In December of 2008, McDonalds Corporation unintentionally stepped into the middle of an international border conflict when its Moroccan franchises included, as a Happy Meal prize, a map of North Western Africa which indicated a national border separating Morocco and the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
The Moroccan government claims sovereignty over Western Sahara, yet these claims remain largely unrecognized.
In an effort to quell the growing controversy, McDonalds issued an apology to the people of Morocco and then pulled the offending maps from the Happy Meals. Then, in an act of corporate sand blindness, they replaced the maps with others indicating the happy unity of the nation and the disputed territory.
Predictably, this ignited another round of unrest amongst Polisario separatists in Western Sahara. Their political front operation issued the following letter to McDonald’s corporate headquarters:
We learned from the press that McDonalds’ Moroccan subsidiary has withdrawn some ‘Happy Meal’ toys including a map with the legally recognized borders between Western Sahara (WS) and Morocco, pretending to replace them with a map including WS inside Moroccan borders. This would mean a clear violation of International Law.
As you are surely aware, WS is a Non-Self-Governing Territory as declared by the UN, militarily invaded and occupied by force by Morocco, whose sovereignty is recognized neither by UN nor by any country in the world. Morocco systematically violates human rights of Saharawi citizens, refusing to accept several UN resolutions and preventing their right to self-determination. This attitude of McDonalds Moroccan subsidiary discredits McDonalds image and reputation.
We urge McDonalds to take the necessary actions to ensure that their Moroccan subsidiary respects and does not violate International Law.
And we urge Ronald to leave international politics to the professional clowns.
Michelle Allen, pictured above, was arrested in late 2008 for drunk and disorderly conduct. Ms. Allen, 32, of Middletown, Ohio was on a drinking binge after finishing her job at a local, barnyard themed, amusement park. The raging bovine was reportedly impeding traffic and chasing children around a playground when the police arrived. She was released on bail.
Crimes of Fashion:
Daniel Allen Everett, 33, from Clarkston, Michigan, was arrested in a child sex sting earlier in 2008. Everett was led by undercover investigators to believe that he had been having sexually explicit on-line conversations with a 14-year-old girl. Everett grew so comfortable chatting to the “girl” that they arranged a meet. When Everett arrived he was arrested by police who took special note of his tee-shirt which read, “World’s Greatest Dad.”
According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, a Crestview couple recently drove their car to the local Wal-Mart, only to have their vehicle break down in the parking lot.
The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he attempted to determine what was wrong. Some time later the wife returned to find a small group of people near the couple’s car.
On closer inspection, she saw a pair of male legs sticking out from beneath the chassis. The man, while wearing shorts, was not wearing underpants and his genitals were on rather embarrassing public display. Unable to countenance the shame, the woman knelt down and repositioned the offending bits out of public view.
Upon regaining her feet, she looked across the hood of the car and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by.
The mechanic required three stitches in his forehead to close the wound.
Brave New Words:
Last month, Langenscheidt Dictionaries of Germany released its 2008 list of favorite new words. The list was headed by the following neologisms:
First place was “Gammelfleischparty,” or “spoiled meat party,” an unflattering term for a gathering of people over 30 years of age. Second was “Bildschirmbraeune” or “screen tan,” referring to the complexion of someone who spends too much time in front of a computer. “Unterhopft,” or “underhopped,” meaning “in need of a beer,” took third.