Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's NewsWatch: Where the wild MegaMacs roam

You gotta be careful. If Linkou's stray dogs don't start gnawing at your pet goat, then a certain fast food chain will lure you into stores with more beef than you can believe. Thank the heavens that superstar forensics maestro Henry Lee can put it all into perspective

By Johnny Neihu

Is it possible that the Chinese-language newspapers have too many pages?

Take the Apple Daily, for example. If you really wanted to get your NT$15 worth, you would need to spend the entire day poring over the pages of celebrity gossip, gory pictures and gruesome graphical reconstructions, which would leave little time to watch cable news and get your daily fix of celebrity gossip, gory images and gruesome live footage.

Having too much space to fill is probably why some of the nation's lower quality rags like to make stories up, and maybe that's why every time Wang Chien-ming (王建民), the new "son of Taiwan" (move over A-bian (陳水扁), your time is up), exercises his right arm for the Bronx Bombers he gets splashed across at least four pages -- including the cover -- of every major daily in glorious technicolor.

Of course we should be proud of him, but with a huge double-spread of "Big Wang" every few days the average teenage fan must have enough posters to cover Taipei 101 from top to toe.

Speaking of Taiwan's most famous export to the Big Apple since Madame Chiang Kai-shek (宋美齡), I know it's customary to take advantage of one's popularity and make hay while the sun shines, but does Wang need to try to outdo S.H.E in the endorsement stakes? Is US$500,000 a year not enough?

Come to think of it, if you consider how much money other Major League Baseball players make and the fact that he lives in New York, then no, probably not.

Maybe the government should consider employing Wang as a poster boy in the fight against the ill treatment of foreign laborers. It's a familiar story: talented youngster arrives in a strange land with a highly desirable skill, but the cold-hearted capitalists in said foreign land take advantage of him, work him to the bone and pay him a fraction of what he is worth.

This would be an ideal way for Wang to help improve the nation's image, boost his meager income and tug at the heartstrings of the most heartless Taiwanese sweatshop owner.

But back to his endorsements. Right now Wang seems to be on our television screens more than Little S (S). If he's not teaching the retarded staff of E.Sun bank how to do the "OK" hand signal, then he's helping that clown Ronald McDonald peddle his burgers to the nation's lovers of fast food.

Don't expect it to be too long before 7-Eleven comes out with a set of 40 Wang meets Hello Kitty and Doraemon MRT card-holder fridge-magnet Swiss army knives.

The current McDonald's promotion using Wang is for the MegaMac (無敵大麥克) -- a sort of Big Mac on steroids.

A MegaMac consists of a Big Mac with two extra beef patties. That's four patties for the uninitiated (and by my rudimentary calculations, Big Mac + 2 x beef patties [i.e. double hamburger minus single hamburger] = 730 calories). Sorry, but Ronald doesn't include that little tidbit of nutritional info on the McDonald's Taiwan Web site.

Throw in (excuse the pun) a medium Coke and fries, as is customary on a visit to the Golden Arches, and that's a whopping 1,240 calories, or 77 percent of the Department of Health's recommended daily intake for kids of 1,600 calories, and around 120 percent of the recommended daily intake of 44 grams of fat.

Are you lovin' it now, chubby?

It must have been lifting all those megaburgers as a youngster in Tainan that helped Wang to develop such a powerful right arm. Either that or the other favorite pastime of teenage boys.

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