Saturday, April 23, 2011

Don't supersize me, bro! Or, Why is my Icee so big?

So you guys remember the McDonald's Supersize? If you grew up in the 90s, I'm sure you do, and you may even have been under the impression that it had been around forever. Actually, it was first introduced in 1993 as part of a Jurassic Park promotion. It was called "Dino-size." After the promotion ended, they decided to keep it around, thus beginning a decade of outrageous overeating.

You also may recall a 2004 film called Supersize Me. This film created a storm of public awareness about fast-food that, many believe, led to McDonald's phasing out their 42-ounce sodas and 7-ounce bags of French fries.

I bring all this up because recently I ordered an Icee at a movie theater concession stand. They gave me the option of "small" or "large." I decided to get the large so I could share. It was rather big. To say the least.

This is no trick photography, dear readers. That Icee is indeed larger than my head. So I can't help but wonder, in an age where fast-food restaurants are trying to offer "healthier" options and Subway is the fastest growing fast-food chain, where Jamie Oliver is a food revolutionary and McDonald's was essentially shamed into removing the Supersize from their menu, how are movie theaters still selling gigantic sodas and bags of popcorn? And why, oh God why, are we willing to pay so damn much for them?

That "large" Icee and a "small" popcorn cost me $12.75. I may be dating myself, but I remember a time when two people could get drinks, popcorn, and movie tickets for less than that. Also, you could get candy, an ice cream sundae, and a foot massage for an upcharge of just $1.23. I may be misremembering this a tad, but you catch my drift. Maybe in the age of Netflix Instant and them fancy DVR machines actually going to the movie theater has become more of an event, making moviegoers willing to pay more as part of the experience. Or maybe, more likely, they know we are all addicted to buttery popped corn and frozen Coca-Cola and giant screens and they are going to make us pay both arms and our left legs for the privilege of having those things. I would be angry and rail against the capitalist machine, but it's stimulating the economy, right?

So my boyfriend and I paid a total of $32.25 to see Hanna. Wait, did I type that right? Oh jeez. I really wish I hadn't done the math on that. Screw the economy. I should've waited for it to be available on Netflix Instant.

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