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The Manteca (Un)Happy Meal
Would you like fries with those complaints?
The new McDonalds at the corner of Yosemite and Commerce, top photo, will replace the citys oldest Golden Arches, bottom photo, just up the street. - photo by Photo Contributed

A new McDonald’s is opening at the corner of Yosemite and Commerce. I made the mistake of asking people how they felt about this occurrence, and did I ever open a Pandora’s Box of McQuestions with a side of anger.

 “Did we really need another McDonald’s?!” or “Great, let’s add to America’s obesity problem.” Or my personal favorite, “How about instead of a McDonald’s, building a place for us to ‘Do’ something in Manteca?!” Three questions so profoundly under thought they should come with a generic “I like to complain” warning label attached to them. Let me take a few minutes to punch holes in the general direction of these queries.

• Let’s be clear – this is not another one but a new one built to replace the one that existed next to the bowling alley. Which bowling alley you remember it being next to depends on what McEra you grew up in. I have fond memories of walking from my grandmother’s on Alameda Street, through the field that is now Strike Zone to get some McD’s before heading to the old Manteca Bowl to play video games. Yet I digress. 

We have five McDonald’s in our town. Is that too many? I don’t think so. The new one borders the Highway 99 exit, and another is along the 120 Bypass. They are hardly ours. Manteca is a Central Valley corridor city and McDonald’s would be a fool not to set up camp at spots where tens of thousands of people drive by a day. We have one in Wal-Mart, which let’s be honest, a McDonald’s inside a Wal-Mart is a city and country unto its own. Sort of the Vatican City of Gluttony. So we are left with the one at Yosemite and Union, and the one by “the Other School.” 

So to answer “Did we really need another McDonald’s?” No, not another but the new one will work. It’s going to create the worst traffic snarl in town, with people attempting to flip a U-turn on Commerce back to Yosemite. But any Mantecan worth their weight in nuggets knows that the breezeway running between Target and Jack-in-the-Box is the fix.

• “Great, let’s add to America’s obesity problem.” Am I still in America, or did I just land back in third grade? Nobody is forcing you to eat there!  I realize putting a McDonald’s No. 5 down your throat is as healthy as mainlining sludge – but it is my right correct? 

“Why not a Subway or something healthy?” some say. While Jared from Subway did lose 100 pounds eating there, he could have gained 100 pounds had he chosen off the right side of that menu. The Subway Italian or artery clogging Pastrami Melt has all the makings of Le Big Mac. Last time I checked McDonald’s does offer a healthy alternative kids meal, if so inclined. I for one find it insulting that people feel the need to babysit the choices of others. 

Here is another difference between McDonald’s and Subway: Jobs. How many employees does a Subway or any “Healthy Sandwich Shoppe” have for that matter? Eight to 10 at most? I’d venture an extremely uneducated guess that a McDonald’s employs three times that many in each store. Jobs are a good thing right? 

“... But these low-paying/unskilled jobs aren’t what we need brought into Manteca.” Excuse me?! You mean these low-paying jobs aren’t what “you” need brought into town, Scrooge McDuck? The majority of young America cuts their teeth on these positions. For someone just out of high school these jobs are perfect. If you are going to junior college, they give flexible hours and a decent wage. I was told recently of a friend of a friend who worked at McDonald’s until he graduated from college and then became a Sheriff in this county. I’m sure he’d disagree about “these types of jobs” being unneeded in our community. I realize these jobs aren’t ideal for someone attempting to raise a family, but saying that these jobs aren’t needed is tantamount to shouting “Let them eat cake! And by the way, make sure it’s low fat cake, we wouldn’t want these grunts getting chubby.”

