Aug 25, 1999

I don't like fast food. But when I let convenience dictate - like when I've on the highway - I do indulge. While I don't like fast food, however, I do like the language of fast food. They are so damn sneaky.

I seem to recall, that, years ago, at McDonald's, if you ordered a 'milkshake', the teenager behind the counter would always counter, 'a shake?'

This little exchange was deemed necessary because the 'shake' at McDonald's could not legally be called a 'milkshake' since it did have enough milk in it to be legally called a 'milkshake'. Last time I checked, mind you, the words 'milkshake' were clearly written for all to see.

So if you want to recreate this verbal dance, may I suggest walking into a Starbucks and ordering a medium coffee. The counter coffee-expert-barristo will kindly correct you with 'a tall coffee?'

That's because in Starbucks doublespeak, a small coffee is a 'short' coffee, a medium coffee is a 'tall' and a large coffee is a 'grande'.

Please note that Starbucks does not post the price of a 'short coffee'. They sell them, but they don't advertise the fact.

And did you know that McDonald's does the same "unadvertising"?

All soft drinks at McDonald's are bottomless. 

All you have to do is ask for a refill.

Really and truly!  Because their competition (the Burger Thing/Taco Hell /Pizza Slut conglomerate) offers as such, McGrease have followed in suit. It is simply not advertised as such. And the cost to actually produce a cup of Coke is something like 2 cents, it really doesn't cost them anything.

We live in such a strange world: our fast food is subsidized with soft drinks, our movie theatres are subsidized by popcorn, and our pharmacies - among other businesses, are subsidized by sundry items.

It must be McTopia.