Ray Kroc, spinning in his grave
: I was in a rush today so I went to the McDonald’s across the street (there is no place but no place to eat where I work) to have a new cheesesteak (hey, you only die once). After getting through the considerable linguistic challenges of translating cheesesteak into an actual order (“chicken?” she shouted) I tried to get mustard, causing much confusion and proferring of honey mustard and mustard dipping sauce, not to mention more linguistic crossed signals and a shouted offer of mayo.
No, I said, mustard, like you put on the hamburgers.
More confused looks. Language again, I supposed.
A manager is called over.
Mustard, I said, like you put on the hamburgers.
Oh, she said, we don’t put mustard on the hamburgers.
Of course you do, I said, this is McDonald’s.
No, she said, “not all McDonald’s are alike.”
Those are revolutionary words, ladies and gentlemen. McDonald’s was built precisely on the proposition that all McDonald’s are created equal. As they used to say at Holiday Inn: No surprises. Quality and consistency were Ray Kroc’s hallmarks.
All McDonald’s not alike? That tears at the very foundations of mass-produced mass-culture America! Next you’ll be telling me that conservatives are big government spenders and liberals are isolationists and gays are popular on network TV. Oh, well, all that is true. But McDonald’s is still supposed to be consistent.
No, she said.
I come back shaking my head and go to the web site: There’s mustard, as clear as a Crayola sun, peaking out of the burger and in the ingredients: “A 100% all beef patty, pickle, onion, ketchup and mustard all on a toasted bun.”
Either this McDonald’s is a renegade and should be dealt with. Or America is crumbling.