This letter was actually written by a grumpy septuagenarian who spends most of his time on cruise ships these days and who obviously believes that McDonalds should be catering to the more mature end of the market. He also happens to be my father!
Customer Relations Department
McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd
11 – 59 High Road
Dear Ronald MacDonald
I do hope you are real. If not, then this shocking news has two grave consequences. Firstly, it means that I am writing to a non-responsive, non-environmentally friendly plastic clown – that was probably made in some forgotten corner of Asia Minor by children under the age of nine. Secondly, that a well respected international fast food juggernaut of a conglomeration has once again been hoodwinked by another faceless ‘image consultancy’ (probably left over from Tony Blair’s occupancy of No. 10) into spending millions on an utterly useless piece of none bio degradable pointless marketing. But I digress….
Ronald, please understand from the off, that I am a proud and grumpy fuddyduddy of the silver haired generation, who has long since outlived the ‘wrinkly’ stage and is now just about coping with ‘crumbly’ status. A good day is when things simply seize up, as opposed to fall off. Sadly, I now represent the largest part of the UK population – that army of Victor Meldrew sound-alikes who are shaking their walking sticks in the direction of McDonalds.
Why is this you may ask?
Well, you seem to have forgotten that we exist!
Contrary to your expectations, McDonalds represents a genuine lifeline to the millions of old farts that make up our generation. Firstly, the many McDonalds outlets are an ideal meeting place – local, convenient and centrally-heated. Secondly, the normally miserable small proportions you serve up are in fact perfectly sized for individuals of our life expectancy afflicted as we are with the appetite of an anorexic tortoise. Furthermore, the cost of a bag of McNuggets is just about affordable on our almost non- existent government pensions. And to be honest, we haven’t the energy left to go anywhere else!
But woe is me, your establishments are geared towards teenage yummy mummies spending their giros on stuffing their oversized offspring with chemicals and additives, over a coffee whilst updating their status on Facebook.
Well believe it or not, those of us born when fast food meant catching a chicken before you cooked it and coke was kept in the coal house don’t want party balloons, cardboard crowns, noisy plastic toys or screaming brats drawing spirograph patterns in tomato ketchup. Indeed, they are a genuine hazard to our brittle limbs and represent a constantly changing obstacle course that tests the remaining grey cells that make up our fragile minds.
What we need is our own area – a place devoid of children, set aside for us semi-incontinent geriatrics. Let’s call it ‘Old McDonalds’. A place with a parking area for our buggies and zimmer frames, close to the exit because we can’t walk very far – and also to the toilets as we no longer have the bladder control we once had – particularly after one of those McFlurry things that can squeeze a bladder like a bulldog on a windpipe! We’d also like to request softer seating as like your burgers, we’re made up of rather more gristle and cartilage than fresh meat nowadays. Some cardboard saucers would be handy to reduce the spillage from those with Parkinson’s or the fans of Strictly Ballroom.
Might I also suggest that a subtle change of menu could attract the more up market blue rinse set to your establishments? You could introduce the ‘Chicken Zimmer Fillet’ with ‘Deep Heat Relish’; ‘Sweet Chilli Chicken Wrapped In A Tortilla Comfort Blanket’; ‘Grilled Senior Citizens Salad’ with ‘Wrinkle Defying Oil Of Olay Dressing’; ‘The Big E (Euthanasia) Burger’; and of course, the ‘Dementia Happy Meal’.
Perhaps a line of food requiring less chewing could also be considered? After all, when you get to our age you have neither the energy nor the ability to masticate for very long.
So please Ronald, before we shuffle off this mortal coil, spare a thought for those of us that will soon be vertically challenged. Put the Mmmmm back into McDonalds and then we might just be lovin’ it.
 For the benefit of our American readers, Victor Meldrew was the lead character in the BBC television comedy series ‘One Foot in the Grave’ which ran from 1990 to 2001. The hapless Victor is forced into retirement only to experience a constant stream of bad luck. I think it was inspired by my father. Bill Cosby made a loose remake in the US entitled ‘Cosby’ which ran from 1996 to 2000.
 Spirograph™ was a hugely popular toy before the internet was invented which involved sticking a biro in a hole within a plastic cog and then using it to drive said cog around another cog. The result, if you were incredibly steady-handed and remarkably patient, was that the biro drew a very interesting pattern. It was as utterly pointless as it was popular but kept children quiet for hours on end.
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