Quote of the Day: ‘You Deserve a Break Today’

 

File:McDonald's Golden Arches.svgThere I was, looking for something–perhaps a quote–to write about today–May 15, 2022.  May, as a month, is full of both joyful and sad anniversaries for my family, but as it transpires, none of them falls on the 15th.

So I visited my “go-to” place, when it comes to finding something to write about on a specific calendar date–Wikipedia. It’s a spectacularly valuable tool for garnering superficial knowledge about any subject under the sun (hence all the posts and comments on various social media along the lines of “I just found this on Wikipedia, and I think it’s the most brilliant thing evah!!…”), but I’m always skeptical, and check at least a couple of other sources before committing myself.  Doesn’t mean I won’t still be wrong, but (I hope) it lessens the chances, and increases the odds.

Still. May 15. An embarrassment of riches included, but not limited to:

A Papal Bull (1252), limiting the torture of heretics in the Spanish Inquisition.  Anne Boleyn tried, and condemned to death, 1536 (bluestocking alert: “The executioner is, I believe, very expert; and my neck is very slender.”  No, that wasn’t on Wikipedia; I knew that.  Doesn’t everyone?) Kepler solidifies the belief in his “third law of planetary motion” (1618).  The opening (1817) of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, wondrously titled “The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason,” in Philadelphia. Pope Leo XIII (1891) defends workers’ rights and property rights in his Rerum Novarum encyclical, billed as “the beginning of modern Catholic social teaching” (hmm).  1901–The city of Las Vegas was founded (“what happens in Vegas….” etc.).  1932, the Prime Minister of Japan is assassinated.  1942, the United States creates the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs).  The launch of the last crewed Mercury space mission (1963).  President Nixon appoints (1970) the first female United States Army generals (hmm, again).  The Soviet Army begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan (1988).  1997–The United States recognizes publicly, for the first time, the “Secret War” in Laos and dedicates a memorial to its veterans.  California becomes (in 2008) the second state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Whew.  Just another day in history.

And that doesn’t even touch the births–Claudio Monteverdi, George Jeffreys (the “hanging judge!”), Klemens Von Metternich, L. Frank Baum, Pierre Curie, Frank Hornby, Katherine Anne Porter, Prescott Bush, Richard J Daley, Abraham Zapruder (yes, that Zapruder), James Mason, Norrie Paramor (I know none of you know who that is; it’s just a  nod to my grandmother), Paul Samuelson, Eddy Arnold, Richard Avedon, Peter Shaffer, Jasper Johns, Trini Lopez, George Brett…

Or the deaths–John Hale, Emily Dickinson, Edward Hopper, Robert Menzies, T.H. White, June Carter Cash, Jerry Falwell, Carlos Fuentes, Flora MacNeill…

And so many more.  Every single one post-worthy and interesting, if a person is minded to dig into the story behind the headline.

But today, a particular one resonated with me.  It was this one:

1940 – Richard and Maurice McDonald open the first McDonald’s restaurant.

Eighty-two years ago on May 15, 1940.

“But wait!” I hear you exclaiming.  I know the McDonald’s story, and that story belongs to Ray Kroc.  Who are these actual McDonald brothers who’ve infiltrated the process?  Is this some sort of Scottish Highlander plot?  Mis-Dis-Mal-information?  Retribution for Culloden and the Highland Clearings?  What??!!

Well, as Paul Harvey himself might have said, here’s “the rest of the story”:

Richard and Maurice McDonald did indeed open the first restaurant in the chain on May 15, 1940, in San Bernardino, CA.  Things more-or-less languished in the area until Ray Kroc purchased the small franchise in 1955, having been impressed with its local success and reputation for high-quality food delivered quickly.  Kroc, had hitherto pursued a variety of low-level jobs, had tried selling real estate in Florida, had resorted to playing piano in a succession of bands when all else failed, and didn’t look like the sort of person who had “innovative genius” written all over him, but if you’d thought that at the time, you’d have been wrong.

Something about the McDonald brothers’ story, their insistence on a limited menu, on high-quality ingredients, and on consistent and quick results (the company mascot for a few years was named “Speedy”), appealed to Ray Kroc, and he followed through.

