Friday, February 23, 2007
The Death of the Hula Burger
Sometimes the little sacrifices are the hardest. The Ladies Auxiliary took us out to McDonald's for lunch. One of my favorite small pleasures is the McDonald's fish sandwich, made all the more tasty because it was invented exclusively for Catholics.
Funny that back in 1962 no one accused McDonald's of conducting a war on Catholics by not offering any meatless meals on their menu. Perhaps if there had been a 24 hour news cycle back then, someone would have jumped on it.
In 1962 a struggling McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati was only making $75 on Fridays (from the heathens and sinners) while all the Catholics ran over to Bob's Big Boy for their fish sandwich. The enterprising owner invented his own fish sandwich and took it to the big cheeses over at corporate headquarters.
The big cheeses already had a Catholic sandwich in the works. If ever there was proof that there was a war on Catholics, even back in 1962, it was this sandwich. A slice of pineapple on a bun. I'm not kidding. Ray Kroc, the biggest cheese, held a sandwich-off and the fish sandwich won. I wonder if they sold a single "Hula Burger". That's what they called the pineapple on a bun.
Sad.I suppose William Donahue was only an altar boy back then and couldn't have railed about the Hula Burger on MSNBC. If there had been a 24 hour news cycle back then someone could have also pointed out that dancing the Hula is probably a near occasion of sin. give the Catholics a slice of pineapple on a bun and name it the Hula Burger. There's mockery for you!
Today McDonald's makes $300 million a year off Catholics and quasi-vegetarians and people who are afraid of getting Mad Cow disease.
And during Lent the fish sandwich is on sale! I thought in recent years it was a dollar during Lent. This year it's $1.29.
The inventor of the fish sandwich never got a red cent for his invention, by the way. But he did not only save his own struggling franchise, he opened quite a few more. Forty two more.
Don't get confused. God didn't reward him with forty three successful McDonald's franchises because the man made a sandwich Catholics could eat on Friday's thus ending the 1962 war on Catholics. God didn't reward him and neither did McDonald's.
I really enjoy that sandwich, so I fed mine to Sister Mary Fiacre and drank tea. It's pretty easy to identify with the suffering of Jesus over a paper cup of McDonalds' tea, so it worked out very well for me and my soul. I'm torn as to whether or not I'll have a McDonald's fish sandwich during Lent, since the sandwich itself represents a victory, so to speak. Like fireworks on the Fourth of July and the flag on Iwo Jima. I could wait until after Lent.
But then the price goes up.
A continuing sacrifice.