It is said that after nuclear Armageddon, life on earth will be reduced to just a couple of categories: cockroaches and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. The theory goes that if Keith hasn’t killed himself with the many drugs he’s done so far, he has nothing to fear from the bomb.
Jokes operate on an internal logic all their own, which is part of what makes them funny (and, yes, analyzing jokes defines the opposite of funny). The internal logic operating in this case begs a further question: What will Keith do for munchies?
McDonald’s wants Keith to know that he cannot rely on all the leftover Big Macs on the planet because they will, indeed, rot…more or less…under certain circumstances.
My background is in corporate communications and journalism. Generally, the corporate practice is to extol the virtues of your product, though integrity demands that you own up to any shortcomings. In any other industry, products that are built to last a long time would be considered an advantage. Not so for McDonald’s.
I cannot come up with another example of a company extoling the inherently rotten nature of its flagship product. But, that’s what McDonald’s did in this unusual FAQ post on their Canadian corporate site. In fact, Mickey D turned the page over to a food scientist from the University of Guelph to explain that the Big Mac decays like any other foodstuff – just a little more slowly than you might expect.
But, the kindly scientist offered a couple suggestions for speeding up the process if you’re into that kind of thing. And who isn’t, am I right?
Apparently, the Internet had been feasting on the rumor that Big Macs are so chock full of chemicals that they do not decay. Oh for the days when important rumors could be confined to high school and Wall Street where people knew what to do with them. Alas, now that McDonald’s and food science have cleared up this misunderstanding, the search goes on for a post-Armageddon foodstuff.
Perhaps Keith Richards will have to satisfy himself with Twinkies.