by Mary Katharine Ham | July 8, 2007 12:52 am
Ahh, so I failed my good friend John in posting to his blog on Friday, so I’m making a surprise appearance on Saturday, since I logged in and found John didn’t confiscate my keys to the place. So careless, he is.
How shall I make it up to Right Wing News readers, I thought to myself. And, then it hit me– I haven’t French-bashed in so very long. Here’s a great New York Sun story with plenty of tragic anecdotes about the French loving McDonald’s against their will and their principles.
After devouring a Big Mac, a royal cheese, and paprika-flavored potato wedges dipped in mayonnaise, Romain Bertucca, a shaggy-haired 22-year-old drama student wearing a beret and ripped jeans, explained why he eats McDonald’s.
“It’s quick. The food is hot. It’s not like a sandwich. It’s McDonald’s,” he said, sitting on a stool with a friend on Thursday afternoon, overlooking Avenue de Wagram, two blocks from the Arc de Triomphe.
Hey, I applaud our French friend despite his dubious choices in both millinery and condiments. At least he’s not in denial, like our haughty French cultural critic and laughable stereotype, who responds to the French people’s appalling love of fast food thusly:
“We hate it and go to it. It’s our paradox,” a journalist for the French magazine Challenges, Alice Mérieux, said. “We’re very anti-American in principle, but individually, if you’re going to the movies and have to eat in 10 minutes, you go to McDonald’s.”
That ain’t a paradox, sweetie, it’s a Quarter Pounder. But hey, there are worst things to surrender to than the salty siren call of pommes frites.
The secret to getting zee French to love zee most American food on Earth? Why, these McDonaldses are disguised as well as Clark Kent!
For an American observer, the most striking change is the design. The red and yellow kiddy template has been supplanted by more mature colors. Outside signage in urban areas is more discreet and blends into the neighborhood. Restaurants now have leather upholstery seating and some have gas fireplaces, candles, and hardwood floors. McDonald’s has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to “re-image” about a third of its more than 6,300 restaurants in Europe and 70% of its branches in France.
Oh, the cleansing power of hardwoods and the sanctifying fire of a gas hearth. I’m feeling more French already. You think if we complained a little more, we’d get better decor at McDonald’s? Eat on, Frenchies! Under the new reign of Sarkozy and Big Macs, there’s hope for you yet.
Mox, you think making fun of the French makes Gore cry? You’re the expert. I await your verdict.
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