IT wasn’t the way we’d ever expected to celebrate our son’s graduation. Then nothing has been as expected during the pandemic. But we were just happy we could get together.

The venue was the car boot in the street outside his flat. I’d baked a very ugly cake and there was warm fizz in plastic cups. He and his girlfriend chose the takeaway and opted for McDonald’s. We said we’d pick it up at the drive-through on the way there.

Being newbies to this, we were somewhat bamboozled when we got to the intercom to place our order.

Like startled rabbits, we pulled over and scurried into a parking bay to phone for instructions. Our son’s sigh was almost audible as he talked us through in baby steps how to order a Big Mac meal.

We eventually managed, but this is not an experience we’d like to endure often given the stress levels induced.

But I know we’re the oddities. McDonald’s is not a global brand by accident. The company is very good at what it does.

The National:

Nevertheless, the burger kings (we’ll probably be sued for this line) have come under fire for deviating from their stock-in-trade.

Starting last week for a limited time, customers can enjoy a new set of “menu hacks”, a concept which has become popular in recent years and allows diners to customize creations from existing items on fast-food chain menus. The McDonald’s offering includes a sandwich called Land, Air And Sea, combining fish, beef and chicken ... a bird which, perversely, doesn’t fly much. The components are sold as separate sandwiches and customers have to unwrap them and build them themselves. If you’re after fast food, I suggest you look elsewhere. This sounds a total guddle.

Why anyone would contemplate combining a chicken sandwich, Big Mac and Filet-O-Fish is beyond my ken, but what do I know? I barely managed a cheeseburger without getting red gloop down my front. And what happens to all the leftover buns once these components have been deconstructed?

If you don’t fancy the land, sea, air combo, there’s also the Crunchy Double – a double cheeseburger to fill with six chicken nuggets.

Now I’m beginning to feel a little queasy.

The new menu has been met with a variety of reactions online and, unsurprisingly, not everybody’s lovin’ it.

“Three-quarters of those McDonald’s ‘menu hacks’ make me deeply uncomfortable because I can only see them as something you’d put together alone in your dark kitchen when your depression is at absolute rock bottom,” one person tweeted.

Another wrote: “McDonald’s new menu ‘hacks’ include the ‘Land, Air & Sea,’ which at 1330 calories probably can be ordered as ‘The Widow-maker.’ Skip the fries, order an accompanying cholesterol test.”

Those 1330 calories includes 69 grams of fat, 19 grams of sugar, 2150 milligrams of sodium, 123 grams of total carbs and 160 milligrams of cholesterol, or 53% of one’s daily values based on a 2000 calorie diet.

But, hey – think of all the calories you burn in the assembly process.