in their corporate headquarters for me because chances are that I paid for it in CMcN purchases alone.
But I as I got older, I pulled away from fast foods. Part of it was because we had a couple of McDonald’s in town that staffed with people who’d never heard of “customer service.” Part of it was also due to the fact that as my scheduled opened up, I found myself with more time to cook my own meals. In short, the CMcN faded away from my life rather quickly, replaced by such glorious inventions as the Crock Pot.
So imagine my surprise at finding myself compelled to stop by McDonald’s for an order of the legendary Chicken McNuggets. I think part of me wanted to just revisit some aspect of my childhood. The world is getting crazier by the second; I just wanted a trip back to a time when everything made sense, and the CMcN was my ticket there. Keep in mind, I haven’t had any of these in a very long time, and in retrospect, that where I went wrong. The order was brought up fast – almost too fast – and I realized that what I had on my proverbial plate (i.e., a cardboard box) were nuggets that had been prepared much, much earlier and reheated.
What kind of stunt is this, McDonald’s?
I suppose that I should have known there’d be issues when I noticed how close-fisted the guy at the window was with the dipping sauces. And by close-fisted, I mean that I literally had to present a case as to why I needed more than what he gave me. I know that McDonald’s wanted to cut back on the reckless abandon that many of its staff had shown with giving away condiments (now they’ll put the sugar in your coffee for you, to prevent you from taking more than your fair allotment of the rare and precious white crystals), but this is ridiculous. Yes, it was a cost-saving decision; we get it. But for a company that claims profits in the hundreds of millions annually, I don’t think it’s a threat to the shareholders if one asks for more than one tray of sauce.
Fine. I’ve got sauces at home, I reasoned. Fie upon McDonald’s stinginess, I say! Well, that still leaves the CMcN itself, and there, too, I was disappointed. Maybe CMcNs are like Diet Coke. Some foods, like Diet Coke, are tolerable as long as you don’t stop consuming them; the minute you try to restart, it’s darn near impossible. In this case, I stopped eating CMcNs for years; perhaps if I had never broken things off with them, they’d be more appetizing to me now that I’ve come back to them. Who knows . . . who cares? The fact is, I realized only too late that I could have put that $5 bill to better use.
Oh well . . . I’ve learned that Hardy was absolutely correct when he said that you “can’t go home again,” and I guess that this proves it.