The early years were rocky though, and Kroc’s partnership with the McDonalds eventually dissolved, amid accusations from both sides which have been the subject of documentaries, movies, books, and much else, even until the present day–in the long run of which, as the saying goes, “they’re all dead” so at this point “what difference does it make?” (Apologies for mixing metaphors.  Obviously–as always–it does make a difference, but such topics are not to be adequately addressed in a short post such as this.  Please have at it in the comments, if you’d like.)

Regardless, or irregardless as the case may be, Mcdonald’s flourished under Kroc’s leadership, while following a carefully planned nationwide expansion, and in 2022–38 years after Kroc’s death–still finds itself the most successful fast-food operation in American history, with franchises in over 100 countries, serving 70 million customers a day.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Mcdonald’s.  Like many things, as they were revealed to this girl who grew up in West Africa without regular access to things like television, adequate hygiene, useful medical procedures, modern appliances, and things that suburban American dwellers were beginning to take for granted; the idea that a person could stop by a restaurant and–within a few minutes–pick up an entire meal to take home and enjoy, was a revelation.

I don’t remember, when we came to the States in late 1963 and spent a year in Boston, ever going to Mcdonald’s.

I do know that–a year later–when we moved to Bethel Park, a suburb of Pittsburgh, it didn’t take us long to discover this place:

The Golden Arches. (They’d displaced “Speedy” as the company mascot somewhere just before Ray Kroc purchased the company.)  This particular instance is outside South Park, PA, and was–I believe–the oldest franchise in the area.  The restaurant is still in the same location.  But it looks plenty different today.

Lord.  What a joy it was in the mid-’60s when my dad gathered up everyone’s order, drove down the road a bit, ordered it, and emerged only a few minutes later with (among other things) the best french fries in the world. (TBPC, for those of you who’re younger than I am–this was before online ordering was possible, and even before telephonic ordering of “take-out” orders was possible.  You either physically visited, and stood in line at, the place, or nothing.  Yet another reason that what came to be recognized as McDonald’s delivery of consistent-quality “fast-food” was so appreciated.)

Whither McDonald’s, in this age of wokeness and stupidity?  IDK.  All I know is that each of us, on occasion, deserves a break:

How about a chorus of “hamburger rap?”  (Yeah, you probably have to be of a certain age to join in, but–all together, geezers–here we go:

Two all beef patties, special sauce…..

At McDonald’s……

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    She: Richard L. Daley

    Richard J. Daley. Da Mare.

    Gentlemen, let’s get the thing straight, once and for all. The policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.

    • #1
  2. She Member
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    She: Richard L. Daley

    Richard J. Daley. Da Mare.

    Gentlemen, let’s get the thing straight, once and for all. The policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.

    Argh.  Fixed in the OP.  Thank you.  Blaming my sinisterism and dyslexia (since I can’t even blame Wikipedia, which had it right):  J vs L.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Speedy survived at least until 1956. I remember him on the original sign of this place, the first Joliet McDonalds on US Route 66. You can’t see him here; the sign is closer to the road.

     

    • #3
  4. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Has anyone ever figured out what Grimace is?

    • #4
  5. She Member
    She
    @She

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Has anyone ever figured out what Grimace is?

    Not I.  I relegate him/her/it to the same circle of hell as the one in which I’ve put Steely McBeam, the incredibly idiotic and ill-advised Steelers mascot. 

    I think this excerpt from People Magazine (of all things!) may say it best:

    The lovable, spherical-shaped, purple character Grimace has always been one of McDonald’s most recognizable faces — even if fans never knew what he actually is

    Honestly, he was never all that recognizable to me.  Ever.  And–in any event–if your fans don’t know what your mascot actually is, or who it is supposed to represent, that’s a corporate fail, not a customer fail.

     

    • #5
  6. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    She (View Comment):
    Not I. 

    Could He/She/It be related to Barney?

    If Grimace was Biden, would Barney be Hunter? 

    • #6
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    McDonald’s advertising including “You deserve a break today” is also the subject of the first episode of “The Crazy Ones,” which starred Robin Williams shortly before his death.  Episode 1 guest-starred singer Kelly Clarkson.

    Apparently it’s available through Amazon Prime (at least for now), but I couldn’t find anything good on youtube, just the intro.

