Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

What's better than eating McDonald's while playing Monopoly?  Eating McDonald's and playing Monopoly!  McDonald's Monopoly is back in full swing with prizes galore and one in four winning something as well as the chance to win a million bucks!  How can you go wrong with this?!?!?!  Well, believe it or not, there's a lot of ways!

My recent McDonald's trip - a quarter pounder with cheese and double cheeseburger

Let me just start by saying that I love this promotion.  I think it's fun, I think it's good for business, and I think it's a wise builder of partnerships and networks.  However, upon doing a little research, I stumbled upon some stuff that, well, really sucks for the company.

Firstly, did you know that between 1995 and 2000 (and even as early as the 80s) you had absolutely no chance at winning the grand prize? Or even the next biggest prize?  That's because the company that helped to organize and promote the game, Simon Marketing, took the most expensive pieces and distributed them to people within their organization.  That's right, for at least 5 years the grand prizes were frickin' fixed.  Granted, McDonald's did their part to clean up the mess, but, I mean, how could it take YEARS, allegations from as early as 1989 up to 2001, to discover this nonsense?  This was before social media and easily accessible information on anyone and everyone, so I guess it was a little harder to discover that all of the winners worked for the company that's supposedly promoting the game.  But still.  This is messed up.  And it's on Wikipedia so it must be true.  

And what ticks me off even more is that I was REALLY into the 2000 game as were all of my friends.  We all had our game boards that we pasted our pieces to.  We'd trade pieces, we sold pieces, we'd go to McDonald's just to see if we could get that lucky winner.  My friend once pulled out his game board and said "be careful.  This is worth a lot of money!"  He had all the gimmes and a surplus of extras, worth the equivalent of a jar of slugs, but still.  Imagine going back in time to tell all of our 13 year old selves that the game is fixed and there's no shot at winning.  Can you just see the frowns on our faces??? HORRIBLE.  Anyway, here's my game board so far.  I've also won 2 free breakfast sandwiches!

Pretty good so far.  Looking for Kentucky Avenue along with 96 million other people

What's kind of funny though is when I was about 13 I thought I may have had a legitimate shot at winning the million.  I had an acquaintance, we'll call him Asshat, a kid who I had known for a while and he was always friendly to everyone.  Anyway, Asshat and I were talking about the Monopoly game and I told him I needed Boardwalk (like everyone else except it didn't exist).  He claimed to have it and said he'd trade it straight up for Pennsylvania, the piece he needed to win a prize (one of the three green properties and a very common one at that.  So basically he's claiming that he has two of the rarest pieces on the board at this point).  So the trade was the uber-rare Boardwalk for the uber-common Pennsylvania.  I was ready to make it...but day after day he "forgot" to bring the piece and then it just kinda dissipated.  There's other stories I could tell about Asshat, but they're not food related and he's a big fat liar, so I'll just continue on. 

Anyway, scroll back up to that picture for a second.  See those fries?  Those are MEDIUM fries that came with my meal.  MEDIUM.  Meals have ALWAYS come with LARGE fries.  Why am I not consuming more trans-fatty acids, damnit?  What happened here?  I looked this phenomenon up online to see if McDonald's is pulling something, but all I was able to find was that they shrunk the fries size for Happy Meals.  There's no information about smaller fries in meals.  Maybe this was a mistake?  But that's another thing - McDonald's shrinking the fries and giving into pressure to offer fruit as a way to provide "healthier" alternatives for children.

Hey, to all the people who are complaining about McDonald's being unhealthy - IF YOU'RE SO CONCERNED ABOUT IT THEN DON'T GO THERE!!!!!  Is it really any surprise that fast food is unhealthy?  Is it any surprise that burgers are high in fat and French fries are cooked in who knows what kind of grease and oil???  That's how McDonald's makes its money - it provides cheap, unhealthy food because it's just that - cheap and unhealthy.  If you're looking to go to McDonald's for something healthy and then complain when you miraculously discover that the menu is really unhealthy then please don't visit this blog again.  There's just no pleasing you.  

Oh, and speaking of free breakfast sandwiches:

Bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and a pair of hash browns at about 5:30 in the morning

You know what's really good to do?  Take half of the hash brown and stick it in the sandwich.  It provides another layer of taste, texture, and awesome.  

Thanks for reading!