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Chan Lowe: The McDonald's Happy Meal suit


The mom who just filed suit against McDonald’s for selling Happy Meals (aided and abetted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest) claims that the fast-food giant has made it much more difficult for her to refuse the entreaties of her children and to provide them with a healthful diet.

This doesn’t cut it with me. I don’t have kids, but I was one once, so I’m familiar with the business end of parental discipline. My particular bête noire was liver and onions, and I felt that life was being terribly unfair to me when I was forced to eat said repulsive dish.

In retrospect, though, when I realized that no amount of wheedling and whining was ever going to change the situation (without exception), it provided a certain sense of stability. Stability and predictability are what kids really crave, anyway, even though they may not know it.

TALLY-copy.gifWhat is required, though, is that parents discipline their own behavior as well as the child’s. Take my dog, Tallulah, who is shown at right (an adorable basset-shepherd mix, in case you were wondering). Half the time I tell her to do something, she ignores me. This is not her fault, but mine for not putting in the time to train her properly (as Mrs. Lowe-Down frequently reminds me).

So my advice to the mom, to quote Nancy Reagan, is to “Just Say No,” and to say it consistently, rather than attempt to invoke the power of the nanny state to restrict a lawful product. Sure they’ll say they hate you at the moment. But years from now, they’ll come back to visit for the holidays.

And yes, I know dogs are different than kids. Tallulah doesn’t mind being seen with me in public, she doesn’t ask to be driven to the mall, and I never have to worry about whether she’s hanging out with the wrong element.

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Chan-chan. Sorry to hear about your childhood trauma with the liver and onions. Should have used slight of hand and the art of distraction. Continue to cut it,catch them not looking and put in pocket. Kinda like church. I put coin between fold of fingers. grab the plate and thump the bottom and pass it--Put money in pocket. You see, you are good at political thinking and cartoon drawing, but poor at deception.

Chan- Ha Ha......You had it easy....Our kids really pulled a coup d' etat at a meal...
They had to eat liver, onions, and SPINACH....Then you saw a "Mutiny on the Bounty" in action....
They thought I didn't know, but the family dog was "Licking his Chops",(after hanging around,under the table) when that was served....

you don't have to worry about a DUI or paying for her college.When will this 'trial lawyer culture end and people take self responsibility seriously.

If you don't want your children eating Happy Meals, then... don't buy them for your children? I mean, it's kind of your choice.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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