Before we get started, in the interest of full disclosure, I have a confession to make: I am not fond of McDonalds food. I do eat it from time to time but afterward waves of regret and nausea slap me back to the produce section of the grocery store where I desperately seek leafy green penance for my greasy indiscretions.
That being said, I'm still a big fan of effective marketing and nobody puts themselves out there like Ronald and all his wacky pals. And this inundation of the American kiddie consciousness isn't exclusive to toys, TV and billboards.
Ambitious franchise owners design fanciful façades to woo hungry youngsters into the Neverland of Nuggets. And some of the better ones that caught my attention just happen to be in Dallas.
Nothing sells hot dogs like a car in the shape of a wiener, and nothing puts kids in the mood for a meal like the Happy Meal Box McDonalds.
Super sized fries, shakes and Big Macs adorn the sides of the restaurant and can presumably be seen from space.
A more "down to earth" McDonalds (next to the Dallas Zoo) is populated by an ark load of critters and creatures.
An imposing gorilla clutching a large order of fries welcomes zoo patrons eager to expand their wildlife awareness but unwilling to leave their culinary comfort zone.
And now it's time for dessert. A sweetly candied castle beckoning children, Hansel & Gretel style, sits beneath the golden arches in south Dallas and is populated with all your McDonaldland favorites.
Shakes, floats and soft serve are the spires in this calorie laden citadel. I'm not even sure if they serve half the things on the walls. But it sure looks cool.
Sure, we can debate the merits and shortcomings of the world dominating franchise that is McDonalds until we're red and white in the face. But it might be better to just drive by and enjoy the scenery as you head to Whole Foods.