Don't pretend like you don't wake up at least once a week imagining the moment you can slide through those automatic doors, breathing in the sweet scent of grease, salt, and shame. Don't try and tell me that you aren't tempted, just a little bit, to nip in every time you see those rows of billboards, each one offering untold treats. And don't you dare have the nerve to claim that on sleepless Sundays you're not frantically ambling down to your nearest branch to feast upon flame-grilled fleshiness served up in a bun. Everyone eats at McDonald's. That's a fact.
From hyperactive four-year-olds chowing down on fish fingers to geriatrics nipping in for an apple pie, pissheads on parade and boisterous pre-teens hepped up on post mix Sprite, McDonald's is one of the most appealing prospects on planet Earth. Yes, there might be something slightly sinister about a corporate behemoth responsible for the slaughter of approximately five and a half million cattle in the US alone each year becoming a universally recognised and adored symbol of pleasure, happiness, familiarity, and comfort, but hey, have you ever tasted a Double Cheeseburger after five pints of lager on a school night?! Mama. Mia.
We've all got our own McPeccadilloes, and happily, the recent shift to a predominantly automated ordering process means that no longer do you need to feel like an outcast for preferring your hamburger to literally just be a thin disc of unadorned meat wedged into a cardboard box. We each of us have our orders, preferences, and favourites. What, though, do they tell us about the kind of dance music you like? Read on and find out.
Editors note: for reasons of space, we have decided to limit this list to items only available as part of medium meals on the traditional UK Extra Value Meal list. While this means we're missing out on observations like deli wrap of the day fans probably being very into soulful-house, and MK being the DJ of choice for people who order shaker side salads, it does mean we're not literally listing every possible combination of food and drink at McDonald's which would take literally longer than the earth has left. We are also going to assume that every meal is bought with fries and a Coca Cola to accompany it.
1. Big Mac - Classic House
The Big Mac is the fucking daddy. There's a reason why the entire world goes crazy for what's essentially one burger sliced in half and whacked into a bit too much bread, slathered with some transparent lettuce, and the all important nutrition-free slices of cheese-like substance—and that reason is the famous special sauce. I could probably find out what's in the sauce in nanoseconds but honestly, why do we insist on destroying everything mysterious and wonderful in this world? I despair.
Big Mac-eaters are solid, dependable types, men and women of honour, always happy to help out a friend in need, always the first to get a round in, and always up for having a good time. Which makes Big Mac fans likely to be into house music. They went to Southport Weekender five years on the trot, have Chez Damier's autograph, and once met Kenny Dope Gonzales in a service station just outside of Warrington. They know what they like and they're happy sticking with it.
2. Quarter Pounder - Big Room Techno
When it comes to their McDonalds experience, anyone ordering one of these evidently wants sheer girth. They want a big, fat, thick, juicy patty, a patty that really fills them up, a patty that's hot and heavy. And that's what they get—this simple, minimal burger is a masterclass in precision engineering. In the same way that Ben Klock needs little more than a kick, a snare, and the sound of a nail being scraped through a bear's thighbone to turn pretty much any club in the world into a sea of frenzied dancing, the humble Quarter Pounder allays its signature burger to nothing more than two slices of cheese, onions, pickles, mustard and a big squirt of tomato sauce, creating a genuine taste sensation. The result is as safe and satisfying as the latest 12" on Illian Tape. Sure, it probably won't top any end of year awards, but sometimes you want a pleasantly mediocre experience that doesn't even bother pretending that it's going to change your life.
3. Filet-O-Fish - Deconstructed Club Music
God, I wish I was still young. I'm at the age now, where stepping into any remotely trendy enclave of the country gives me the distinct sensation that if I were to catch myself in an organic foods shop window, I'd see rotting skeleton clothed in farmers' tweeds and mothballs looking back at me.
