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My open and heartfelt letter to Ronald McDonald, on the occasion of his announcement that his Happy Meals will be less deadly than before

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Dear Ronald McDonald,

First, I want to say thank you. Sincerely and honestly, thank you for your recent announcement that you will be putting apple slices in your Happy Meals. Now, no longer will the toy be the healthiest thing children can remove from that colorful box and put in their mouths. Apple slices are naturally sweet and delicious, and I think you’ll find that the children who eat your food-like products will come to love these apple slices even more than the other things you put in those “meals.”

Mr. McDonald, I don’t know if you’re a father, but I am. And as a father, I can tell you that it is difficult to raise children these days. Everywhere they turn there is temptation. There are predators on nearly every corner. There is fear and anxiety. Mr. McDonald, I am sad to say, that you have been a contributor to that some of that anxiety. And when I say “there are predators on nearly every corner,” I am making a veiled reference to the ubiquity of your predatory eating establishments (I am not sure I should call them “restaurants”).

Our children, the children we work so hard to raise properly, see your colorful costume and your hilarious televised antics and they think, “He is a friendly, exciting looking character, I will pay attention to him and do what he says.” When you use this power over our trusting children to sell your fatty, salty, processed foods, you are doing a disservice to all of us.

I have done what I can. Whenever I see an obese person, I point him out to my children and say, “See? That person didn’t take care of himself, and now he’s all fat and gross, and he probably has no friends, and he has a bunch of diseases that are costing society money, and you’ll be paying for that man’s health care long after he’s dead, which probably won’t be too long now, because look at how fat and gross he is.” I encourage my children to belittle fat people, and to feel superior to them, so that they don’t make the same mistakes that fat people have made. I tell them that you can tell how good a person is just by looking at them, and that fat people are weak-willed, and that they should do everything they can to not become fat.

And yet, despite all my thoughtful attempts at raising conscientious children, they still desire to eat at McDonald’s.

My kids are not stupid. They have assimilated my lessons about the importance of not being an ugly fatty, they know how unhealthy it is, and yet they still ask me to go to McDonald’s. All the time. “Daddy, I don’t want any more soy! Stop trying to get me to eat healthy whole grains! Greek yogurt isn’t a ‘real’ dessert!” It is so tedious. Clearly, there can be only one logical reason for this: McDonald’s is spending billions of dollars every year to market to my helpless children.

Thanks to the tireless advocacy of sensitive people such as myself, health care costs are being spread out among all members of society. Naturally I believe that we should all bear the costs of helping those less fortunate and less healthy than ourselves. It’s the only moral thing to do. That said, it is unfair that I should have to pay for some disgusting pathetic fatty with flesh dripping off him like grease off a deep-fried Twinkie to eat all the junk food he wants, whenever he wants, while I remain diligent in my efforts to not eat fast food, and to shame my children into not eating fast food.

The addition of apple slices to your Happy Meals is a wonderful, brave admission that you have been poisoning our children for years, and been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our nation. You have taken an excellent first step on the long road of redemption on which you must now travel.

There is much more that you can do. Reducing sugars, saturated fats, and calories is another great step you’re taking. A baby step to be sure, but a step nonetheless.

I note that you are engaging on a “listening tour” in which you will be soliciting “suggestions from parents and nutrition experts.” To that end, I would like to offer more suggestions for how you can stop being such a negative force in the world.

First, I’d like to humbly ask you to stop including toys with your Happy Meals. These playtime objects are nothing more than a cynical enticement meant to tempt my children into “wanting” something that they don’t really need. Children should be outside running around, burning off their fat, not inside playing with “action figures” licensed from other major corporations that makes money exploiting my children.

I believe that you should also spend a portion of the money you spend in research and development to create some kind of bitter flavoring that you could inject into all of your products. One of the more alarming reasons for your success is that people actually claim to “like” the “flavor” of your food products. You have spent years and millions of dollars trying to create food items that easily manipulated people will find tasty. The least you could do would be to spend a few million to create a flavor that would turn people off of your products, or at least make them think twice before putting that filth in their mouths.

You make literally billions of dollars every year selling your poison to our children, turning their bodies into pudgy blobs. The least you could do would be to spend a portion of that money lobbying congress to pass laws to create “designated unhealthy eating areas,” to segregate people who choose to consume the unhealthy garbage you erroneously claim is food. We have designated smoking areas, to keep deadly second hand smoke away from our children and non-smokers, but there is nothing to shield me and my children from the sight of ugly, obese slobs stuffing their elephantine faces with your grease and lard concoctions. When my children see people “enjoying” your foodstuff, they ask me why they can’t eat some, too. I am then forced to approach the blimp eating your feebogzh and ask him to please go sit somewhere else, as he is offending me and my children. Because there is no official force behind my request, it is usually ignored. With your help, we can make such unhealthy eating areas a reality.

I would also like for you to donate half of all the money you make every year to a fund that could be tapped by parents such as myself, who have to deal with the calamities that your irresponsible marketing have caused.

The measures outlined above are merely stopgaps, of course, until we can get the government more actively involved in doing its duty of protecting its citizens against the dangerous harms you represent.

Mr. McDonald, I can tell you from experience that it is painful to look at one of your own children, whose body is becoming so flabby and roly poly that you can barely even tell where his face is anymore and to say, “No, Tubbo, you can’t eat what you want, because you’re becoming a pathetic monster that reflects badly on your father.” Yet that is what I have to tell my children, nearly every night before they go to sleep, begging me for a “Chicken McNugget.”

I am a good father. I try to raise my children right. But I cannot compete with you. Now that you’ve as much as admitted that, I need your full cooperation.


Written after reading this and this. Also, this and this.

Ricky Sprague occasionally writes and/or draws things. He sometimes animates things. He has a Twitter account and he has a blog. He scripted this graphic novel about Kolchak The Night Stalker. He is really, really good at putting links in bios.
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2 Responses to “My open and heartfelt letter to Ronald McDonald, on the occasion of his announcement that his Happy Meals will be less deadly than before”

  1. Ricky, good post … THANKS for sharing …

    I fear that changes catering to American consumers won’t count for much in the grand scheme of Ronald’s worldwide market. ASIA is where it’s at, as you can see from this photo I took in Thailand, in 2008

    Sawat dee, Ricky!

  2. Hopefully, enlightened activist parents will go after McDonald’s and we can have a worldwide war on the obese I mean obesity.

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