Friday, May 20, 2011

Nearing the End

After decades of being a regular fixture on television, our small screen icon will soon be gone. Year after year we watched this celebrity have specials and give away prizes. We assumed that this person would be around forever. Who could have imagined that their career would end? And it does look like it is ending. Yes, I am talking about Ronald McDonald. It seems that Ronald's days are numbered. There has been an outcry to ban the McDonald clown from hawking his happy meals to children. Apparently tons of processed cows and chickens saturated with lard and salt are not good for the little ones' diet. Who knew? And now Ronald McDonald is being compared to the average everyday drug pusher. Gotta get those whippersnappers addicted to fast food as soon as they pop out of the womb.

Did you know the original Ronald McDonald was portrayed by Willard Scott? He's the Today show guy that gives out birthday wishes to people who have been alive for a century or more. None of those people started out life on the Mickey D diet. In fact, if they ever had fast food, it would have been after their fiftieth birthday. Fast food restaurants did not really take off until the late 1960s. There may have been a few before then, like McDonald's, Burger King, White Castle, but in the late 60s, they popped up faster than dandelions on an unweeded lawn. Suddenly on every main street in Anytown U.S.A. you couldn't go twenty steps without finding a Hardy's or a Red Barn or a KFC or a Little Caesars or a Taco Bell or a Mr Tony or a Top Hat or a McDonalds or a Jack in the Box or a Shields or a Big Boys or a A & W or a Churches or a Chicken Delight or a White Castle or an Onassis or a Taco Time or a Burger King or a Dairy Queen or a Popeye's or a thousand other names. The list goes on and on. I'm sure you can add a few yourself.

So it looks like Ronald McDonald will end up in the same retirement village as Smokin' Joe, the Camel cigarette mascot. They'll probably put him in the same room with Speedy Alka Seltzer and the Faygo Kid. Down the hall from that ward of people with all those Territon black eyes.

Here's something I haven't thought about before... When did they get rid of the word "sugar?" Sugar Crisps are now Super Crisps. Sugar Pops is now called Corn Pops. Sugar Frosted Flakes, still the same but minus the word sugar. I never was into sweet cereal, so the change of brand names went unnoticed to me. My breakfast cereal selection has remained Cheerios or Rice Krispies for more years than I care to mention. I would rather have a hot breakfast like corned beef hash and eggs or grits and eggs, but I am very lazy in the morning and it's easier to pour a bowlful of Cheerios than to fry eggs and fixings. As long as the milk doesn't clump out of the bottle, I'm happy.

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