When our kids were little, we would take them to McDonald’s for Happy Meals. They enjoyed them, and we could afford them. The Happy Meal included a cheeseburger, fries, and a small Coke, though “chicken nuggets” soon became an option, and later, as health became a factor in eating decisions, apple sauce instead of fries, and milk, I believe, instead of Coke. (I sometimes substituted coffee.) Happy Meals always included some sort of toy, maybe a plastic truck, maybe an action figure from a movie or tv show that McDonald’s was promoting.
Happy Meals are still going strong, but our population is aging, so I think McDonald’s should add a new temptation to their menu: Geezer Meals. Such an addition leads to two decisions: food, and toy.
Let’s start with the toys.
· reading glasses – or maybe just a small magnifying glass
· a DNR message to carry in the wallet
· a healthy recipe to counteract the fries in the geezer meal.
· multivitamin pill
· shot of Geritol (Yes, they are still making this. When I was much younger, Geritol was a joke indicator of old age – by “old” I mean over 50.)
· map showing where you live
· inaction figure – old guy taking a nap
· condom (kidding!)
· pencil and small notebook – you know, to write stuff down so you don’t forget. This list might include home maintenance stuff, the two items you were to pick up at the grocery store, or something your partner asked you to do. (You may have to show your grandkids how a pencil works.)
Food in the Geezer Meal is relatively easy:
· hamburger burger (no cheese – cholesterol)
· fries (to make up for cholesterol deficit)
· dark chocolate
· breath mint
· small mini-bar size bottle of wine – maybe for when you get home
Will Geezer Meals actually draw more old folks to a McDonalds? This depends on a number of factors. Can the geezer still drive? If so, will he or she be able to actually find a McDonald’s, even if it’s been visited many times before? If the McDonalds is drive-through only because they can’t hire enough people, even for $20 per hour, will the lack of a bathroom option outweigh the obvious benefits of Geezer Meals? (Someone may be working on drive-through bathrooms, but I shudder to think about how that might work!)
On that note, I’ll stop. Time for dinner . . ..