A coalition of health care professionals, parents and corporate accountability advocates are calling for the retirement of fast-food icon, Ronald McDonald. The coalition, Corporate Accountability International, plans to hold ‘retirement parties’ for good ol’ Ronald at various McDonald’s restaurants and college campuses. They believe the clownish icon is a huge cause of our nation’s obesity problems. And, I agree. I think retiring Ronald is a cool idea. But, it doesn’t go far enough.
In my mind, Ronald McDonald is a cartoon criminal, responsible for causing much of America’s obesity problem (I’m sure there’s a direct correlation between the growth of the McDonald’s chain since the 1950s and America’s expanding waistline). In fact, I think Ronald McDonald should go on trial for his crimes against humanity.
I believe a smart district attorney could put together a fool-proof case for the jury’s consideration. And, here’s how I envision the cross examination:
D.A.: “Mr. McDonald, your corporation is serving billions of Big Macs daily. How many calories a day do you think that adds up to? Trillions? Zillions?”
McDonald: “Duh-huh. I don’t make the hamburgers, Mr. District Attorney. I just bring happiness to people’s lives.”
D.A.: “Nice. How many morbidly obese people do you think are happy, Mr. McDonald?”
McDonald: “Duh-huh. I see lots of happy, rolly polly people every day, Mr. District Attorney.”
D.A.: “I’ll bet you do. Your honor, if it pleases the court, I’d like to enter into evidence this MRI photograph of severe arterial blockage. It was taken of a lifelong devotee of McDonald’s hamburgers who recently died of a massive heart attack. Mr. McDonald: how does that make you feel?”
McDonald: “Duh-huh. Hungry, Mr. District Attorney. Hungry. That picture looks like one of my super-sized Macs. Kids just love ‘em to death.”
D.A.: “You mean they love them until they’re killed by them, is that what you’re saying Mr. McDonald?”
McDonald: “Duh-huh. I’m just the Chief Happiness Officer of McDonald’s, Mr. District Attorney. You’d have to ask someone else about death. That’s a real downer.”
D.A.: “No further questions, your honor.”
Judge: “You’re free to step down, Mr. McDonald.”
McDonald: “Duh-huh. Thanks your honor. That was fun.”
Judge: “You may not think so when the jury returns a guilty verdict, Mr. McDonald.”