Quote of the day: "So... is it bad if a vacuum cleaner really sucks?"

The Situation:

My parents, myself, and five members of my extended family are taking a day trip to (insert name of huge American city here). Eight of us total. It's seven o'clock, dark, cold, and none of us are hungry because someone had the brilliant idea of buying goldfish crackers before the trip - everyone knows that you can't just have goldfish and not eat them. Still, my uncle says we should eat something, or else we're going to be sorry halfway through the two-hour drive home. We submitted, under the condition that we get ice cream instead of the infamous McRib sandwich (why infamous? Long story. Maybe I'll tell it sometime).

So we find a McDonald's and pull into the drive-through. Here is an approximate transcription of the conversation.

Lady in the window: Can I help you?

Uncle: Yes, we'll take five McRibs.

Us (in a loud chorus from the back seat): Five?

Uncle: Does anyone want chicken nuggets?

Us: No...

Uncle: Okay, we'll take twenty chicken nuggets.

Us (in a loud chorus from the back seat): What?

Uncle: Oh, and eight ice cream sundaes.

We call this behavior "The McNugget Effect." For this and other reasons, my cousin dubbed this, "The weirdest McDonald's experience of our life."

The Response:

Why? If we don't want five McRibs and twenty chicken nuggets, why buy them? It must be the father gene in him - the one which dictates that he knows better than his not-fully-grown offspring and should thus buy them "boneless rib" sandwiches (seriously? Boneless rib?). Same reason why parents don't let their kids touch the hot stove even though touching something that changes colors when you turn the knob sounds so cool. Same reason I don't let my dog run into our street even though she would really like to chase that cat.

But I would like to question the effectiveness of this way of life. Up until 10th grade, my parents dictated when I went to bed. I always figured I didn't really need to go to bed at 10:30 (I'd rather write), because all the few times I'd stayed up past that, I was fine in the morning. When they set me free, I started staying up till 11, or past. It took like three weeks, but I eventually realized there might be a reason why I was falling asleep in math (besides the fact that postulizing about different values of infinity seemed rather useless). If they didn't let me go to sleep whenever, I don't think I ever would have believed them.

So here's my McNugget of wisdom (do you see what I did there?) for the day: let people make decisions and regret them! They're not going to learn otherwise. They're not going to believe you.

This is our one encouragement in the pattern of democracy. Take that, Mr. Obama.

Sorry, I'm getting off my no-politics rule. My bad.

The Question:

What do you think about letting people fail? Where do you see The McNugget Effect playing out in your life or the world in general? What about this "boneless rib" business?

(Author's note: hi! Thanks for reading! A few people have hit the "follow" button on this series, and I greatly appreciate them. Although I'm not a fan of requesting reviews, I'd love to know if you like my little commentaries, what you like about them, how I can make them better, what bizarre (or normal) things happen to you, etc. I love to talk with people! With that, go help yourself to a box of chicken McNuggets. ~Petra)