Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sharron Davies supports walking as part of a healthy lifestyle

A fully-clad Sharron explains the blindingly obvious
I was sitting in the McDonalds at Kings Cross this weekend, minding Tracy's bag whilst she went off and bought us McFlurries (if I pluralise it is it still trademarked?). McDonalds thoughtfully provide reading material for such occasions, and for those times when sparkling meal time repartee eludes you across the milkshakes, in the form of the paper liners they place on their serving trays.
My particular paper liner included an Earth shattering, Moses-esque, message ...
'Sharron Davies supports walking as part of a healthy lifestyle'
I had a couple of problems with that message:
  1. As a former Olympic swimmer, who admittedly looked and probably still looks most excellent in a cossie, Sharron isn't exactly the most appropriate celebrity to be recommending walking.
  2. What next? Is this the first of a series; with planned sequels such as 'Sharron Davies recommends ... breathing/ eating/ not French kissing mains electricity supplies ... as part of a healthy lifestyle'?
It got worse. That message was only Step 1 (Step 1, get it?) of Sharron's meticulous Three Point Plan to make McDonald's customers fitter and healthier. Step 3 was composed of the following three elements and, remember, I was reading this in the country that produced Shakespeare, Newton, Faraday and Brunel:
  • I often take the stairs rather than taking the lift
  • Instead of taking the car around the corner I prefer to walk !!!!!? (my exclamation marks)
  • I love taking my dog for a walk. It's great exercise for me and great exercise for my dog too! (Sharron's exclamation mark)
At no point does Sharron recommend easing up on burger consumption. She did, however, offer a free pedometer. On the back of the liner McDonalds had obligingly listed nutritional information for all its products in a headache inducingly small font. I was curious to see if Pancakes and Sausage and 20 McNuggets were still the bad boys on the block (680 calories and 700 calories respectively). After much squinting I discovered that, no, there was a new force to be reckoned with and that force is the McDonald's Big Tasty burger; weighing in at a mighty 804 calories. Greatness such as this does not happen accidentally. It takes just under one and half ounces of fat, over half of which is saturated, to make the Big Tasty burger what it is today. Frankly, I was impressed.
And no, I'm not one of those people who takes cheap shots at McDonalds. I'm a fan. When travelling in some rat-infested 3rd World bog hole; Russia, almost anywhere in Africa, Florida, those Golden Arches looking mighty fine and, at 99p, a sugar-coma inducing McFlurry is significantly cheaper than ecstacy. I was also totally unimpressed by the success of Fast Food Nation and Supersize Me; one of my planned pet projects is to film someone (not me) eating nothing but toasted tofu and carrot juice for four weeks and see how they look and feel after that. I'm expecting the results from the lavatory-cam to be the most horrific.
No, my problem with the Sharron Davies thing, and that other poop McDonalds feels oblige to come out with, is that a) it's moronic and b) it's hyprocritical. McDonald's sell length and quality of life reducing junk. Everyone knows that by now. Who are they trying to kid? What next? Night-time driving tips and protective crash barriers for bus queues from breweries? High altitude acclimatisation holidays and breath mints from tobacco companies? Get real.
and they didn't even print a picture of Sharron in a tight swimming costume, so I almost didn't take the liner home with me

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