I have a confession to make. Even thought I consider myself a foodie, I still have several guilty pleasures which involve fast food. And the McDonald’s Happy Meal is one of them. In high school my friend Tiffany and I would go after cheerleading practice to get Cheeseburger Happy Meals almost every day. Tiffany was looking to collect all of the 101 Dalmatians toys they were giving away. I, on the other hand, was looking to enjoy the yummy goodness that is the McDonald’s cheeseburger. When paired with the salty, fried superiority of their trademark fries and a sweet, bubbly Sprite, the Happy Meal did just that… make me happy!
Fast forward many, many more years then I would like to count, and I still stray from my foodie ways and more mature palate to enjoy the deliciousness of a McDonald’s Happy Meal from time to time. This probably only happens a few times a year, but its consistency always keeps me coming back. Just recently, I found myself in need of a quick lunch that could be eaten in the car. And the McDonald’s Happy Meal is perfect for just that! So I decided to “give in” to my craving and grab my beloved Happy Meal. While driving down the road, I stuck my hand in the bag to grab the fries, and to my surprise, felt something cold. What was it, you ask? It was a small bag of sliced apples. Thinking nothing of it, I quickly tossed them to the side and reached back in for the fries. I then pulled out a miniature version of the classic red McDonald’s fry container that held no more than 10 fries in total. I looked back in the bag, thinking surely there were more. But no… there were no more.
Honestly, my initial reaction was anger. How dare they take away my fries. Sure, I remember hearing a while back that they were offering healthier options for the Happy Meals. But I thought that meant I could choose to substitute my fries for fruit… not that they would cut my fry serving in half forcing me to get fruit! However, after eating my cheeseburger–which was still amazing, by the way–and finishing my 10 french fries, I was still a little hungry. I looked to the apples and I thought, why not. They were tarte, surely coming from green and not red apples. But beyond that, they were a nice little finish to the salty and savory Happy Meal. I enjoyed them much more than I had expected.
So what’s the moral of this story? First, you’re never too good to enjoy guilty food pleasures. But more importantly, while you might not like “the man” making decisions for you, sometimes, they do get it right!
Until we eat again…
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