Thursday, March 10, 2005

The State of New Jersey vs. McDonald's

The defendant: McDonald's, a nationwide fast-food chain lowlighted in the movie "Supersize Me", which I finally watched on Tuesday.

The other defendant: The State of New Jersey, which made me wait for three hours to try to get traffic tickets overturned.

The complainant: Me.

Two faceless organizations with reprehensible policies and procedures. This is: MY COURT WHERE I DETERMINE WHICH THING IS WORSE.

So all the hype about "Supersize Me" was that it showed how unhealthy McDonald's was and everyone who saw it told me how I'd never be able to buy McDonald's again. I shluffed off this argument, citing the fact that I really like McDonald's, and since I only go there once a month or so, it would not affect my feelings about it. I also decided to dig my heels in and not let myself feel the way everyone said I was supposed gonna feel, just to be contrary.

Well, it didn't work. The movie was great. McDonald's now sickens me in its menu and policy, targeting children, creating addiction and overall nasty things like that. I'll probably go there even less often now(I'm allowing for the fact that I will probably crave and give into said cravings every once in a while).

New Jersey:
The hype about New Jersey is that it sucks. Having gone to school there for a year and a half, I can say that it doesn't suck as much as people think. There are redeeming qualities about it. Like Rutgers is a nice school. And I met a lot of nice people in Jersey. One thing that does suck is New Brunswick traffic court.

The first hour was manageable. The second hour, was unbearable, consisting of waiting on a line to see the prosecutor. I was fifth on line. It took me an hour to get in.

Then came the third hour. I'll spare you the details, but I got one ticket thrown out, and had to pay the cheaper one, with a stated price of $54. So I appear before the judge, plead guilty to the one I plead guilty to. Mr. Judge, who seemed like he was auditioning for his own syndicated daytime small claims court show, charges me $133. When I try to argue, the bailiff tells me to "shut up" and go pay the fine. Then the person collecting the money laughed while explaining that the judge can charge me whatever he wants.

Conclusion: These are two organizations which deal in manipulation and suffering to get their way. But at least McDonald's throws in a little happiness!

Bottom Line: I'd rather spend three hours in a McDonald's than New Jersey traffic court.


PS Always fight tickets. They clearly make it an unbearable process so that you won't fight it, but the way I figure is I saved $100 and made $33 an hour. Not too shabby!

PPS Conclusion, Bottom Line and Verdict were probably too similar to split up. Sorry!