What does the following sentence mean? ( I know each word's meaning in the sentence)

James, a self-confessed petrolhead , offered up the car in a post titled: 'We’re Giving Away The Most Disgusting Peugeot The World Has Ever Seen.' He said: 'Just how badly do you treat your car? 'I bet it isn't as bad as this stinking, petri dish of McDonald's infested filth my step daughter calls her wheels.'

The article

  • It means she believes her daughter's car is unclean: stinking = smells bad, petri dish = device in which germs are grown, bacteria are cultivated, etc, McDonald's infested = filled with litter from McDonald's fast food chain, such as empty french fry containers, burger wrappers, etc, probably because the daughter eats in her car, and of course wheels = metonymy for car.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:02
  • Hillarious! I question the comma though (I know it's in the original article) - could someone with better grammar skills check this, please?
    – Stephie
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:04
  • 1
    ...stinking petri dish of McDonald's-infested filth (which) my stepdaughter calls her wheels. (Wheels is slang for car.) Compare "that heap of scrap he calls his car" or "that bowl of foul-smelling slop he calls soup". The rhetorical structure is common.
    – TimR
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:42
  • 1
    How many miles did it have on the clock?
    – user6951
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 16:46
  • You do notice that the sentence in question does not, technically, answer the question of the previous sentence.
    – user6951
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


The punctuation isn't quite correct. No comma required, and "McDonald's-infested" should be hyphenated since it is a compound modifier describing the kind of filth in the car:

I bet it isn't as bad as this stinking petri dish of McDonald's-infested filth my step daughter calls her 'wheels'.

"Wheels" is a slang term for a vehicle. As explained above in comments, a petri dish is a little plastic plate used to grow (or "culture") bacteria.

The speaker is stating that his daughter's car is a disgusting mess full of McDonald's refuse (trash/lost french fries, etc) which smells very bad and could very well be growing mold.

It's certainly a colorful, vivid description!


Petri dish is something we doctors use to culture bacteria. This is a witty remark to refer to the car which must be having colonies of bacteria! Since McD is (in?)famous for its junk food and is popular among youngsters, he just quoted it. Or, his daughter might be a McD-fan! :)

The person is just telling that his daughter is calling this vehicle (which is no less than a petri dish) as her car.

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