Sunday, January 27, 2008

ShallowGal and posse take a field trip.

Lately my kids have been off school more than they've been in school. First it was MLK day on Monday and then Friday it was National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day or something, I don't know, and frankly don't really care.

Fine. Somebody has to get some knowledge into these kids and if the school can't be bothered then I'm going to have to do it. We live in Washington, DC for crikes sake, there is no end to the free educational opportunities available to us.

So off we took, to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. There, among the largest collection of space and aviation artifacts in the entire United States, we learned two very important facts.

#1) The McDonald's inside the Air and Space Museum is the most expensive fast food I have ever purchased in my entire life.

I know that my discerning readers like proof

Apparently both Israel and Iceland have tried to claim the title of Home of the most expensive Big Mac. (1) They've never been to this little pocket of Chantilly, Virginia. Four happy meals and a chicken salad set me back THIRTY dollars. There's an actual economic theory behind this called the Big Mac index. Simply put, the dollar is actually weaker (2) in Chantilly than anywhere else in the world.

Now these happy meals are pretty much the same little hamburger, small fries and chocolate milk you'd get anywhere else in the lower 48, with one important distinction. These happy meals included a toy only available at the Smithsonian, a little airplane flown by Ronald McDonald that actually sparks when you slide it fast along the ground. This lead to our second great learning experience . . .

#2) Where ShallowGal and family learn that some marketing genius thought it would be a good idea to put FLINT in a happy meal toy.

Flint. Nature's very own fire starter. Did you ever see that episode of Survivor where there was a tie at tribal counsel so there was a fire starting challenge and after like an hour the two contestants hadn't been able to start a fire with flint so they got matches and they still couldn't start a fire? Well my kids are way smarter than that. Why not give them some bleach and ammonia while you're at it? Lordy.

The kids are off again tomorrow. We're educated enough now, thank you very much; we'll be heading back to the mall, where it's safe.

Oh yeah, we also saw planes.

1) Iceland actually tried to use that fact in a tourism brochure.
2) Or maybe stronger, it's a complicated theory.

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