The total farce of McDonald's banning chips at the Olympics
So now we can't buy chips unless they're from McDonald's or served with fish. What madness is this?
Recent reports suggest Olympic Park visitors won't be able to buy chips - on their own - anywhere other than McDonald's. Surely that can't be right?
So we've put up with the vast expense, the crippled transport infrastructure, the anti-aircraft missiles installed on our roofs and the army patrolling our streets. Now the Olympics is threatening one final ugly infringement on our basic human liberties - the right to eat chips.
Due to ‘sponsor commitments’ to McDonald's, food vendors in the Olympic Park are forbidden to serve portions of chips to punters unless – bizarrely – they are accompanied by fish. Not sausage and chips, not spam and chips, not lobster Thermidor and chips, but just plain, traditional, British fish-and-chip-shop fish.
"The Golden Arches... demanded a clause in their contract that made them the sole vendor of “chips” for the duration of the games"
Quite why the accompaniment of a piece of battered cod or haddock circumvents this particularly barmy piece of red tape is not immediately obvious; if Olympic organisers were so desperately keen to show off our country’s great culinary traditions they presumably wouldn’t have allowed the world’s most famous American fast food chain to be the headlining ‘official restaurant’ of the games.
So if forcing additional fish onto people who just want a portion of chips (goddammit) isn’t an altruistic attempt at PR for a fine British foodie institution, then what is it?
It turns out that the Golden Arches, after spending who knows how many gazillions for the right to stamp their greasy branding all over the Olympic Park, demanded a clause in their contract that made them the sole vendor of “chips” for the duration of the games, with exception only granted (following fierce negotiation) to fish and chip vendors.
"Why are roast potatoes OK but not chips? What if I order some pommes dauphinoise and slice them into chip-shapes myself?"
The inverted commas are deliberate because, and I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing, McDonald's doesn’t actually make chips, does it? They serve “fries”, quite a different beast altogether; artificially-flavoured, flash-frozen sticks of lurid Americana, addictive enough in their own way but proper British chips they ain't.
Which begs the question, what exactly is the wording of the Olympic food contract? Did it specify size, shape, cooking methods? Why are roast potatoes OK but not chips? What if I order some pommes dauphinoise and slice them into chip-shapes myself? Will the 4th Welsh Battalion march me out of Stratford at gunpoint?
If you’re thinking the Great Chip Embargo is yet another reason to avoid the capital during the next few weeks then you’re definitely not alone, but remember that if you have spent your second mortgage on tickets to see the first round of Greco-Roman wrestling and you fancy a cone of chips to munch on while you’re queuing to get in, there are worse things than having to enjoy a tasty piece of battered haddock at the same time. And I’d rather have a good old-fashioned fish and chips than a Big Mac and fries any day.
- WHAT DO YOU THINK? WOULD YOU ONLY EAT CHIPS WITH FISH ANYWAY? IS THE RESTRICTION A SIGN OF THE TIMES?
- LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW
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