Wednesday, August 17, 2011

McDonald's Giveth & McDonald's Taketh Away

Good ole' MickeyD's taught me a very good lesson about writing this week. I know what you're thinking...if we're learning writing lessons from a fast food restaurant, what's the world coming to?

Touche' my friends, touche'. Just let me tell my story, and then decide whether or not the lesson is worthwhile.

The other morning, I stopped by my local McDonald's for a fruit parfait. As Backpack from Dora would say, "Mmm mmm mmm Delicioso!" Or something multi-cultural like that.

As I pulled into the drive-thru. They did the customary greeting where they try to convince you to buy more food than you really need in an effort to make all of America more spherical. Usually, I can resist these pretty well. But on this day, it was snowy and cold...and they played to my weakness. The conversation went a little something like this.

MD's - "Welcome to McDonalds! Would you like to try a steaming cup of our gourmet hot chocolate today?"

me - *long pause while I dream of hot chocolate*

MD's - Um...can I help you?

me - Yes, actually, I would love a gourmet hot chocolate.

MD's - A hot chocolate?

me - Yes, and a fruit parfait. (I know, I'm a health nut...what can I say? ^ insert sarcasm here^)

MD's - What kind of hot chocolate did you say?

me - *long pause of utter confusion* Um... gourmet?

MD's - *long pause while they look up the definition of gourmet* I'm afraid we don't have any hot chocolate.

me - *whimpers* You don't? Why not?

MD's - I guess we're cleaning it or something.

me - *cries*

Yes, folks, that's how it went down. What can we learn from this excursion? We can learn that we shouldn't lead our readers to believe they will receive something and then never give it to them. We must meet the expectations we set for the reader. Otherwise we leave them crying and questioning the meaning of life in the McDonald's drive-thru... or, um... disappointed at the end of the book (assuming they finish it at all).

So? Was it a good lesson? Or am I just desperate to give meaning to my disheartening drive-thru experience.


  1. LOL. Yes, that's a good lesson.

    I think another lesson from your McDonald's experience would be:

    Don't give people more than they need.

  2. Love it! Sort of like the literary (or fruit parfait) version of 'don't let your mouth write a check that your butt can't cash'!

    I'm sorry for your hot chocolate experience, though. That's just a real bummer.

  3. lmao, wth, mcdonald's? Thank you for the lesson. It was definitely worth learning :D

  4. I think it's a very good lesson and a good meaning to add to a traumatic experience. Of course, now I want hot chocolate... :)

  5. Great lesson. Stupid hot chocolate machine. :P

  6. LOL wow. That sucks. Great lesson, though!

  7. Great lesson! It's so, so true! :)

  8. That's cruel to promise hot chocolate and not deliver!

  9. No hot chocolate! Not cool. Loved the parallel you draw between offering something in your story and not delivering it. Hope I never do that.

    Great post!


  10. The title to this blog post WINS. I lol'd. :)