This morning I heard Rush Limbaugh attack those who are attacking McDonald’s Happy Meals. The issue as he put is that the Nanny State is coming to the rescue of parents who cannot stare down their kids who demand that they not go to the local vegan health food diner and scarf down Happy Meals instead. And why do the kids want the Happy Meals? Because of the toys inside the box. It is wrong for a corporation to go after kids whether it is with tobacco or fat/sugar/salt, but don’t attack the toys.
When I was a kid McDonalds was a drive-in, and there were no Happy Meals. The equivalent product back then was the cereal box with a toy in it. I loved getting those toys. I would stick my hand into the box, crushing the cereal inside to find the coveted prize. Or I would open the box upside down hoping that the toy was at the bottom. Or I would pour the entire box out on the counter and watch the prize spill out in a cascade of Frosted Flakes (They’re Gggggggggggggggggreat). These are some of my best childhood memories.
I loved the frogmen. They were little plastic divers with one fin-clad foot and one foot that was a tiny thimble with a cap. Put baking soda into the thimble, replace the cap and drop the frogman into a sink or bath tub filled with water. As the baking soda reacted with the water the frogman would dive and resurface over and over again. How cool is that? So cool in fact, that I still have one of the frogmen.
So Rush is right but for the wrong reason. Those who would stop corporations from putting toys in their products are robbing our kids of their childhoods. Let our kids have their toys, and if we must do something let’s insist that our food is healthier. Why not put toys with veggie burger meals?