Tuesday, June 14, 2005

McCapucucchio Anyone?

And you were afraid of too many Starbucks?

McDonald's (my favorite place!) announced, along with the opening of their flagship store in Illinois, the first of many McCafe's. Mc. Cafe.

According to a press release from McDonald's Chicago regional office, the McCafe -- which opened in downtown Chicago this past May -- serves "high-end cakes and pastries, gourmet coffee ... premium teas ... Viva Tiramisu [and] New York Style Cheesecake. ... Food and beverages will be served in fine china along with stainless steel flat ware. The warm decor consists of leather couches, chairs and bistro style tables with accents of mahogany, granite, lace curtains and French vintage posters."

Now...I like my coffee. And I fully admit to being a patron of coffee houses. I can tell you where to find any Starbucks within a 10-block radius of any point in midtown manhattan.


Do I WANT to sit under the golden arches with my laptop and a cup o'mcjoe? Do I want to listen to the soothing sounds of the latest disney pop group broadcast through tinny speakers while McKids romp and play on a multicolored virtual jungle gym beside me?

Do I want to order a McFrap? Will they ask me if I'd like an apple pie with my McMocha? Can I supersize an espresso? Maybe I'll try something off the dollar menu.

Who, exactly, is the target audience for a McCafe? I like plugging into an outlet at the Starbucks on Astor because I'm surrounded by fellow bohemians. There's a certain comraderie to it, you can feel the creative juices flowing in the air around you.

Can you picture the Upper West Side highschoolers you'd find yapping about their latest crush/obsession, and loudly so, in a McCafe? I bet there'll be a tie-in with Virgin, with those music vending machines all over the place too. You just KNOW there'll be some kid-friendly area where the rugrats can go and surf the AOL-web on brightly colored computers with oversized keyboards, sipping on a McFlurrydrink and noshing on a fat-free cookie...


I'm convinced McDonalds is the antichrist. I'm starting my own religion, and my version of hell will be in a McCafe.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Xmas In June

Time for a fun fact. Just because.

With the summer weather finally here in New York, of course my thoughts turn to the Xmas holiday season. Which is a lie, but it sounds good enough to make this oddball transition plausible, so I'm using it anyway. Nyeh :-p

Now, I'm one of the many blasphemous pagans who consistently use the term "Xmas" instead of "Christmas". I honestly mean no disrespect by it, it's just easier. And, admittedly, it makes me feel less like I'm celebrating the (alleged) birth of the Christian Savior and allows me to share in the spirit of the (ursurped) holiday. :)

But there have been times when, after being attacked by the occasionally zealot for "debasing" the name of Christ by reducing it to an "X", I've gone on the offensive for no other reason than to be nasty. Such as telling one particular would-be Crusader who nastily asked why I choose to use the X: "Because to me an X looks like a fallen cross, which is fairly indicative of the state of Christiandom today."

I'm cruel at times.

On to the point. As it happens, there really is no disrespect in anyone using the X as a replacement. I did a little digging once upon a midnight starry night, and lo and behold I found an enlightening discovery.

In various works of Christian art through the FIRST CENTURY BC, the Greek letters X and R - Chi Ro - were used as an abbreviation of Christ's name (Christ = Chi Ro = XR). In time the "X" (as in, Xristos) was used to connotate Christ's name.

So to all you thumpers out there who complain about the "bastardization of Christ's name"...Jesus X, get over yourselves.

Besides, looking at it like that..."Jesus X" sounds a helluva lot cooler, don'tcha think? :)

2005 Darwin Awards

Yes folks, it's that time again - time to hand out the coveted Darwin Awards. Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwins are given to those individuals - posthumously, of course - who, by their own actions, have successfully removed themselves from the gene pool and insured that future generations of humanity will not be subjected to their obviously flawed makeup.

2005 Darwin Award Winners:

* In Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.

* A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran," accidentally jogged off a 100-foot-high cliff on his daily run.

* Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beach-goers said Daniel Jones, 21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach, on the outer banks, used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

* Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he fell face-first through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

* Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in Selbyville, Del, as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.


* Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in Andover township, NJ, and his wife Bonnie was also injured, when a quarter-stick of dynamite blew up in their car. While driving around at 2 AM, the bored couple lit the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see what would happen, but apparently failed to notice the window was closed.


* TACOMA, WA Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable lay nearby. One end of the cable was secured around Bingham's leg and the other end was tied to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy river water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can say" said Bingham, "is that God was watching out for me on that night. There's just no other explanation for it." Bingham's foot was never located.


Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt (Paderborn, Germany) fed his constipated elephant Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally let it fly, and suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop! Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him. "The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on top of him" said flabbergasted Paderborn police detective Erik Dern. With no one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an hour before a watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves that "Shit happens!"

Friday, June 03, 2005

You Do The Math

I should stop picking on McDonalds, really. But they're such an easy target.

I'm in McDs tonight, waiting on line for my food (which, incidently, was taking a pretty damned long time for 10:30ish at night). But it's cool, the manager knew it was taking a while so he was being apologetic about it. No beef here (no pun intended).

So I'm bored, and start reading the menu. I note the dessert menu, and something seriously looks out of kilter. So they're offering ice cream at $1, and if you buy two it'll only cost you $2. Wow. Great bargain hunting there, thanks for the convenience Ronald. But that ain't it, something else is nagging at me.

When I figure it out, I start laughing. The manager is giving me the evil eye, so I call him over. "You prices are screwed up for your value price."

He scrunches up his face. "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" he asks. I'm paraphrasing, so shut up.

I point up at the menu. "Look. You're selling your shakes for $1.98 each, right?" He nods, eyeing me warily.

"Okay. And you're offering two shakes for $3.98, right?"

He nods, a little more cautiously now, scratching his head. "Yeah..."

I laugh. "But 1.98 x 2 is $3.96, not $3.98. People have to pay more to buy two shakes together, than if they just bought two shakes separately."

Now I really get the evil eye.

"I never noticed that" he says, walking away to get my food. I made a point of watching him carefully, I didn't want my sandwich coming from the *special* box under the counter.

I guarantee you I'll go back there in two weeks just to see if they changed the price. Bet'cha two cents it'll be same ;)

McDonald's. I'm lovin' it!