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pnTWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago this November, a red-haired child named Ronald was born.

   In the same year, McDonald’s introduced it’s own child to the nation and named him the Big Mac (not to be confused with those government buildings behind the State Capitol.)

   Frankly, I believe I am the more important child to come out of 1968, although a few people may not agree with me.

   Over the years, both of us have remained pretty much the same (except I grew and I know I’m not quite as famous).

   I would even wager my last McYankee dime that there are very few among us who have not heard the famous jingle:”Two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onion-on-a-sesame-seed-bun.”

   Yep, I must say that reading back over this is making me hungry right now for a quarter pounder with cheese.

   But this is about the Big Mac turning 25, so I guess I’ll wait for my personal fave.

DID YOU KNOW that the Big Mac has its own song, “The Ballad of the Big Mac,” which was performed in a radio ad by singer-songwriter-actor, (Mc)Hoyt Axton, who is, perhaps, best known for writing Three Dog Night’s 1971 No. 1 hit, “Joy to the (Mc)World?” Neither did I, but I do now.

   You know, I can’t actually remember having a Big Mac Attack. Even if I did, I wouldn’t admit it. But I must admit, Mcmany have been sold, approximately 14 billion since its introduction in 1968.

Big Mac

Picture By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Common

   Okay, class, it’s time for a McQuiz.

  1. Who was the inventor of the Big Mac?
  2. What is a Big Mac Index?
  3. True or False — Fidel Castro would have to leave Cuba to get a Big Mac.
  4. What are the three buns of a Big Mac called?
  5. How much does a Big Mac cost in Moscow?
  6. What was Bill Clinton doing when the Big Mac was introduced in Nineteen Sixty-Ate?

(PREPARE YOURSELF for a war story.)

   Back in Lakewood Junior High days in the eighth grade during two-a-day ninth-grade football practices under Coach Bill (Mc)Bowers, we used to go to Micky-Dees for lunch to win food and drinks from the Olympic gamecards. (I think I ate for free most of those two weeks.)

   In fact, I probably ate more Big Macs than at any other time in my Mclife. And I still hate the special sauce, which is my Mcperogative.

SO YOU SEE, I grew up with a McDonald’s in my hand and a song in my heart, so to speak. I have to admit, I used to keep track of how many billion people they had served, but once they went intercontinental, it was almost impossible.

   I don’t believe I’ve seen any restaurants as innovative as McD’s. They have given us the Happy Meal (which is sometimes served on airplanes), McNuggets, McRibs, McD.L.T., and, most recently, the Homestyle Burger. Still, nothing has taken the market like the Big Mac. Maybe, that’s why they still put the “Mc” in front of almost all of their new marketing ideas.

   And, in case you thought I forgot, here are the answers to McTrivia:

  1. Pittsburgh franchise owner Jim Delligatti.
  2. A mathematical system created by the Economist magazine in 1986 that measures foreign currencies purchasing power by the price of a Big Mac.
  3. False. A McDonald’s restaurant is located at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo.
  4. The “heel” is the bottom bun of a Big Mac; the “club” is the middle, and the “crown” is the top.
  5. 345 Rubles, the equivalent of 83 cents in U.S. currency.
  6. Clinton graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science degree in international affairs.

   Until next time, this is McRon, not to be confused with Ronald McDonald, signing off.


This article first appeared in The Times of North Little Rock on May 27, 1993.