Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ronald McDonald, You Son of a Bitch

"We were taken to a fast food café where our order was fed into a computer. Our hamburgers, made from the flesh of chemically impregnated cattle, had been broiled over counterfeit charcoal, placed between slices of artificially flavored cardboard and served to us by recycled juvenile delinquents."

Jean Michel Chapereau

Just a little more than a week and a half ago, I landed in KLIA after spending a whole year abroad in India and I returned to Malacca finding the town to be a whole lot more foreign than when I left it. I spent the first few days just chilling in my room, reading and occasionally venturing out after midnight to look for food so I don't starve to death. A few days later, some old Taylor's College classmates came down from KL, so I brought them to a few choice eating places that every Malaccan can be proud of and finding, with much relief, that these places have not changed the least bit.

Then, a few days ago at about 1:00 am, after discovering that my favourite 24 hour yong tau fu place was closed for the day (night?), so I set my course to the nearest other 24 hour restaurant in the district; the Pahlawan Megamall McDonald's.

There, I ordered an evergreen classic, the McChicken burger and what the cashier set on my tray made me want to scream,

Photobucket Image Hosting
The horrors! The inhumanity! Someone get me a gun, quick! There's someone I want to shoot for this.

The McChicken came in a goddamn box!

When did this fucking happen?! And more importantly, why didn't anyone fucking warn me?!

I didn't actually scream, per se, but I did stare at it for a smidgen too long - actually prompting the cashier to ask me if there's anything wrong. Yes, there's a friggin' box on my tray, I wanted to answer but thought better of it.

There was a time long ago when fast food always meant either McDonald's or KFC. It wasn't much of a toss for me between the two because I was always more partial to McD's. The reason, however, isn't so much a matter of taste or quality as it is about getting my hands greasy and covered in sauce.That's what happens every time I go for KFC - those fried chickens leak more grease than an oil tanker disaster - but you can hardly blame them, really. Fried chickens are different from burgers, which are round and can easily be wrapped with a sheet of greaseproof paper (which McD's used to do, if you remember).

Then later, when KFC introduced the Zinger - their flagship burger with a fillet of their awesome crispy fried chicken in it - which I discovered, with much disappointment, comes in a box. I ordered the Zinger on a grand total of one occasion, and never again for years after. There was mayonnaise all over my fingers and even after washing them with water, there's still a residual sheen of oil left on them. That's not good. Its not fast food if you got to spend more than 10 minutes getting your hands clean. McD's burgers are simply elegant, in comparison. Just unwrap one side and bite. You don't even need to wash your hands before (or after) you eat.

McD's marketing strategies are what I often cite as the reason for their success over KFC in Malaysia. KFC is known for their horrible decisions on a bad string of gimmicky, overpriced products (remember the Bandito, people? and their crappy fish burger?) and pulling out genuinely awesome products off their menu shortly after introduction (The Waikiki Burger, for example, which is basically Zinger with a pineapple ring. For a while, it made me willing to forgive KFC's burger-in-a-box and ate one for lunch everyday).

If I'm not mistaken, KFC, in the past few years at least, have started wrapping their Zingers with greaseproof paper. I consider it to be either a sign that KFC have started to concede to McD's genius or that KFC have fired their worthless marketing execs and managed to woo some of McD's people over to their side. I'm in favour of the latter theory because apparently, McD's hired KFC's old, jobless marketing execs who then somehow - I don't know how - managed to convince the Boss of Golden Arches that taking their burgers out of their greaseproof wrappers and putting them into fucking boxes is a good fucking idea.

Also, I think making cardboard boxes uses a lot more paper, and hence, cuts down more trees - not to mention that a customer would have to use a ton of paper napkins after getting a sloppy mess on their hands from a burger from a box. You want statistics? Here's one; I used to use an average of two serviettes in every visit to McD's in the past. Now I use five.

I'm pretty green, as far as Malaysians go - I refuse plastic bags whenever I can and carry my own shopping bag. And I have stopped driving up to KL too and went back to using buses instead.

I foresee that I'll be visiting the 24 hours KFC in Gajah Berang a lot more often now. Burger King too would most likely see a lot more of me in the daylight hours and even though their burgers are more expensive, they at least have the decency to taste a whole lot better than McD's (take that, burger-boxing corporate scums).

McD's fan in protest,
k0k s3n w4i


pinksterz said...

its not aloha burger. it's waikiki. haha. XD and the pineapple doesn't add any taste to the burger at all. :|

wah never thought you can be this fussy when it comes to save the earth thingy. :|

well, you can always go for double cheeseburger! :P they still wrap it in paper.

fubi, McD fan forever!! said...

even though use ppr stil need2 wash hands k >_> n d reason y u hv oily fingers is coz u DID NOT USE D SOAP PROVIDED T^T n i actually thot tht KFC fish burger ws nice :) i tink burgers look really neat in a box. use d tissue ppr n hold la if ur so particular =d

y u boycott McD's???!!! hah, nvm nxt time i go eat mcd's u can just sit n watch T^T

bevE said...


bevE said...

ok. thanks for checkin it up (though i'm sure u would've wanted to know too T^T). my friend said it was on 2X though *goes to eat nasi lemak*

Anonymous said...

I agree with ur opinion on using the greaseproof ppr... but i m not boycotting McD... their burgers are still one of the best in town...

Yim said...

sissy bugger, just make do with the grease, won't you? you're worse than a dainty girl! HAHA! :P

but honestly, when they say they're trying to save the earth, i call it bull shit. see the amount of paper and plastic they use, URGH!

Yim said...

oh i'm yahui btw, sorry bf was using his gmail so i'm logged in to his acc now. -.-

beve said...

KL some places still got plastic wat no ah

k0k s3n w4i said...

pinksterz: you're right. my bad :P and what do you mean it doesn't add any taste to the burger?! it's a pineapple ring!!! i'm not that fussy, really. i just want to be the one who wouldn't feel so damn guilty when something catastrophic happen because of our wanton waste of natural resources. and ugh, I dun like the double cheeseburger T^T

fubi: the soap is too watery and smells funny T^T. tissue is next to useless la. the sauces and oil just leak right through. next time u go eat McD i'll make u hold the burger for me xD

beve: I accidentally found that out when i saw the feed to a blog i read. wasn't finding out for myself at all -.- what talking you about plastic and KL? write properly >_>

anonymous: ah, I have to disagree with you politely on that. Burger King's burgers are tons better - not to mention that they have more variety too.

yim: trying to save the earth isn't bullshit. the only people say say that are people who want to continue destroying earth while not wanting to feel guilty for it. I'm okay with getting my hands dirty (i eat with my hands quite often in India, anyway) but this is FAST FOOD!! I demand efficiency from my FAST FOOD T^T

bevE said...

Oh. papur.