Monday, November 01, 2004

Jesus at McDonald's
While some bemoan Ronald McDonald's evil global grip, it was on a Saturday daytrip with my Shenzhen expat friend "The Temple Guy" (James Baquet, formerly "The Barefoot Fool") that I saw truly how far the leering cholesterol-pushing clown's reach has spread, and why it's not necessarily a bad thing.
As you might fathom from his self-titled moniker, James is somewhat temple obsessed and this was the second time I'd tagged along with him to Tien Hou Temple, a peaceful sanctuary dedicated to a sea goddess, Tien Hou, that lies between an enormous, dusty gravel strip mine and a sprawling, clogged shipping container port in Shenzhen. He'd also convinced four unwitting, but willing female language teachers to come - two from Japan, one British Eurasian who went to school in Luxemborg and a young giantess from Ghana. Together we looked like an old Benetton ad.
Inside the worship/altar area where the offerings are laid and incense is burned, there were the usual piles of fruits, beverages, cooking oil, etc. all intended to invoke the goddess's tender mercy. But on closer scrutiny one offering stood out.
Nestled in a bowl of bananas, apples, a tangerine, melon and a muffin was a familiar small red and yellow cardboard container - a McDonald's apple pie.
I only hope that Tien Hou super-sized her reply to the worshipper's plea.
You can see a photo of what James calls "Saint Mickey D" at .

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