By Rev. Jim Innes
I noticed a new billboard on my way into my office, and it reads, ‘Is a Big Mac with bacon still a Big Mac?’ For me the answer is implicit in the question. It’s not a Big Mac. It is a Big Mac with bacon.
Surprisingly, I am on the losing side of the argument. A poll on this very question places the no votes at only 35% (as of writing this article).
How can that be? Everyone knows that a Big Mac is two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun! A comrade in arms suggested the new burger be called a Pig Mac.
What is happening to leaving well enough alone? According to sources, the addition of bacon to the iconic Big Mac is the very first change to the sandwich in Canada in 50 years.
My mind is being dragged back to the jaw-dropping introduction of dark roast coffee at Tim’s. My coffee stop has never felt the same, and, I admit, I’m not just a little disoriented.
The familiar fabric of my younger years is being stretched. Vague are the memories of being loaded in the Fairlane, taken for our monthly Big Mac in my home town’s first-built MacDonald’s located in the far corner of the Woolco parking lot… or was it Zellers…not sure now. And I remember with fading pleasure how, after I cleaned my cheeks of the ketchup and salt, we would slip over to Tim Horton’s (the only one within 50 miles) for some anticipated dessert.
Now it’s all been retired and replaced. Not just the car and the department stores, but so too such memorable characters as Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids. And I’m stuck trying to remember the last time I enjoyed a rich tasting Boston Cream donut…or for that matter, a satisfying Peanut Crunch.
I don’t think I’m overly stuck in the past but nostalgia seems to be creeping in like the extra weight around my belly. Without some caution I fear getting old before my time. So I looked around Google to find out more about this dreaded onslaught….here are a few sure indicators (see Ceren Senkul):
- You used to live for the weekend (and you still do, but now it’s more for the eating and sleeping than it is for the drinking and dancing),
- You are increasing the number of two-part dramas you’ve watched on TV (and you are always home to watch them),
- You live vicariously through reality TV,
- On the off chance that you do go out, the music is too loud,
- You’re the designated driver (by choice),
- You have strict rules about going outside in the winter months (if it’s too cold everything can wait),
- You appreciate different types of tea (and chamomile is really working for you),
- You’re drinking less (primarily because your body has stopped being able to deal with hangovers).
I won’t say how many of these signs I am familiar with, but my losing the Big Mac (or Pig Mac) controversy is but one more nail in the coffin. And I won’t deny that my use of the phrase “back in the day” has become a form of camaraderie. Like… do you remember, “back in the day”, when McDonald’s special sauce was a secret recipe, and a ‘regular’ coffee meant 1 sugar and cream? Or… do you remember, “back in the day”, when beef was far more expensive then chicken, and wings were something you threw away?
“Is a Big Mac with bacon a Big Mac?” Give me a break! As I see it, best to leave such delicious musings to the thinner (and apparently wiser)…better I stick to lean foods, so to live long enough to hear my kids say “I sound just like my father.”
Rev. Jim Innes is the rector of the Regional Ministry of South Huron.
(Featured photo: Eaters Collective, Unsplash)