It is always like McDonald's to do some hardcore experimenting. I recall the excitement when the first ever "McDiner" opened in our small town of Kokomo, Indiana. Everywhere one would go, they would hear immense gossip like, "Are they really going to have diner food at McDonald's?" You bet your silly ass they did. They had some of the best mashed potatoes I had ever tasted. And you haven't lived my friend until you have had a McSteak or a McLobster. Yeah, we were all putting on the ritz and having the time of our lives until the inevitable occurred. The experiment failed, and all stupid ideas must come to an end eventually.
This brings me to McDonald's current experiment in Schaumburg, Illinois, at its Woodfield Mall location where an in-store media concept is being trialed. Thanks to Akoo, the experiment will allow any poor sap to play his/her music of choice in a designated area of the restaurant using a mobile phone, laptop, WiFi-enabled device, or telepathy. Someone who gets paid way too much to come up with these things is dubbing the concept, m-Venue. The catch is that the customer will be lucky enough to skim through a "vast" selection of on-demand music and video content offered from Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and others with the grand opportunity to "pay to play."
Of course, the concept is meant to be like a jukebox of the future. But let's face the fact that some douche will ruin this. And I'm not implying that the concept isn't already a shit-in-the-pants waiting to happen, but maybe it could have been "neato." This further brings me back to my glory hole days — um, glory days — when I went to a little Italian establishment with one lone jukebox. I felt the Holy Ghost spring through my entire body once I noticed the jukebox sign, "$20 for 100 plays." I thought that it had to be some sort of mistake, but it was as if God lowered his hairy right hand from the heavens to hand me a $20 bill and whisper into my ear, Go ahead, Greg. Play "Skat Man" 100 times! And so "Skat Man" became the anthem of the night until the place got robbed later that evening. One lady got shot in the arm. I shit you not. She messed up my order though.
My point, if there is a point to all of this, is that someone will easily play "Sweet Home Alabama" a dozen times and hog the technology just as Fonzie did. John O'Keefe, owner and Mayor McCheese of Shaumburg, claims that since the opening of m-Venue the restaurant's sales have risen 17% compared to sales from last year. So does this mean that e-Venue is a success? With ten multimedia flat-panel screens, one may infer this concept to drive novelty appeal until people stop caring, and then the realization of wasted money occurs. I'm not trying to be biased here. I am just speaking from experience. Another crazy concept would be to have live music at McDonald's. But who would really want to listen to other peoples' crap? I'm just going to stay happy with my Café McDonald's that has a piano that plays by itself. I fucking love that piano.