     

    • #7
  8. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Given the panic over the ‘rona in the past couple of years,  I have thought that it would have been perfect to revive the John Amos You Deserve a Break Today commercial. “Tell me what does it mean? At McDonald’s it’s clean!”

    There was always a question in a lot of people’s minds whether Barry Manilow wrote that jungle.  The music was written by Sidney Woloshin with lyrics by Keith Reinhart at  Needham, Harper & Steers ad agency.

    I wish I could identify the burger machine cleaner and the manager actors.  Of course, I know John Amos.

     

     

    I love this ad.  Digging around I found a really clean video:

     

     

    • #8
  9. She Member
    She
    @She

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Given the panic over the ‘rona in the past couple of years, I have thought that it would have been perfect to revive the John Amos You Deserve a Break Today commercial. “Tell me what does it mean? At McDonald’s it’s clean!”

    There was always a question in a lot of people’s minds whether Barry Manilow wrote that jungle. The music was written by Sidney Woloshin with lyrics by Keith Reinhart at Needham, Harper & Steers ad agency.

    I wish I could identify the burger machine cleaner and the manager actors. Of course, I know John Amos

    Wonderful! Thank you.

     

    • #9
  10. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    She, tried to send you a message but Ricochet messaging system doesn’t seem to recognize your address…tried she and @she,what am I doing wrong? 

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    David Foster (View Comment):

    She, tried to send you a message but Ricochet messaging system doesn’t seem to recognize your address…tried she and @ she,what am I doing wrong?

    The message systems seems to have trouble with “handles” that are shorter than like 4 or 5 letters.

    I would suggest using their “link” in a comment, to go to their Profile page, and then use the “Send Private Message” under the … tab near the top.

    At least that works for my regular computer.  If you’re using a phone (and why would you do that?!?!) then I have no idea how it looks.

    • #11
  12. She Member
    She
    @She

    kedavis (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    She, tried to send you a message but Ricochet messaging system doesn’t seem to recognize your address…tried she and @ she,what am I doing wrong?

    Absolutely nothing, @davidfoster.  You’re the most recent in a long line of folks who’ve had that difficulty.  When reporting it (as I’ve done many times), I’ve always been given to understand that the minimum handle length that is recognized is three characters.  And indeed, I can use the “compose” feature, and type in a three-letter handle for another member, and it will work.  So apparently some three-letter handles are more equal than others,  LOL. (It’s occurred to me that perhaps the problem occurs when said three-letter handle is a character string that is part of other members’ handles, and perhaps that confuses the filter, but I don’t know, and no one is telling.)  

    So I initiated a PM to you, and you should be able to reply to it with no problem.

    The message systems seems to have trouble with “handles” that are shorter than like 4 or 5 letters.

    I would suggest using their “link” in a comment, to go to their Profile page, and then use the “Send Private Message” under the … tab near the top.

    At least that works for my regular computer. If you’re using a phone (and why would you do that?!?!) then I have no idea how it looks.

    Yes, that should work.  IIRC, that option doesn’t appear on a phone, or it’s much harder to find.

    • #12
  13. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    She: A Papal Bull (1252)

    Papal bull is one of those phrases, like Hanseatic League or Holy Roman Empire, that you only hear in college freshman Western Civilization classes.

    She: Regardless, or irregardless as the case may be, McDonalds flourished under Kroc’s leadership, while following a carefully planned nationwide expansion,  and in 2022–38 years after Kroc’s death–still finds itself the most successful fast-food operation in American history, with franchises in over 100 countries, serving 70 million customers a day.

    Many years ago the Freakonomics guys did a show about fast food and concluded that it was one of America’s great gifts to the world: tasty, consistent, affordable. Until I heard it I was a bit of an anti-fast food snob but they changed my mind.

    She: the best french fries in the world

    This is true. But my favorite thing to get from McD’s is a sausage and egg McMuffin with no cheese. Chewy, savory, packed with protein, keeps you full for hours.

    • #13
  14. She Member
    She
    @She

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    She: A Papal Bull (1252)

    Papal bull is one of those phrases, like Hanseatic League or Holy Roman Empire, that you only hear in college freshman Western Civilization classes.

