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Feb 22, 2010

So, I have a penguin in my car. It is small, plastic, and makes a very irritating, repetitive noise. Thankfully, it has an on-off switch. But, where on earth did it come from? McDonalds is the answer. I hardly ever go there, but, the other day, my two youngest children begged me to take them there. My son was taking a day off from school because he felt a under the weather, and my daughter didn't have pre-school that day. We needed to get out of the house, but I wanted to take them somewhere warm to play, so that is where we went. It is a very popular place in Wenatchee and all over the U.S. Thanks to its multi-million dollar advertising, it is, quite literally, everywhere. On the television there are countless advertisements about McDonalds, and then there are the jingles, the logos, and the toys. It's similar to Disney Land. Infact, until 2007, McDonalds had a contract with Disney to sell Happy Meal toys that were characters in the latest Disney movies. However, Disney has decided to associate its characters with healthier food. Though fast food here in the U.S. is known to be unhealthy, and leading the country to obesity, the advertising and the convenience of it all keep bringing the crowds back. The focus of McDonalds' advertising is children. If you can attract them, and create a safe and convenient place for them to play and eat, then they will come back, and keep coming back. If there are rewards for eating McDonalds, the children will  be even more tempted, hence the irritating penguins. The company has also changed with the times. They offer salads, fruit, and premium lattes now, as alternatives, and in European countries are even changing their color(ur) scheme to look more sophisticated. So, however good or bad the food may be, the appeal of the plastic penguin still works for 47 million customers each day.

Grammar notes.

Common expressions: to feel under the weather, quite literally, hence, where on earth?

1. I'm feeling under the weather today; I don't think I'll go to work.

2. Pavarotti was, quite literally, the biggest voice in opera in the past 20 years.

3. Each year there have been less and less policemen in our city, hence, the increase in crime.

4. I thought my keys were on the table; where on earth are they?