Fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Posted on Feb 25, 2008 in Blog, Writing | 5 comments

Now THAT’S a guarantee!

I love traveling. Living in a tiny rural town, I’m normally cut off from the pulse of America. But every so often, I poke my head up, go visit strange urban lands, and roam through busy airports and come across gems like the following:

McDonald’s Guarantee

Now, if you read this while you’re eating your Big Mac, do you think:

A) You’re darn right! And there’s no guarantee better than that!
B) I’m so relieved.
C) Why are you announcing this to me? Is this a new policy?
D) I’m eating beef?


  1. I’m thinking “What the hell does that mean?”

    I mean… what does it mean? Surely their burgers have salt, spices, and oil, just in the patty? Even the patties can’t be 100% beef, can they?
    Does it mean there’s no human flesh in their patties – the only meat is beef?

    Vexing. Maybe that’s the point, to distract you from thinking too hard about the number of calories you’re consuming by presenting you with a semantic conundrum.

  2. I’m thinking: What is their definition of beef? Is it actual meat or is it any part of the cow? Because I’ll tell you, I’ve stopped eating McDonald’s burgers because there were things I was chewing that I know was not beef.

  3. Hamburger has always been a suspect object: meat stuff, ground up. But this doesn’t seem like quite the reassurance that some marketing hack thought it was.

  4. Well, it just makes me think “good for you.”

    They USE 100% beef IN every burger. Which to me is the same as saying “some percentage of our burger is 100% beef. Have fun figuring out how much not-beef is in there with it… and what it is.”

  5. Nicely parsed, Anthony. And I thought I had a suspicious mind.