Would You Like Fries With That?

by Jason Kotecki on · 19 comments

“Would you like fries with that?”

This sim­ple yet bril­liant ques­tion helped McDonald’s make billions.

It even­tu­ally mor­phed into, “Would you like to super-size that?” which became a sym­bol of our culture’s nasty habit of overconsumption.

Indeed, we are con­di­tioned to want more stuff. Big­ger homes. Bet­ter appli­ances. Faster cars. Fancier vaca­tions. I’m skep­ti­cal whether we are bet­ter off because of it.

But there’s one ques­tion we should ask our­selves more often. It has the ben­e­fit of not only leav­ing our waist­lines intact and our homes less clut­tered, but would decrease our over­all stress lev­els as well:

“Would you like fun with that?”

I’ve never encoun­tered a study alert­ing us to the neg­a­tive effects of too much fun, and indeed, the world is aching for silli­ness. But Adul­ti­tis has us con­di­tioned to believe that fun is merely a sliver of the over­crowded pie chart that is life bal­ance. You work, you run errands, you do chores, you chauf­feur your kids to soc­cer prac­tice. If there’s enough time left at the end of the week, then maybe, just maybe, you are allowed to have a lit­tle bit of fun. And once in a while, the cal­en­dar gives you per­mis­sion to do things like dress up in silly cos­tumes or blow stuff up, but only if the date hap­pens to be accom­pa­nied by fine print that says some­thing like “Hal­loween” or “Inde­pen­dence Day.”

But wouldn’t work be bet­ter if it came with a side of fun? What about errands? Or chores? Or those every­day road trips with the family?

In case you’re scor­ing at home: yes, yes, yes, and um, yes.

What would your life look like if you always made it a habit to ask, “Would you like fun with that?”

It might inspire you to make some ugly cook­ies to share with your coworkers.

It might inspire you tell a funny joke to the check­out per­son at the gro­cery store.

It might inspire you to make crazy bets with your spouse to see who has to do laun­dry this week.

It might inspire you to insti­gate reg­u­lar Chi­nese fire drills with your family.

When we take the time to ask this sim­ple ques­tion, and when we take the lit­tle effort it requires to answer said ques­tion with a big, fat, unapolo­getic “Hells yeah!”, we end up cre­at­ing what I like to call “scenes.” And even though we may spend most of our days fret­ting over seri­ous things like the econ­omy and health care and the war on ter­ror, when you get to the end of your life, and have gath­ered your friends and fam­ily around your death bed to share your last days and moments, those big, seri­ous things never seem to make the con­ver­sa­tion. You know what does? The lit­tle things. The scenes we cre­ated with one another.

It’s the scenes that mat­ter most in the end.

So do your­self a favor. Every time you’re faced with some seem­ingly mun­dane or oth­er­wise unex­cit­ing use of your time, ask your­self this sim­ple question:

Would you like fun with that?”

And don’t for­get to super-size it.

by Jason Kotecki

Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and pro­fes­sional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a for­mer kinder­garten teacher) make it their mis­sion in life to fight Adul­ti­tis and help peo­ple use strate­gies from child­hood to design lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escap­ing adulthood.
Jason Kotecki
View all posts by Jason Kotecki

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