Driving Thru An Impromptu Fast Food History Lesson

What is it about teenagers, thinking that their parents were practically born in the Stone Age?

It is an unfortunate set of circumstances that led me to have to write, for the second time this week, about another instance in which I am accused of being older than the hills. To make it worse, the accuser wasn’t even one of my own children. Close, though: it was the younger boy’s best friend.

I was driving the two of them home from scouts on Monday night, and I decided to stop for Shamrock Shakes for the three of us (plus Jim and the older boy), to celebrate the grand news we had just received about the older boy’s college scholarship.

Yes, we celebrate with milkshakes. Shut up; they make me happy:

Photo+on+2010 02 26+at+20.12
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, on my way to McDonald’s.

As I was pulling up into the drive-thru lane, the younger boy stated, “It’s too bad that eating at McDonalds for every meal would make you gain a ton of weight*.”

I, being a former McDonald’s crew member and lifetime defender of the company itself, replied, “Well, it really depends on what you eat and how active you are. You know, when I worked there during high school, I worked double shifts over the summers and sometimes ate every meal of the day there. *I* didn’t gain weight**.”

And then the younger boy’s best friend piped in with what–if I were a violent person–could have been his last words:

“Well, they really didn’t have a lot of food choices way back then.”

“WHAAAAT?” I exclaimed. “What do you mean, WAY BACK THEN? I’m not THAT old. What exactly do you think was on the menu when I was your age?”

Not missing a beat, he said, “Probably just cheeseburgers and fries.”

Note that the younger boy knew that it was probably best for him to stay out of it; he didn’t say One. Word.

Suddenly I was a volcano, erupting with knowledge that he probably could have cared less about, but that had to be shared at that moment.

“Well, young man,” I said. “For your information, we had MORE than cheeseburgers and fries. We had…Big Macs. And…Quarter Pounders with cheese. In fact, at that time, Quarter Pounders WITHOUT cheese were still on the menu. We had the first generation of the ‘Big and Tasty’, which was called the McDLT. We even had the ‘McRib’ for a while. And Filet-o-Fish! We had that, too. AAAAAND, for your information, the last time McDonalds only had mainly cheeseburgers and fries available was when the chain first opened, back in the 1950’s. We learned that when we visited the McDonald’s #1 Store Museum over the summer.”

The younger boy’s best friend reacted in the only way a teenager who had just been shut down could react:


And once again, I was driving a car that was completely silent, punctuated only by the sound of milkshakes being sucked up through their straws.

The moral of this story?

Sometimes when we aim to prove how we are so NOT old, we prove that we are anyway.

*I believe his health class screened the movie “Supersize Me” last year.
**This was indeed a moment of irresponsible parental lecturing.


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • Mom24

    Irresponsible parent lecturing? So nice to know I'm not alone. 🙂

    He asked for it.

    Is your son still speaking to you? 😉

  • Mags

    I would like a Shamrock Shake. But there ain't no way I could go to McDonald's at this point in time without ordering fries. And both of those things together would be the downfall of this diet, which is going so well. But man…those are so good.

    I love that you love McDonald's so much. And it's hysterical to me that the younger boy didn't say a word…and even funnier that he didn't warn his friend to shut it…he just let him continue!

    I want to come to Chicago. Today.

  • WeaselMomma

    Ah, but you do remember the introduction of Happy Meals, The McNugget, salads, the Sundaes in 3 flavors and when the pies were fried, yummmmm.

    Come to think of it, everything on your childhood menu except the fliet-o-fish and McRibb (didn't have that on the east coast) were burgers and fries.

    Okay. I'm done now. This was fun.

  • nycgirl0501

    This is funny! You gave it to him 🙂 Hee Hee!

    I had one of those moments today when I ask my coworker, "Did you hear Corey Haim died?"

    Her response was "Who?"

    Oh lord! She's only 22 but still…hello The Lost Boys…I know it was the 80s but still.

  • Andie

    this post had me cracking up because it is totally something I would have done too! LOL

    now I'm craving a shamrock shake. I know what I'm getting for dessert today!

    by the way- I gave you an award!

  • NYCItyMama

    Dang. I'm with Momo Fali…I would have taken his shake and enjoyed it myself. LOL! I am with you on this though…I can't count the times I heard stuff like "Were there televisions?" "Where there this or that?" Grrrrrrr!

  • Tom

    If it had been me, I probably would have said something like: "That's true… they hadn't invented meat yet. We had to chew on wheat stalks. But it cost a nickel!"

    Then I would have pulled over and shoved him out.

  • Huckdoll

    Well, I bet HE is too young to remember when McD's had PIZZA. Now that was an awesome thing to be old enough to remember.

    Sigh. I still crave that damn pizza.

  • Otter Thomas

    I had a kid a little later in life so I just hope I can still hear when Braden's friends make fun of me.