A McDonald’s meal, the last ever to be purchased in Iceland six years ago and put on display in a museum for posterity, is turning heads — and a fair few stomachs — because the ancient snack has remained mold free and looks almost identical to the day it was made.
As anyone who has suffered from a bad case of food poisoning knows, snacks with any substance, especially snacks that are left unrefrigerated, tend to go off quicker than you can say, “Super size me my friend.”
Food rots. That’s what it does best. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen before it hits your stomach, and pray please, not when it’s in there. But food, like all organic matter, exists in a state of slow decay, as opposed to a substance like plastic, which in comparison can be considered eternal.
So it’s something of a surprise, albeit a rather unpleasant one for anyone who’s sat at the clown’s table and tucked into the red-haired one’s flavorsome fare, that a McDonald’s meal purchased roughly 2,190 days ago looks like some secret property has rendered it immune to the ravages of time and the natural laws which govern the universe.
The McDonald’s meal in question is admittedly rather special, but not in the sense that it has special powers, but rather it has historical value. The burger and fries in the spotlight were the last ever McDonald’s meal to be purchased in Iceland prior to McDonald’s withdrawing from the country following the collapse of Iceland’s currency in 2009, making it uneconomical for the clown to remain in town.
Iceland is now one of just a handful of countries without a branch of McDonald’s. Depending on your own personal preferences, this is either a proud boast or a source of shame, but for fast food fan Hjortur Smarason, when McDonald’s decided to flee Iceland, he wanted to mark the occasion for posterity.
The Daily Express reports that Smarason deliberately waited until the end of the chain’s last day of opening before walking into his local McDonald’s outlet and buying one final burger and portion of fries. The 28-year-old McDonald’s man described buying the last burger as a “historic occasion.”
Smarason then happily donated the meal to the National Museum of Iceland, where it spent three years stored in a plastic bag. The museum returned it to its rightful owner in 2012 after receiving complaints, but Smarason was determined that this “historical item” would remain appreciated by fans of McDonald’s everywhere.
“They had it on display until somebody complained and it was decided that a museum was not the appropriate place for food on display like this, and so they asked me for permission to destroy it.
“But I regard it as an historical item now. I think it’s incredible that it seems to show no signs of decomposition, although apparently the fact that there were fewer chips returned to me was because some museum visitors had eaten some of them.”
For the past three years, Mr. Smarason has put the burger on display in the bar of his local hotel, Skógarhlíð, in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik.
“We no longer have a McDonald’s here, but we do have a McDonald’s burger and it’s probably the oldest in the world, so I reckon we shouldn’t complain too much.”
The question remains, is the unnatural preservation of the McDonald’s meal a good thing or a bad thing? For example, incorruptibility is a religious belief that Divine intervention allows some bodies, specifically those bodies of holy people such as saints, to avoid the normal process of decomposition. Such organic matter avoids the normal process of decomposition after death because of its holiness. Which begs the question, are McDonald’s meals holy?
Why do fruit, vegetables, and prime cuts of meat rot in a way McDonald’s meals obviously do not. Is it because the latter is sacred, or is there some other reason the fast food clown wears his frown upside down?