The McDonald's Szechuan Sauce Debacle

Yesterday I made a buzz comparing an example of how COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed in L.A. county is similar to how McDonald's distributed Szechuan sauce. @chrisrice reminded me that not everyone on Hive is familiar with American culture so I should explain further.

I've already made a post about the 1984 McDonald's Summer Olympics promotional mishap so I have no problem pointing out the times their mascot wasn't the only clown running things.

This McDonald's debacle began with the first episode of season three's Rick and Morty. In "The Rickshank Rickdemption" Rick Sanchez (voiced by Justin Roiland) is connected to an alien brain-link machine that is gradually liquefying Rick's brain while generating a simulation of Rick's memories. This is an attempt by the Galactic Federation to get Rick's portal technology by hacking his memories. While revisiting his memory when Rick discovered how to open interdimensional portals Rick pulls up to a McDonald's drive-thru and orders Chicken McNuggets with Szechuan sauce. While waiting for his order Rick passionately tells the simulated Galactic Federation agent (voiced by Nathan Fillion) about how McDonald's back in 1998 promoted the Disney movie Mulan with their Szechuan sauce

Doing what Rick and Morty fans do well memes involving bringing back McDonald's Szechuan sauce began to propagate across the internet after the episode aired.

Around the day season three of Rick and Morty concluded McDonald's announced that the following week they would be bringing back the Szechuan sauce for one day only (October 7, 2017). It was made clear ahead of time that not all locations would be getting the sauce but fans could check on-line and see which McDonald's locations would be receiving the sauce. Some fans were willing to travel a few hours to stand in line to get the Szechuan sauce Rick Sanchez was so obsessed with.

The problem with the release turned out to be what McDonald's considered "limited" was far different from what Rick and Morty fans had in mind. Long lines formed in front of many McDonald's locations that were lucky if they got more than a few dozen Szechuan sauce packets. Supply clearly couldn't meet the demand and many fans left empty-handed and disappointed if not outraged. A few clever individuals such as in the video below had to resort to making a DIY Szechuan sauce by mixing other McDonald's sauces together to approximate the taste.

This finally brings us to my buzz post yesterday:

Recently the news was getting positive; then I saw this L.A. Times headline: "L.A. community clinic in hard-hit Latino neighborhood only gets 100 vaccines for its 12,000 patients"

I think I figured out what happened to the people fired over the McDonald's Szechuan Sauce debacle.

If you want to read the article I was referring to the link for it is here.

So let's think about this. Maybe McDonald's didn't quite understand the nature of the Rick and Morty fan community. I haven't really researched this story deep enough to determine if anyone had actually been fired over the mishandled Szechuan sauce release back in 2017. I would assume a pawn or two were sacrificed so that the corporation could save face. Hype on the internet doesn't always translate to actual people showing up. A lot of excitement was generated around Storm Area 51 but only a small fraction showed up for the event.

But a "global pandemic" doesn't limit to entertainment media or taste bud preferences. The clinic featured in the article is Clínica Monseñor Romero. I've never been there but from the article I can grasp the general area it's located and I can do a simple internet search to determine that its physical address is 123 South Alvarado Street Los Angeles, California. It's not critically important for me to know that specific clinic exists. I am not the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health which is rather unfortunate. I would know better than to think 100 doses of Moderna vaccine was enough. Someone was responsible for shipping those vaccines to that clinic. It seems that at some point whomever that was must have thought to themselves, "One package of 100 vaccines to a clinic located in Los Angeles during a global pandemic. Yep! That should do it." Can you blame me for also imagining that whomever shipped the vaccines is also still holding a grudge against McDonald's for firing them due to incompetency?