Wednesday, April 1, 2015

24 Hour Breakfast

Back about some 20 years ago, there was a movie starring Michael Douglas called Falling Down. Douglas plays, if I recall correctly, an engineer who is having a really bad day. Indignities befall him one after another. This guy is a seething cauldron of rage barely contained inside a human suit. But he holds it together...barely...taking all the shit that modern society throws at us everyday and we're supposed to take it.

Until...

Douglas's character goes into an ersatz McDonald's for breakfast. He dutifully takes his place in line which slowly moves until he makes it to the counter to finally order his breakfast.

The guy at the counter informs our put upon shlub that it's 10:31 and they stop serving breakfast at 10:30. 

Our hero informs the guy in the paper hat that it was well before 10:30 when he got in line. Besides its not like all the breakfast food just magically vanishes at 10:30 AM. There's still sausage biscuits and hash browns and what all still back there. He can see them! 

But the response remains the same: Sorry, sir, we stop serving breakfast at 10:30 AM.

Where upon Michael Douglas's character goes bat shit crazy. 

And who could blame him, right? 

The thing about McDonald's actually not serving  breakfast after 10:30 has been, for me, a good thing. If I really want an Egg McMuffin, then I better drag my lazy out of bed before the Egg McMuffins vanish back into the mysterious magical realm from which they come. On the other hand, if it's after 10:30 AM and I still want an Egg McMuffin, I really need to examine my life choices. 

The thing is, the 10:30 AM cut off for breakfast at McDonald's helps curb our worst impulses of laziness and gluttony. 

But not for much longer. 

McDonald's is looking at rolling out 24 hour breakfast. 

Lately, McDonald's has not been doing too good, what with declining sales and the bad rep for contributing to the delinquency of America's waistlines. I have to admit that I eat at McDonald's mostly because I've had this conversation either with myself or my family. 

  • I'm hungry. What do you want to eat?
  • I don't know and I don't care. 
  • McDonald's it is. 


Seriously, McDonald's slogan could be, "When you don't give a f**k, come to McDonald's!" My daughter and I refer to the various menu items as McMatter. I would not be surprised that the Chicken McNugget, the Filet-O-Fish and the Quarter Pounder with Cheese all come from the same vat of McDonald's super secret McMatter. 

McDonald's, America's dining choice of last resort. 

But while America can't quite get itself motivated enough to partake in the Big Mac or the McChicken sandwich, we still seem to like McDonald's well enough for breakfast. I've gone whole weeks without eating anything from the Golden Arches for dinner or lunch but rarely a weekend goes by that the El family doesn't venture forth at least once from the Fortress of Ineptitude for a McBreakfast. And I know other individuals and families who pretty much follow the same pattern. 

So who can blame McDonald's if their data actually supports that breakfast is still a great seller and look to expand that. Wow! Breakfast 24 hours a day! 

Except...

As I noted earlier, there is a certain sense of urgency and even, if you will, something special about getting McDonald's breakfast before 10:30 AM. I don't think the appeal of McDonald's breakfast menu is going to extend beyond breakfast, at least not in the way it is now. 

Consider this: it's Saturday morning. I really need to get up and do things, get stuff done. Well, I better get moving if I want a McDonald's breakfast! They stop serving at....

Oh, they never stop? OK then, I roll over and go back to sleep. 

There's already too much unhealthiness about myself attributable to McDonald's and their fellow fast food purveyors. Expanding breakfast to 24 hours takes away one of my few remaining motivators to get out of bed. 

And I'm so glad my suffering amuses you. 

Dave-El  

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