Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Over 99 Billion Served: a poem

The McDonald’s by my house
has removed its illuminated sign which read,
“Over 99 Billion Served”
I remember, even as a child,
wondering about that 
ever-escalating number.

I knew there were only like
seven billion people in the world.
Was McDonalds exporting 
hamburgers to outer space?
Were the feeding them to animals?

It seemed like, when they’d sold 
seven billion hamburgers,
they should have just made 
a sign which read:
“Everyone in the world
has been served a McDonalds 
hamburger.”

When they reached 99 billion,
some time in the late 90s,
McDonalds stopped counting,
and finally removed the sign altogether.

At some point, they must have 
realized that the true number
of hamburgers served,
if it were known,
would cease to evoke 
capitalist amazement,
and instead evoke 
consumer disgust
and existential dread.


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