    Yeah.  Although many people these days might describe some of the emanations from Vatican City as “papal bull,” although not in exactly the same sense….

    She: Regardless, or irregardless as the case may be, McDonalds flourished under Kroc’s leadership, while following a carefully planned nationwide expansion, and in 2022–38 years after Kroc’s death–still finds itself the most successful fast-food operation in American history, with franchises in over 100 countries, serving 70 million customers a day.

    Many years ago the Freakonomics guys did a show about fast food and concluded that it was one of America’s great gifts to the world: tasty, consistent, affordable. Until I heard it I was a bit of an anti-fast food snob but they changed my mind.

    She: the best french fries in the world

    This is true. But my favorite thing to get from McD’s is a sausage and egg McMuffin with no cheese. Chewy, savory, packed with protein, keeps you full for hours.

    Their fries aren’t as good as they used to be, ever since they stopped using lard (we must use no saturated fats!) or hydrogenated oil (we must use no trans fats!**) or whatever they used (old motor oil?) in response to one-or-another health-food fads.  I also greatly miss the fried apple pies, which were far-and-away tastier than the baked version.

    I like the sausage McMuffins too, although I do get mine with cheese.  And yes, the lump sits in one’s tummy and keeps one full all day.

    Where are all the people who love McRibs? 

    **Shouldn’t this be adjudged transphobic on some sort of intersectional scale?

     

    • #14
  15. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    She (View Comment):
    Although many people these days might describe some of the emanations from Vatican City as “papal bull,” although not in exactly the same sense….

    😂😂😂 Well played.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I remember when we got the first MacDonald’s in Raleigh.  Yes, I’m that old . . .

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    She (View Comment):
    **Shouldn’t this be adjudged transphobic on some sort of intersectional scale?

    I sure hope so.

    • #17
  18. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    When I was stationed in the UK in the mid 1980s, there was reportedly only one McDonalds in the country, somewhere in London. 

    Some people, when planning a trip to London, who would take orders from friends.   I could never see the appeal – after a lengthy trip back to the base the food was quite cold.

    A few years later McDs expanded to other locations, including Ipswich.  I remember noticing that McDs litter covered the streets for a several block radius around the restaurant.  The Brits were not used to fast food and all the paper containers.  I don’t think there were many public trash cans on the streets.

    Interesting to me was that Kentucky Fried Chicken already had a significant presence in the UK.  However it was widely believed that their chicken was fried in the same oil as the fish (and chips) and so tasted funny.  I don’t know how true that was but I never met another GI who ate there.

    • #18
  19. She Member
    She
    @She

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    When I was stationed in the UK in the mid 1980s, there was reportedly only one McDonalds in the country, somewhere in London.

    Some people, when planning a trip to London, who would take orders from friends. I could never see the appeal – after a lengthy trip back to the base the food was quite cold.

    A few years later McDs expanded to other locations, including Ipswich. I remember noticing that McDs litter covered the streets for a several block radius around the restaurant. The Brits were not used to fast food and all the paper containers. I don’t think there were many public trash cans on the streets.

    I remember the glee with which my family reported the opening of a McDonalds in Worcester.  Subsequently, one opened in Kidderminster, only about three miles away from them.  Deep joy, all round.

    Trash pickup seems to be a problem in a number of UK towns.  The bins are regularly overflowing.  Shame.

    • #19
  20. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    I have a Zinn-loving colleague who roars his disapproval of McDonald’s in his classes.

    He lists the company’s failings like a Muslim reciting the Qu’ran.

    His rotundity belies any consistency concerning healthy diets.

    His opposition appears based upon a rejection of anything that represents traditional America.

    To the delight of some, there are a handful of photos taken by students of him standing in line at a McDonald’s waiting to place his order or sitting in his car in the drive-through lane.

    Only in America.

    • #20
  21. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    She (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    She: A Papal Bull (1252)

    Papal bull is one of those phrases, like Hanseatic League or Holy Roman Empire, that you only hear in college freshman Western Civilization classes.

    Yeah. Although many people these days might describe some of the emanations from Vatican City as “papal bull,” although not in exactly the same sense….

