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Jewish World Review March 8, 2004 / 15 Adar, 5764

Lenore Skenazy

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Consumer Reports

If CEOs supersized values ... | McDonald's is ditching its most gluttonous portions of French fries and drinks as it faces growing criticism that its menu is fueling the bulging of America.

New York Daily News, March 4

Yikes! McDonald's going goody-goody? Doing the right thing? Putting the welfare of its customers first? Just how does that make the rest of corporate America look?

Panicked at being left behind on the new corporate responsibility front, companies across America are reacting fast and furiously to the burger chain's goody-two-shoes turnaround.

In a hastily organized press conference, Virginia-based Philip Morris announced today that it would begin phasing out the smokable items that had long been considered its "signature" products.

"This is in no way a response to all those pesky lawsuits filed on behalf of dead people," said company spokesman Jamie Drogan, interrupting himself to hock a loogie. "We simply think the time has come to concentrate on our other areas of strength, like wicker baskets woven from tobacco plants and an exciting new line of disposable tobacco-leaf fans."

Elsewhere, Sprint execs summoned business reporters to announce that, starting at 6 o'clock tonight, all Sprint telephone solicitors will refrain from calling would-be customers and asking them to switch long-distance service.

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"From now on, when a Sprint representative calls, it will only be to say hi and perhaps share a joke or an inspirational thought," said Sprint spokeswoman Candice Bergen. "It was never our intent to interrupt anyone's dinner or, heaven forfend, make them reconsider their phone service. I hope America understands that."

Over at General Electric, former CEO Jack Welch was spotted dragging a Hoover to the banks of the Hudson, vowing to "vacuum this darn river until it sparkles. After all, that's my job, right? Make the environment a little better than I found it? I think of myself as a sort of Ray Kroc for the river."

Meanwhile, in a surprise appearance at the North Shore Lincoln Mercury showroom in Port Jefferson, L.I., Ford CEO Alex Trotman hoisted a sledgehammer over his head and ran helter-skelter at a 2004 Explorer. "Aiieeee! Who needs a car this size? Nobody!" he shrieked, whacking the windshield. "It's stupid!" He whacked the sunroof. "A waste!" He whacked the door. "I spit on this gas guzzling monstrosity!" He buried the sledgehammer in the driver's seat, causing the air bag to explode as several dozen dealers whooped and popped the champagne.

The sound of champagne corks reminded a visiting Budweiser distributor of the beer he had yet to deliver to the minimart down the road. "No way!" cried the Bud employee, running out to his truck with a blowtorch. "I know that plenty of kids are expecting their older brothers to buy them this Bud tonight and then get drunk, throw up or, worse, drive. I've got news for them!" he shouted, aiming the flame at his gas tank. "This Bud's not for you!"

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JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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