When I see young people now, in their silver bin bags or Gosha jackets made of hessian or Oakley sunglasses or Cyberdog platform shoes or Guy Fieri flame shirts, streaming into some basement in east London, ready for another night of Beyonce a capellas played over the sound of breaking glass, all I can think of is "I bet they order a FIlet-O-Fish meal later."
Why, you ask, does club music remind me of the most minor meal offered by Ronald and his crack squad of bored teenagers and middle-aged middle-managers? Because I, at the grand old age of 27, can see through their postmodern playfulness. They don't actually want any of this. What they really want is a nice pair of comfortable Carhartt trousers, a Nick Drake record, and a Big Mac.
4. McChicken Sandwich - Balearic
A few years back you were probably part of the Fillet-O-Fish crowd; young, naive, and clothed in outfits that cost more than your rent. You still spunk Peter North sized amounts of cash on clobber but these days it's more pastel pink sweaters from Oi Polloi and Patagonia rucksacks than Nasir Mazhar boilersuits and Patta bucket hats.
Since turning 40, you've tried to combat the ever-expanding waistline—you can just about squeeze into those 36" waist olive green Battenwear shorts, just about—with a variety of methods. You've taken up fell running, swapped lager for competitively priced natural wines sourced from the finest grapes in South Yorkshire, and finally decided that when it comes to stopping off in McDonalds after a hard day of sourcing jazz fusion records for your upcoming Tuesday morning slot at Spiritland you'd be better off sliding over a greasy fiver for the refreshingly bland taste of a McChicken sandwich.
Something about the remarkably unremarkable combination of a breaded chicken patty, limp lettuce, and a few pumps of barely-there mayonnaise makes you feel in control. Sliding one of these down your neck, carefully ensuring not a single globule of grease makes its way onto your Vareuse Port Manech always gets you daydreaming about the time you watched Nancy Noise playing tennis with Felix Dickinson at Pikes.
5. Chicken McNuggets - Electroswing
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the other day I was in McDonalds—I really had a craving for a large fries—and I saw your brother. He's changed, hasn't he, your brother. The last time I saw him would have been a few years back now, I was round yours, and he played FIFA with us and he was such a nice lad wasn't he. He's changed, hasn't he.
He's got blue dreadlocks now. Blue dreadlocks and steampunk goggles. He was throwing McNuggets around. He was chucking them at his mates. The McNuggets were disintegrating but he kept picking them up, even when they were little more than damp clumps of cartilage and saturated fats, he was picking them up and throwing them. He was drawing badgers with barbecue sauce and trying to fashion straws into kazoos. One of his friends, who was called The Rt. Hon Bedford Hollingsworth, was doing laps on a Penny Farthing. They'd just got back from the Chap Olympiad.
I am sorry for your loss.
6. Chicken Legend - Croatian Festival Early Afternoon Boat Party Bass Music
Photo by Justgrimes
Boat parties are strange. I've only ever been on them for work related reasons and whilst I've taken great pleasure from boshing small cans of lager whilst shouting "YEAH, YEAH…NO…YEAH, YEAH," in the ear of a minor DJ as we both try and make each other heard over the sound of a large engine clashing with a My Nu Leng set, I'm yet to experience the real sweaty deal, not felt myself vanish into a crowd of glistening bodies cloaked in vests, with the smell of sun cream, smoke, and testosterone filling my nostrils.
I'm also yet to experience a Chicken Legend for myself, too. There's a kind of needless flashiness to it, a sort of pumped-up arrogance that you usually associate with the kind of blokes who definitely wank in front of the mirror between sessions down the gym. "LOOK AT ME," the sandwich screams, gun-fingering the air as "138 Trek" blasts into the deep blue sky, "I'M A FUCKIN LEGEND ME. I. AM. A FUCKIN'. LEGEND."
7. Chicken Selects - Silence
There is no proof that anyone has ever actually gone into a McDonalds and ordered a Chicken Select meal, ergo, this is an order which has no content-worthy correlation. Sad!