So it’s not just me. Last night, I was contemplating the Happy Meal box, extolling the joys of the Hummer, and the cheap, plastic version of the gas guzzling behemoth that came with it, that my son and I acquired driving back from Massachusetts yesterday. I even told my husband not to throw the box out, I was so in awe. I just couldn’t believe that a promotion this wrongheaded made it all away through what I assume is a Byzantine approval process at McDonald’s to its boorish conclusion: this Happy Meal box asking the kiddies "Where would you go on a Hummer adventure?" and describing how it can barrel its way over boulders and through streams (perhaps killing future Filet O’ Fish along the way). Then, I opened The New York Times this morning to discover I’m not the only one who sees a bad, cosmic connection between the overindulgence endemic to a helping of McDonald’s fries and the overconsumption exemplified by the Hummer. True, most of the people the Times quotes are environmentalists, but why give them a berth, well, you could drive a Hummer through with which to criticize McDonald’s? The promotion is meant to run through the end of August, but lest this backlash grow, I’d head out to my nearest McDonald’s as quickly as possible. The Happy Meal box is worthy of the Bad Ideas Hall of Fame.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor