Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Episode 59: Only in California

Let me just apologize in advance to those of you who live in California, not for the content of this column, but for the fact that you live in California. No one should be subjected to such absurdities as seem to proliferate in your state. I have noted the amusing warning labels and signs on products “known by the state of California” to cause one sort of heinous debilitating ailment or another, and I have wondered at how California seems to know so much more about the dangers of everything than any other state.

The latest bleeding edge research from California has uncovered a plot against the children of our fair nation by none other than that too-happy clown and his fast food at McDonald’s. Yes, that’s right, McDonalds, it would seem, is single-handedly making all America’s children fat, despite the best efforts of well-meaning parents who try their very valiantly to convince their children to choose someplace other than McDonalds to eat every day. Sure, McDonald’s has salads, but they don’t come with toys now do they? How in the world is a parent to combat such diabolical strategies as putting toys in Happy Meals?

Well, the grand and progressive city of San Francisco is not making parents deal with such viciousness alone. They are planning to ban Happy Meals in the coming year. Clearly they wanted to show the 41-year-old mother of two currently suing McDonald’s for having toys in Happy Meals, or making Happy Meals bad for kids, or tricking her into feeding her children fatty foods, or forcing her against her will to bend to the will of her children, or something like that, that she is not fighting the good fight alone. Whatever fight it is she is fighting, it is awful and I am sure she deserves millions of dollars to ease her pain at being an inept parent who cannot say no to the minors under her care…uh, I mean for the pain and suffering of watching her poor children balloon up because she is powerless against the siren song of Happy Meal toys.

The great thing is it is a class action lawsuit, which means maybe we can all get in on it. Have your kid’s used screaming and crying and pouting to force you to McDonald’s, and once there used said tactics again to force you to buy them Happy Meals because of the toys that come in said Happy Meals, and are your kids now fat because you find yourself at McDonald’s three times a day and you lack the will to fight against all the pervasive advertising? Well, sign yourself up for this class action suit and you too can make a few extra bucks, but don’t tell your kids or they will just make you spend it on something they want.

Seriously people, it is called parenting* and it is what you do when you become a parent, unless you are still mostly a child yourself, in which case you hope someone will just make laws to remove the chance of making poor choices so you don’t have to exercise any amount of will power of your own. If we don’t have to choose, we won’t learn how to choose, and if we don’t learn how to choose, we will choose poorly when we finally do have to choose.

* Parenting is known by the state of California to cause discomfort sometimes leading to anguish and should be avoided whenever possible. If you encounter parenting or suffer the symptoms of parenting, move to California where we leave the parenting to the state government so you can enjoy your childhood well into adulthood.