Aliens in the Apple

Having a bad day parenting? Sue McDonald’s!

Ben 19 Jan 2011 Culture Food Funny things

Warning: This article may contain traces of sarcasm.

Maybe she was just having a bad day as a parent. Or who knows, maybe she is getting paid by an advocacy group. But one Mizz Parham from California seems to have a thing against Happy Meals. She’s suing McDonald’s, because, in her own words:

“We have to say no to our kids so many times and McDonald’s makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat.”

The poor lady! And evil McDonald’s, psycho-fiddling inside a child’s head without Mizz Parham’s permission! And what’s more, the horrid company is even giving children toys! Again, from the mouth of Mizz Parham:

“The company uses toys as bait to induce kids to clamor to go to McDonald’s.”

McDonald’s is fishing for her children using the foul bait of plastic playthings!

What’s even funnier is that she’s being backed up by a group called the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Science? Public Interest? I think the only valid words in their name are “for”, “in” and “the”. Then again, a crazy lawsuit is always public and interesting, so maybe they’re really the Center for the Science of making things Publicly Interesting.

Read what the venerable head honcho of the CSPI has to say:

“Every time McDonald’s markets a Happy Meal directly to a young child, it exploits a child’s developmental vulnerability and violates several states’ consumer protection laws, including the California Unfair Competition Law.”

That’s PhD-worthy analysis if ever I heard any. I’m sure every time a parent reads a fairy tale to a young child, they exploit the child’s developmental gullibility, and, quite probably, violate various state, federal, and ecclesiastical laws.

And from an (almost) seasonal point of view, every time McDonald’s hands out a toy, they make Santa Claus’s job that much harder the next Christmas. It’s just not right.

But all this makes me think … I have a good reason to sue McDonald’s myself. Here we’ve been in the United States for seven months now, and neither I nor my children have seen a single McDonald’s ad on television. Oh, that’s right, we said “no” to a TV. But I don’t think we’ve seen many ads on billboards either, certainly not ones directed to children.

This isn’t just a theoretical issue. In New Zealand I would get a 50-cent ice cream at McD’s with Marica every few weeks. Great bonding time, courtesy of the Golden Arches. But here we’re just being left out. McDonald’s is limiting my family bonding time due to their lack of advertisements targeting my children. McDonald’s, ruining father-daughter relationships since 2010. It’s just not fair! Show my kids more ads with toys!

So if you hear of a $5,000,000,000 lawsuit against McDonald’s for ruining families by not showing enough ads, that’d be me. Or maybe I’ll settle out of court — they can just send us a couple of beef cattle so my daughters and I can learn to mince meat and flip burgers for our family time. Yeah, that’d do it!

Comments (11)

Bryan Hoyt 19 Jan 2011 at 2:07pm

It’s as if they’re advertising just to make people buy their stuff. I guess we’ve just grown calloused to that sort of disregard for the authenticity of the advertising arts. Which might be ok, but this is children we’re talking about. I mean, doesn’t McD’s make enough money selling Happy Meals to adults?

Bruce 19 Jan 2011 at 2:34pm

Oh! wow! way to go! sock it to ‘em, Becky!

Ben 19 Jan 2011 at 2:36pm

Heh. Yeah, we need to recover the artists’s catch-cry — “advertising for art’s sake”. Oh, wait …

Ben 19 Jan 2011 at 2:39pm

I confess to being unsure how Aunt Becky has become connected with this … writing a tasty counterpoint, perhaps?

Jeremy E 19 Jan 2011 at 4:45pm


I guess it was only a matter of time before the kiwis started to misrepresent American culture by overplaying its litigious nature. In fact, I feel that I am going into a mental state of nationalistic depression, caused by the disrespect foreigners have for the great tradition of suing the pants of anyone. In fact, I’m so depressed, I feel like I need to sue the entire world outside of The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave for eleventy-bagajillion dollars and a happy meal. That’s the only way I will ever recover from the remorseful state that you have now put me in.


Proud to be an American.

P.S. you’ll be hearing from my lawyer.

Ben 19 Jan 2011 at 5:16pm

Hehe. I almost wish I had been sarcastic about the entire U.S. legal system, but in this case I was only referring to a single lawsuit. :-)

Susanna 20 Jan 2011 at 12:55am

This is hilarious Ben! If I hear you have some cattle in your backyard, I’ll know why! Something tells me Marica would actually really love having some animals to take care of…but might not be so into the killing and eating part! You’d make a little vegetarian and than you could sue Macdonald’s for killing your daughter’s interest in meat!;)

Susanna 20 Jan 2011 at 12:58am

Oh my…and I said “Macdonalds”…I mean “Mcdonalds”…oh dear. they can sue me for misspelling their very hallowed name!:)

rick 21 Jan 2011 at 10:57am

“for” “in” “the” or FIT for short - its the nanny-state’s next agenda item to make us all fit by dictating what we can and can’t eat since we’re all too stupid to do so ourselves. Imagine the horror of (queue the scary music) people running around making their own choices and taking personal responsibility for those choices! And besides, prohibition has worked so well its only natural to extend it!

Ben 21 Jan 2011 at 11:35am

“FIT for short”, didn’t even notice that, I love it! :-)

Bruce 23 Jan 2011 at 3:48am

Yes, I thought your style and sarcasm sounded very much like Becky. It just made me think of her as I was reading this.