• “Why not build a place for me to have something to ‘do?’” If this were coming out of the mouth of an 18-year-old, I’d be more inclined to entertain the question with deeper thought. But I hear this from people in their 30s. News flash: If you need your town to build a place so that that you have something to “do,” then you are a dullard that needs a hobby! There is plenty to do – visit Caswell Park, spend the day at Big League Dreams, or visit your family for God’s sake. Find something to DO! But quit complaining about it. What do you expect to be built in Manteca? No seriously, I always ask this of the people quick to point out they have nothing to do. A museum? An amusement park? Manteca is conveniently located within an hour of metropolitan San Francisco and downtown Sac, which is why half of the population lives here. It’s a matter of convenience. As for the “townies” that have grown up here and still complain they have nothing to do, why are you still here if this town doesn’t suit your needs? Merced and Turlock need residents. I’m just bored of hearing from people that want “more,” but can’t put their finger on what “more” is if it popped up on the corner of Yosemite and Commerce and asked “Would you like fries with that?”

As for the 22-year-old Economics student that sent me a three-page breakdown of “The Pervasive Nature of Corporate America overrunning small town USA,” I say gather a little more dust under your $150 Nike shoes before you become the purveyor of what this town does or doesn’t need.

• • •

Retirement Already?

Yes, after 35 years of service, the lovely Joycelyn Coit will be leaving Nile Garden School. As a former student and acquaintance of her sons, I say “Thank you for years of being an extremely patient and tolerant person.” She will now dedicate her life to husband Paul Sr., whom she recently had to ground for not picking up his guns around the house. Here’s to another 35 years of service.

• • •

Grab your flags

Every four years the greatest sporting event on the face of Mother Earth gets played – the World Cup! Let me explain to those that find soccer boring just exactly why this is so. The sport of soccer is the world’s pastime. While many people find the pace of soccer too slow to be enjoyed, I point directly to our own American pastime of baseball. Both are slow, both are low scoring, but both are loved by millions. The sport of soccer has continual motion unlike baseball. The sport of soccer has more collisions – something Americans should love – and I find soccer great for this simple reason: Any kid on Earth can become great at it. Unlike some sports that require expensive equipment, or a certain type of field to play on, soccer is universal. A 7-year-old boy in the desert of Angola can become just as good at soccer as a rich kid from Coral Gables, Fla. All it requires is a ball. No glove, no pads, no overpriced gear. Just a ball and a dream.

It is also the one sport that every four years decides a true world champion. I understand that having an NFL or NBA team take on a professional team from another country is a mismatch, and that’s why it’s unnecessary to do. But the sport of soccer is played on a pro level in nearly every country on Earth. There is nothing better than watching countries battle in sport. 

The back stories alone make the matches bigger than just a game of soccer. The U.S. plays Germany in the opening round. I believe there may be a rivalry going back to two World Wars between these countries. There are European countries that have been at war with each other since the 1600s. Asian countries. South American. African. And it’s all settled on the field. It’s the whole world battling for one trophy. How can it get any better than that? 

We, as Americans, have it better than anyone else. We live in a melting pot, which, unlike other sports, gives us the opportunity to root for several teams without having our “Man Card” called in doing so. I for one will be rooting for Portugal – yes, even against the U.S. – and why? Because the U.S has plenty of sports they are far superior at and I’ve been rooting for Portugal to win the World Cup for years; during years that the U.S. didn’t even qualify. Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for the U.S. against all other squads, and will adopt them as my team if heaven forbid Portugal gets knocked out again. I have friends that are German-French, Italian-Dutch, and Japanese-Mexican. They have the luxury of three teams to root for. And if you are a good old American Heinz 57, just slap on your Red, White, and Blue. 

So pick up the flags of your nationalities and root for your heritage like a crazy person over the next few weeks. It only happens every four years ... and ruling the world is what’s at stake. 

Forca Portugal!

• • •

Rally around Jonathan

On Thursday, June 19, a drive-thru dinner will be held in support of 15-year-old Manteca High student Jonathan Loon. Jonathan was injured in a Highway 120 accident at the beginning of April and has remained in ICU since. His mother Raquel has been at his bedside ever since and has been unable to return to work. The dinner will be held at Fagundes Meats on Thursday evening. Tickets are only $15 and can be picked up at St. Anthony’s Church or by contacting Dawn 209.481.2448 or Kelly 408.386.4680. Dinner includes tri-tip, chicken, Italian beans, scalloped potatoes and fixin’s. Help a local family in need. A community that eats together, stays together.

“It’s not Where ya do, it’s What ya do.”


Contact Chris Teicheira at for an extremely delayed response.