As far as live streams go, it may not be the most engaging one you’ve ever seen. But the real-time video feed of a McDonald’s hamburger and fries is a little more than just a piece of aging junk food sitting under a light. No, really, it is.
For here we have a piece of Icelandic history happening right before our eyes. Sure, it can’t quite compete with the cultural heritage site of Thingvellir where the country’s general assembly met for hundreds of years from 930 (that’s the year 930, not 930 in the morning), but for a piece of fast-food-based modern history, it surely can’t be beat.
So what’s this all about, exactly? Well, following Iceland’s economic crash toward the end of 2008, McDonald’s hightailed it out of the country after noticing that Icelanders weren’t interested in its culinary offerings when times were hard.
On the final day of business in October 2009, a local guy called Hjörtur Smárason decided he wanted to buy what’s come to be known as ‘the last McDonald’s hamburger in Iceland.’
After a period of time languishing in Smárason’s garage, this edible-ish piece of history caught the attention of the National Museum of Iceland, suggesting that it had either a fascination for quirky artifacts, or simply a chronic shortage of exhibits.
Whatever the case, the museum recently appeared to lose interest in the maturing meal and went to dump it in the trash can. But Smárason, evidently with a different understanding as to the item’s value, decided to step in and save it. Keen to share this piece of Icelandic history with his fellow citizens, as well as visitors to the island nation, he handed it to friends at the Bus Hostel in Reykjavik.
And now, thanks to the hostel’s decision to live stream it, everyone around the world with an Internet connection can now marvel at this exceptional object, the last McDonald’s hamburger in Iceland.
While live streaming a burger and fries may, in the minds of many, seem like a groundbreaking and innovative move on behalf of the Icelandic hostel, perhaps more remarkable is the fact that the food hasn’t turned moldy, leaving us to wonder more than ever about what exactly goes into the making of such a meal.