Recently a bunch of us were sitting around talking about the rumours that the world is going to come to a screeching halt in 2012. Someone made the point that one interpretation of the apocalyptic prognostications is that the actual end will occur in the twelfth year of the new millennium. Those of us who could never figure out if the 21st century actually started in 2000 or 2001 took some time to do the math and figured out that this year is actually the 12th year of the millennium!
So the world is going to end this year, and I believe it because the evidence just keeps mounting. You see, I came across an article announcing that Hong Kong was the venue for the first “McWedding.”
Recognizing that appending “Mc” to anything is a popular way to denote a lower budget version of the real thing, I scanned the article expecting that it would talk about various low cost options available to couples in difficult economic times.
But no. A McWedding is a wedding that actually takes place at McDonalds. And has a McDonald’s theme. For NZ$ 1,700!
I’m not sure, but I think that in most of the places where they have McDonalds, the legal age to get married is around 18. That age is usually (although there is widespread evidence to the contrary) considered to be the age of adulthood. So the first question is, why are adults getting married at McDonalds, with Ronald McDonald as the best man and the Hamburglar as the ring bearer?
All answers lead to apocalypse.
Shirley Chang is the managing director of McDonalds Hong Kong and she has some scary insights. As far as the logic of having your wedding at McDonalds, she points out, “They date here, they grew their love here, so when they have this important day they want to come over here.”
Not only that, “they are looking for out of the box thinking and ideas.”
Maybe I’m not with the program, but if Hong Kong McDonalds are anything like the ones I’ve seen in the US and NZ, they are also the places these kids went for their (and their friends’) birthday parties. So how is having your wedding at McDonalds “out of the box thinking?” It sounds a little bit uninspired if you ask me. I could be wrong, but I think we’re really talking about unwillingness to grow up.
And how does one grow ones love at McDonalds. I don’t know what’s worse–the thought that McDonalds is associated in peoples’ minds with the burgeoning of true love, or that the invitations you get to send to your guests are emblazoned with golden arches.
If you are like me and think that McDonalds has, literally and figuratively, an unhealthy hold on the minds and wallets and diets of the people of the world, you can play out some scary forward looking scenarios.
McDonalds may be going for a sort of cradle to grave customer loyalty. They already have a lock on the hearts and minds of children. Now it looks like they are going after young adults. Pretty soon I bet we will see the McBirthing Suite, where the midwife will be dressed as Ronald McDonald and the mother will be given a Golden Arches bra so that the baby learns early where food comes from.
I’m sure that the planners at McDonalds have their eyes on population demographic data and are looking for ways to see McNewlyweds through life. I’m sure that there could be a big business in McRetirement Parties (to help get everyone ready for their McPension). And of course, no life would be complete without a McFuneral.
I don’t know about you, but if Ronald McDonald were officiating at my funeral, I would be convinced I’d gone to hell.