Selling McCrack to Kids:
The U.S. Government, Fast Food and Your Premature Death
(You can't smile when you're dead)
Written by:  Alex Sandell

"Pork, the other white meat."  Bacon looked more reddish to me.  "Milk, it does a body good."  Yes, if you're an infant sucking on your mother's breast.  "We Love to see you smile."  Where?  On my death bed?  Because that's where it looks like I'm going to be, sooner, rather than later.  29  years old and I just found out my cholesterol is 371 (normal for my age is under 150).  I'm not grossly obese, I'm fairly active, and I don't smoke or do drugs, but my diet consists primarily of junk food.  Most of my friends, all around the same age as myself, have a junk food intake similar to mine.  Why?  Because McDonald's and the rest of the fast food cronies told us, during our favorite childhood TV shows, that this is where we wanted to eat, and we demanded that our mom and dads take us there.  The healthier restaurants didn't give away toys created in third-world nations by underpaid,  overworked employees when you ordered your food; why would we want to go anywhere else?  These fast food places got us hooked young, and knew we'd be kept there for our short lives.  I remember being so excited on the weekly four hour drive we took to my grandma and grandpa's house, just because we got to stop off at McDonald's on the way.  We all look forward to the almighty "drive-thru."  If it isn't the one winding around McDonald's, it's Wendy's, not Wendy's, it's Burger King, and, when we get a little bit older, we want some more advanced junk for our "grown up" tastes, so we head on over to Arby's, where they politely ask us if we'd like any "horsey" sauce with our grown up food.  

It appears that there's no end in site, either.  When I keel over of premature heart failure, there will be another kid ready to take my place.  McDonald's is now offering MIGHTY Kids' Meals!  "More food . . . same great toy!"  Now, along with that toy, you can feed your child a double cheeseburger, along with the same heaping pile of fries and syrupy soda!  Did I mention that he still gets the same great toy?  He won't have as long to play with it, since he'll most likely have a fatal heart attack by 15, but at least he got that double burger with the extra cheese, rather than one of those wimpy single burgers his buddies received (they'll live 'til 30).  And those fries, oh, those wonderful fries.  I've always thought they should come in the shape of bullets, since they shoot straight to your heart, and are just as deadly, if you eat enough of them.  This would give "biting the bullet" a whole new, far more literal, meaning.

Speaking of those french fries, McDonald's caused quite a stir in the vegetarian community when it turned out that they contained beef.  McDonald's has "apologized" for any confusion that they may have caused, but insist that they have always given out "nutrition and ingredient" information to their customers.  Well, outside of that one little tidbit regarding their fries containing beef -- but that doesn't count -- apparently because the beef flavoring is added "at the plant," before the fries are frozen, and sent out to their "McRestaurants," where they are cooked exclusively in "vegetable" oil.  I guess McDonald's doesn't consider something to be an ingredient unless it is added at the McRestaurant where it is being served.  Still, they are sorry for any confusion their list of ingredients that didn't contain all of their ingredients may have caused people looking for a full list of ingredients.  This must be a, "McApology."  

I do realize that most fast food restaurants, not just McDonald's, are immoral multinational entities looking for nothing more than making a buck, at the expense of your health, but the sad thing is that it doesn't stop there.  It stops at the U.S. Government.  Yes, the people you vote in are allowing all this to happen.  Imagine if they advertised marijuana to kids (now THAT would be a true "happy" meal) during Dragon Ball Z.  The shit would hit the fan, and fast.  Yet, for some reason, advertising fast food to the kiddies is okay.  I'd say a double cheeseburger is more dangerous than the most potent of joints, yet somehow that's okay to advertise.  Let's end this foolish "war on drugs" and start a "war on childhood junk."  

A war on childhood junk could have saved me during my formative years.  I currently have a cholesterol level that would be considered dramatically high for a 90-year-old.  How did this happen?  Well, as I've established, I ate a lot of greasy trash.  Is that anyone's fault but my own?  Yes.  I wasn't told it was junk food when I was a kid.  I was told it was part of a "nutritious" breakfast, lunch or supper.  When I went to school, all they served me was pizza and butter bread, with a piece of lettuce on the side.  

I HATED butter, at the time, and threw the bread under the table.  This turned into a huge scandal in my school, eventually culminating in the principle offering a REWARD to anyone reporting the bread dumping bandit.  Of course one of my 9-year-old buddies "tattled" on me (he's probably a member of MAPS, now), and received a gold star in return.  Thanks to this little snot with the gigantic mouth, I got in big trouble.  I was forced to sit in a cubicle, head between my legs, for the entire lunch hour for 3 days straight.  I had to do this in front of everyone else, as they ate, and ridiculed me.  Somehow the principle didn't care about all the butter bread being wasted when it was thrown in my general direction. 

Even with my head up my ass I knew that butter was BAD for you.  Okay, maybe at nine, I just thought it tasted bad, but I knew something wasn't right about it.  Currently, I don't give a damn what the farmers and the dairy industry and George W. Bush says, because they're wrong; butter is not good to eat, butter is not healthy and, to sum it all up, butter kills you.  Still, I was forced to eat it.  Literally FORCED (the principle actually made me eat the butter bread that landed in my cubicle).  Was that my fault?  Of course not.  Was the fact that the Government fed me junk food every single day of my life, with a carrot, or leaf of lettuce, on the side, my fault?  Of course not.  Will the Government do anything about this?  Hell no.  

The Government still hasn't done dick about the homeless people they fed acid to when they thought it was a truth serum to get all of them commies to reveal their commie secrets. The Government still hasn't even tested genetically engineered food, even though it's been found hazardous in England, and is no longer used in breads and cereals there.  Of course our Special K and Frosted Flakes are still contaminated with this untested genetically mutated puke, even though it is no longer used in England, but does the U.S. government care?  Not a chance.  They'll simply condemn it 30 years from now, when the damage has already been done.  Remember that the Government was fine with Fred Flintstone selling cigarettes to children, less than half a century ago.  And don't even get me started on Government sponsored mad cow disease.

"I have always been against genetically modified food and mad cow" the democratic candidate will say during a future presidential debate.  "I too have always been against this scientific hazard to all of our children's health" the Republican will answer.  Neither of them will say why they never did anything about it, because the corporate controlled moderator won't dare ask the question.  General Mills will be sponsoring the entire fiasco, of course.

I won't be there to see any of this, because when my doctor called me yesterday, he literally sounded like he was talking to a dead man.  First, I need a stress test, second, I need an angiogram (I have no idea how to spell that word), third, if the angiogram (I still have no idea how to spell that word) shows what I predict it will show, I will need open heart surgery.  It looks like one artery is doing the work for four.  

In an update a while back I wrote that you should ALWAYS believe in yourself.  Well, for the past 7 years, I have complained of chest pain and have BEGGED for heart tests.  No doctor was willing to give me one.  They all said it was an anxiety attack.  Now it turns out that, more likely than not, it was my heart telling me, "get your cholesterol checked, you dumb shit, you were raised on McDonald's and have moved onto Papa John's."  

I begged dozens of doctors during dozens of ER visits to check my cholesterol and give me a stress test.  None of them were willing to do so.  They all said I'm too young, and everything's fine.  Now I find out my cholesterol is nearly 400, and everything is about as far from fine as it can get.  This is the first update I've written for this page where I seriously think that it may be my last.

McDonald's, you may love to see it, but I sure as hell ain't gonna smile . . .

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copyright 2002 alex sandell [all rights reserved].  have a little respect for the dead . . . don't copy this, okay?