Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Beef with Burger King

...and McDonald's, too. No, it has nothing to do with trans fats. Rather, in the restaurants' endeavors to upgrade the "eat-in" lunch experience, both venues have added flat screen TVs to their seating areas. Nice in thought, unfortunate in implementation. How so? In both locations, the broadcasts are news channels, 24/7. I'm not an ostrich with my head in the sand or an overly insulating mom, but rarely are "Breaking News" stories (e.g. Christie Brinkley's latest ex's porn habits, fatalities on a California highway, etc.) my idea of appetizing adult viewing -- and most definitely not family fare.

So today, we observed Fast Food Friday. (Our whole family adores alliteration; Darren came up with that catchy moniker.) Yes, it's Thursday, but we have a long-awaited birthday party tomorrow afternoon, so an early weekly indulgence was declared. (Especially after some exemplary morning behavior. Food as a reward is a bad idea, I know; but believe me, my parental judgment is apparently lacking all around. Read on...)

We tried to sit outside...
Too hot. So back inside we went.

Well, well, well, what do you know? JonBenet Ramsay's parents weren't responsible for her murder. Nice to know, but awful to try and explain to two six-year-olds. "Yes, Honey. The people they pulled from the cars under that big truck are likely hurt very badly."

My cheeseburger was inhaled to minimize the duration of our dining experience, but Sarah, Susie-Slow-Chicken-Crown-Consumer, well, she was a horse of a different color.

Just when I thought we'd make it out while George W. Bush was signing a bill, as we crested the exit, the commentator said, "....sex on the beach." My breath held, I kept walking. The silence was soon broken.

Darren (in sing-songy voice): "Ooooooh, sexy girls..."

Mommy (trying to not convey panic): "What's that, Honey?"

Darren (segueing into what must've been a second verse): "OOOOOOOOH, Sexxxxxxxy Girls."

Mommy: "Where did you learn that?"

Darren: "From a magazine."

Sarah: "From the one in the downstairs bathroom?"

Darren: "No, that one is the 'Party Girls to Moms' one."

*Note to this mom: Your pride in your "advanced readers" mandates a periodicals purge pronto. Anyone else reminded of that 'I learned it from you, Dad. I learned it from you,' PSA from decades gone by?

Burger King and McDonald's don't need to have my kids' innocence at their fore of their decision-making process, but I do.

Officially hanging my head in shame---



post signature

13 comments:

The Gurley's (P.J., Missy, Abby & Emma) said...

Cheryl,
Thanks for the heads up - our McDonald's & Burger King has not added a flat screen as of yet. But that would definitely make me want to take my daughters outside too!

Renata said...

How do they really think that is making their restaurant more "family friendly" ? I think you should complain - I mean if they were showing a kids show or something it might be alright, but news shows (esp the kind they were showing) certainly isn't appropriate for families who want to keep their kids innocent.
Renata :0

Jen C. said...

To this day, my brothers and sisters still shout 'I learned it from watching you, alright?! I learned it from watching you!' in jest whenever someone does something socially inappropriate. I'm glad those commercials stuck with other people too! ;)

beth - total mom haircut said...

When you first started I thought you were going to say that they played kids' shows on the TVs, which would be freakin brilliant. but the news? Really?

So much for Fast Food Friday...

Barbara Manatee said...

hehehe...guess I'll have to watch my glamour magazines as the kids start reading! hehe! I imagine some of those headlines would draw some curious questions, too!

Cheryl Lage said...

Maybe I will forward them this post! Seriously, I understand them perhaps not wanting to run Nick Jr. or PBS, but the news -- as "neutral" as it may be perceived -- is far from appropriate viewing for young kids...even at mid-day.

Maybe something like TV Land that appeals enough to adults but not mature subject matter?

(Seriously, even Cartoon Network wouldn't work!)

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Hilarious!

Another reason why we stick to Chick-Fil-A.

Kelsey said...

Oh my gosh he is a character!

The Myers Family said...

No flat screens at our McDonalds...actually now that you mention it. They just built a brand new one down the street a few weeks ago. We went in so the girls could play at the nice clean(still in the city, for a lack of nicer words) play area. When we walked in i noticed that one gigantic window was broken and boarded up. Could it have possibly been someone stealing the brand new flat screen out of the mcdonalds? LOL! Now that you say that..i bet that is what happened! Oh, how i LOVE living in the city! I'm going to have to take a look if we ever go back in there...by now it's probably just as dirty as the old one was...so we'll take the drive thru and play in our nice, clean, safe backyard!

Have a great week!
Brenda

cat said...

Not too fond of the news myself - ever noticed how there is never "good news".

Chips and Salsa with Beans said...

I'm impressed that you take your kids IN to the fast food restaurant. My little beans don't even know it is an option yet. Of course my bigger beans were corrupted long ago.

As for your early reader...way to go! Of course you might want to try Ranger Rick magazine for age appropriate reading material in the loo.

There is a country song called "I've been watching you". It is super cute, check it out!

TONYA said...

OMG are you kidding me. I eat in at those places maybe once or twice a year so I haven't seen the tv screens yet. Ugh. Now I definitely won't be eating inside.

Gibson Twins said...

We steer clear of everything but our beloved Chick Fil A- that place treats the kids like real people that are just little. Today we were there for lunch and they saw us dragging two toddlers and immediately cleaned and brought us 2 high chairs to our table and brought the kids over ice cream once they saw the kids starting to get a little antsy. So thats basically why they haven't been anywhere else, but thanks for the heads up on the other ones!

Some of your kids conversations crack me up, so glad you are writing them down, they will surely get a kick out of it someday when they have their own little ones! Although it sounds like Sarah will be laughing to herself after her kids go to bed :)