You know, F. Scott Fitzgerald was right about American lives having no second acts. I found that to be sadly true yesterday as I sat down at the McDonald's near the bus station off Main and jumped teeth first into an American tragedy.
Somewhere in a cold and sterile boardroom at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, a head of marketing surmised that you as a consumer were stupid. That you were nothing more than a mass of hair and intestines. The venerable burger people concluded that what you were clamoring for more than anything was for the ingredients of their trademark Big Mac to be shoved into a tortilla and sold for half the price of the full-size burger.
There has been an epidemic over the past few years in the fast-food industry to foist anything imaginable into a tortilla and call it a "wrap" for you to "snack" on. How busy are we that we need to have a burger put in a tortilla? This isn't saving time for anyone, as wraps are touted as being hella timesavers. This whole mess began when you all started the Atkin's Diet in 2003 and told corporate America to tell bread to screw off. Then they started putting anything they could in wasteful plastic bowls. I even knew a man who insisted on eating his Burger King Whoppers sans bun and instead chowed down with a fork and knife.
As I sat staring at my Big Mac Snack Wrap, I felt sad for my fellow Americans. Hurt that there were some people out there buying these without shame or irony, like I did. The gist of the wrap is the good ole' secret sauce (Thousand Island dressing really) put on the "wrap" then topped with a slice of cheese, crunchy lettuce, and strips of the same beef put on the Big Mac laid down on top. What's distressing is that they aren't bothering to slice the patties evenly. It looks like its being done by hand. Somebody in the backroom literally just tearing patties in half and leaving it at that.
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SHOW ME HOW
Are the major tortilla makers in the pocket of organized crime syndicates, who are in turn shoving a metaphorical gun into the back of fast-food chains pressuring them to use more tortillas in exchange for some unthinkable ends? That's the only theory I can come up with. I hope I'm incorrect and this whole thing we've been going through as a country is just a ruse by marketing hatchet men to make cash.
I know no one personally who would say without absolute sincerity that they wish and hope for a Big Mac to one day be wrapped in a tortilla. Let's just hope this doesn't seep into the dessert side of fast-food menus. Frosty's from Wendy's are hard enough to eat with a spoon without them being oozed into a tortilla.
The Big Mac has one life and one life only. That is as a workhorse burger on a value-meal menu surrounded by McNuggets and Quarter-Pounders. Not some bastardized burrito also-ran.
-- Craig Hlavaty