Have you ever wandered across a story online and just ask yourself “why?”. Well, today, I came across one of those stories and honestly, I still haven’t gotten the “why” out of my head. So I thought, what better way than to just share this little “slice of Malaysia” with you. It’s about horses, McDonald‘s and US television.
Last Sunday, a post on the Cyberjaya Community page went viral, depicting a bunch of people riding through their local McDonald’s drive through on horseback. The photos showed the horseback riders ordering food and being delivered it by the McDonald’s staff. Everyone was nicely lined up for the photo ops, but the purpose of this publicity stunt remains unclear to me.
A day after that, the photos were shared on the Cyberjaya Community Facebook page with the caption “Drive thru using an eco-friendly way, that’s Cyberjaya”. And almost immediately, the post went viral, with it recording over 800 likes and 200 comments to this date.
Reception was…mixed, with many bemused. This being the internet though, there was also a large number of people who were unhappy about the whole stunt. Some were mad at the well-documented piles of—to use the scientific term—horse poop left along the drive through path. Others, were mad at the fact that quite a few of the horseback riders were in close proximity to other people in a public space without a facemask.
But, regardless of the public’s opinion, eventually leading to the post being picked up by beloved late-night talk show The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
So, why were they riding horses through a McDonald’s drive through?
At this point, I’m still not sure. I mean, obviously it was a publicity stunt, but a publicity stunt for what? Was there a good cause attached to this…thing? Looking at the original post on Facebook and the community post, I wasn’t able to find any relevant hashtags or causes connected to the stunt. Nobody in the photos were flying any flags nor did they have any banners for any cause.
With that established, I can understand the criticisms leveled at the people involved in this publicity stunt. For starters, the people who are complaining about the lack of masks are absolutely correct. From the photos, it didn’t look like a single one of the horseback riders were wearing a face mask.
Now I can understand not wearing a mask in a tight-knit closed-door private event. I can also understand not wearing masks while you’re in a private vehicle or when wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet. But looking at the gear the horseback riders were wearing, with their simple open-faced helmets, I really don’t see how it would be a problem for them to just wear a mask. Especially considering the fact that they were interacting with McDonald’s staff in a very public space.
Then, there are the hygiene concerns of having these large animals so close to a public eatery. Again, completely valid, considering the fact that in one of those photos you can actually see piles of horse poop on the floor by the cashier’s window. I know I have on occasion likened the taste of McDonald’s food to said poop, but that’s mostly done to be dramatic. I wouldn’t want actual poop that close to my food.
The silver lining is that The Rakyat Post found a comment from someone who saw that there was a “4wd escort” cleaning up after the horses, though I haven’t been able to find the direct link to that comment yet.
I don’t know about you, but this whole thing isn’t something I can really get behind. Sure, there is some part of this that could be considered “cool” but at this point it looks to me more like a bunch of affluent people showing off at the expense of others, and that doesn’t sit well with me.