Time Travel Tuesdays! Yay! Let’s travel back to 2002, when the McDonald’s Corporation made me want to jump off of a suspension bridge just to escape their latest commercial!
April 6, 2002
I really really really want you to shut up
I hate McDonald’s.
I never used to hate McDonald’s. I was actually fairly indifferent towards McDonald’s for quite some time. I’d eat there, but no more often than any other fast-food type of establishment.
Until about a week ago.
Apparently, my friends, McDonald’s has upped the ante in the ongoing fast food war with their new “Chicken Strips.” The message of the chicken strips seems to be, “Hey, if you don’t like our chicken in processed, unrecognizable nugget form, here’s an alternative!”
I have no problem with McDonald’s introducing a new product. That’s certainly their prerogative. I may even have been tempted to sample these new strips, were it not for the way the fast food giant chose to convey the information about its new product to the public.
I’m talking about a commercial, my friends. And not just any commercial. McDonald’s could have used any of a number of ways to promote this product. They could have had a tap-dancing McDonald’s employee informing a customer. They could have had Ronald McDonald put a sleeper hold on the Hamburglar when the latter attempted to steal the coveted foodstuff. They could have simply shown smiling children eating the strips. Perhaps one could have fed a strip to a puppy.
Instead we unsuspecting television viewers who, innocently enough, want only to see Anthony Edwards’s last episode of ER are deluged with people munching chicken strips as they dance to a ear-splitting voice screaming, “Tell me whatcha want, whatcha really, really want!”
Yes. McDonald’s has resurrected the Spice Girls.
Heads shall roll for this.
Give me bubblegum pop. Give me country. Give me a drunken barber dragging a screaming cat along a mile-long chalkboard but please, dear God, don’t subject me to the Spice Girls again.
This so-called “musical” group has been thankfully off the charts for years now, but that doesn’t negate the fact that for quite some time they were inexplicably popular, even to the point of filming a movie that makes Mariah Carrey’s “Glitter” seem quiet and understated by comparison.
Just this morning, as I drove to work, the Spice Girls began screaming on my radio again, prompting me to reach out and jab at the buttons, but it was too late. I had already been requested to divulge what it was I want, what I really, really want.
The human brain has a serious malfunction in its wiring, you see. While good memories are quickly shunted to the background, the mind feels compelled to replay horrible songs and embarrassing moments at constant, random intervals, moreso when something happens to remind you of it.
As a result, I’ve spent all day struggling valiantly against the urge to explain to the people in my office that what I really, really, really want is zig-a-zig-AH. Meanwhile, the portion of my brain responsible for embarrassing memories, struggling to keep up with the bad songs segment, has been stuck on a continuous loop of the time I accidentally dropped a lead weight on a girl’s head in ninth-grade science class.
What I can’t understand is why McDonald’s would choose such a tactic to promote a new product. What difference does it make if people who hear your radio commercial are aware of the existence of the chicken strips if the way the message is conveyed inspires them to drive into a concrete bridge abutment just to get it to stop?
And so, I find myself in quite a moral quandary. Do I stop going to McDonald’s altogether, or do I take the more mature, sensible route of secretly breaking in one night and altering the intercom system for the drive-thru window so that it plays Ray Stevens’ “The Streak” 24 hours a day?
In the meantime, I intend to spend the next 24 hours in a sanitary environment being fed a steady diet of Barenaked Ladies and Five For Fighting until the horrors of this music no longer echo in my skull and I am fit to rejoin normal society.
And I’m gonna work on my radio station changing reflexes too.
Blake M. Petit actually loves every Spice Girls album. Why waste a perfectly good skeet in target practice? Contact him with comments, suggestions or any song that can eradicate the Spice Girls from his mind at BlakeMPetit@Gmail.com.