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McDonald's Says Go Crazy! Be Yourself!

I had occasion to amble through a McDonald's the other day (the occasion being the closure of the bathroom at the gas station next door), and noticed there was a serving of Chicken McNugget sauce on almost every table. But nobody was eating nuggets.

McDonald's customers, it appears, are co-opting the dips and sauces intended for chicken nuggets and chicken breast strips. They're personalizing the generic fast-food experience by coating their French fries with buffalo sauce and slathering hot mustard on their burgers.

Or, at least that's what's apparently happening at a random McDonald's near Central Expressway. I rang up corporate headquarters to learn whether the company had documented the phenomenon of reappropriated condiments.

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"We don't have any specific measurements," spokeswoman Nicole Neal told me.

McDonald's doesn't quiz its customers on what they plan to do with their creamy ranch or honey mustard sauces. (There are now so many different sauces available at McDonald's that Neal couldn't immediately count them up: She offered to think on it and e-mail me later.) But Neal says the fast food giant's supportive of customers individualizing their meals.

"We offer variety for our customers, and that involves them having food the way they want it," Neal says. "It's about having fun in our restaurants."

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