    She: Regardless, or irregardless as the case may be, McDonalds flourished under Kroc’s leadership, while following a carefully planned nationwide expansion, and in 2022–38 years after Kroc’s death–still finds itself the most successful fast-food operation in American history, with franchises in over 100 countries, serving 70 million customers a day.

    Many years ago the Freakonomics guys did a show about fast food and concluded that it was one of America’s great gifts to the world: tasty, consistent, affordable. Until I heard it I was a bit of an anti-fast food snob but they changed my mind.

    She: the best french fries in the world

    This is true. But my favorite thing to get from McD’s is a sausage and egg McMuffin with no cheese. Chewy, savory, packed with protein, keeps you full for hours.

    Their fries aren’t as good as they used to be, ever since they stopped using lard (we must use no saturated fats!) or hydrogenated oil (we must use no trans fats!**) or whatever they used (old motor oil?) in response to one-or-another health-food fads. I also greatly miss the fried apple pies, which were far-and-away tastier than the baked version.

    I like the sausage McMuffins too, although I do get mine with cheese. And yes, the lump sits in one’s tummy and keeps one full all day.

    Where are all the people who love McRibs?

    **Shouldn’t this be adjudged transphobic on some sort of intersectional scale?

     

    Yes, re: the apple pies.  The one downside–the less than careful eater might scald 30% of the palate.

    • #21
  22. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Rodney Dangerfield back in the day:

    I went to McDonald’s – they told me I didn’t deserve a break!

    • #22
  23. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    She: What a joy it was in the mid-’60s when my dad gathered up everyone’s order, drove down the road a bit, ordered it, and emerged only a few minutes later with (among other things) the best french fries in the world.

    And they still are to this day. I hate to give away my age, BUT I confess that the first Mac I ever ordered was 29 cents!!!  

    • #23
  24. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    She: What a joy it was in the mid-’60s when my dad gathered up everyone’s order, drove down the road a bit, ordered it, and emerged only a few minutes later with (among other things) the best french fries in the world.

    And they still are to this day. I hate to give away my age, BUT I confess that the first Mac I ever ordered was 29 cents!!!

    Bob’s 19-Cent Burgers were 19 cents, but maybe you meant a Big Mac which might have cost 29 cents at the same time.

    • #24
  25. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Bob’s 19-Cent Burgers were 19 cents, but maybe you meant a Big Mac which might have cost 29 cents at the same time.

    Right you are. I did mean Big Mac. 

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Bob’s 19-Cent Burgers were 19 cents, but maybe you meant a Big Mac which might have cost 29 cents at the same time.

    Right you are. I did mean Big Mac.

    Also, the basic 19-cent burgers probably didn’t include cheese.

    • #26
  27. Pulaski the Dog Member
    Pulaski the Dog
    @PulaskitheDog

    I love this one with Jason Alexander.

    https://youtu.be/vVcVXTeHTLI

    • #27
  28. She Member
    She
    @She

    Pulaski the Dog (View Comment):

    I love this one with Jason Alexander.

    https://youtu.be/vVcVXTeHTLI

    I don’t remember the ad, although I do remember the product (The McDLT).  And that puts me in mind of a friend who used to say that the strangest thing about American fast food was that you could by it and eat it and–when you had finished–the empty packaging actually took up more space than the original meal had.  That’s less true these days, but it still makes me chuckle.

    • #28
  29. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I thought the McDLT was a great idea.  But since it made too much sense, it had to go away.

    • #29
  30. She Member
    She
    @She

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I have a Zinn-loving colleague who roars his disapproval of McDonald’s in his classes.

    To the delight of some, there are a handful of photos taken by students of him standing in line at a McDonald’s waiting to place his order or sitting in his car in the drive-through lane.

    Only in America.

    LOL

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):
    Yes, re: the apple pies [Preferring fried to baked].  The one downside–the less than careful eater might scald 30% of the palate.

    I always thought that was part of the charm.

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Bob’s 19-Cent Burgers were 19 cents, but maybe you meant a Big Mac which might have cost 29 cents at the same time.

    Right you are. I did mean Big Mac.

    I can’t remember how much the hamburgers/Big Macs were when we first started imbibing.  I do remember when gasoline was 34 cents a gallon, though.

    • #30
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