Daily Dirt: Remember when a Big Mac, fries and Coke cost $1.06?

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A menu from McDonald's from the 1970s — back when life was good for Steve.

Daily Dirt for Friday, Jan. 13, 2023

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to go to Middlefart, Denmark? Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 498 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Granted, I’m old. Real old. But I still can’t believe it costs $5 (or more, sometimes much more) to get a simple hamburger at whatever your favorite fast-food preference might be.

When I first started driving in 1970, I could buzz through McDonald’s and get a burger, fries and a drink for $1.06, plus a few more pennies for tax. The Big Mac was 65 cents, fries were 26 cents and a small Coke 15 cents.

Now? I may need to drive through the bank for a loan before going to whatever fast-food destination I choose. A few days ago, the Little Woman and I took the grandkids through the Golden Arches, and it cost us almost $40.

I understand there is inflation, and it’s been 50-plus years since that 1970 sojourn to McDonald’s, but holy cow. What will a Big Mac (or Whopper or whatever your preference is) meal cost by the time we reach 2030? Call it food for thought — pun intended.

For the heck of it, here’s a glance at McDonald’s prices through the years:

  • 1960s: The Big Mac hit the fast-food scene in 1967, according to eatthis.com, and it cost less than a dollar. The famous sandwich was created in Pennsylvania before becoming a part of the nationwide McDonald’s menu in 1968.
  • 1970s: I listed the McDonald’s prices for this period a few paragraphs ago. When you really examine those prices, the Big Mac meal was an especially good deal — an order of fries cost 46 cents, not that much less than the sandwich itself.
  • 1980s: At this point, McDonald’s was focused on selling meal deals, not just individual sandwiches and sides. A Big Mac, fries and a Coke would set you back just $2.59 in this decade. A Big Mac by itself cost just $1.60 in 1986.
  • 1990s: The average price of a Big Mac was $2.50 in 1998. Ah, the good old days.
  • 2000s: Surprisingly, the average Big Mac cost in this decade dropped to $2.39. 
  • 2010s: Here’s where menu prices started skyrocketing. Big Macs averaged $4.19 this decade.
  • 2020s: “In New York City, at least, a Big Mac will cost you a solid $5 these days (and more, after tax),” writes Meghan De Maria of eatthis.com. “It’s still cheaper than a sit-down restaurant, but if you’re paying $7.89 for a Big Mac meal, you might be better off eating somewhere else.”

True, Meghan, but those Big Macs just taste so darned good.

2. It’s time for more medal-winning names of towns around the world (especially for those with their minds in the gutter):

  • Gold medal: Fugging, Austria. it was pronounced “Fooking” until a January 2021 name change took place. The town previously was named Fu**ing. (You can fill in for the asterisks.)
  • Silver medal: Middlefart, Denmark. This was my teenage grandson’s favorite when perusing this list.
  • Bronze medal: Longdong, China. Longdong is a town of about 10,000 more people than Hannibal, Mo. — or about 10,000 less than Quincy. The Chinese-to-English translation for “Longdong” is “Dragon Hole.”

3. If you’re an NBA fan and/or a big believer in sports analytics, you’ll love this next part. If not … ummm … you might want to reread the goofy town names.

A relatively new method of measuring the value of NBA players has been created. It’s how many points a player averages per 100 shots (field goal attempts or trips to the foul line, including when fouled in the bonus). It’s one of the advanced stats used on the cleaningtheglass.com website. Steph Curry of Golden State is the league leader with a norm of 138, followed by Luka Doncic of Dallas at 124.

Steve Thought O’ The Day
If there were a U.S. town named Middlefart, I wonder what the nickname of the high school football team would be?

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Isn’t it obvious the name of the high school football team in Middlefart would be the Windbreakers?

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