To be quite honest with you, there have been times where if someone came up to me at the local McDonalds and asked if I’d rather eat my own hand than sit there another five minutes while my children went up and down the McSlide, I’d be slathering my hand in whipped butter and McSyrup in readiness. And yes, I really do believe there are people who wander the globe presenting unsuspecting others with this particular proposition all the time, actually.
The other day, however, I had the pleasure of KT’s company as we oversaw the playground antics of the six children that happened to be in our care that happy happy day. And so involved were they in those antics, KT and I actually had an opportunity to have a Real Conversation, perhaps even talk about “thrush”, “penis size” and “grey areas in the definition in Tier-1 capital ratios in Australia’s banking system” like men think we do when they’re not around. Except we went and threw it all away on a vent about McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.
In truth, there’s not much that’s happy about a Happy Meal. Just ask the woman sitting behind us who exclaimed loudly “Aw, the stupid bitch didn’t give us any fries with the fucking happy meal.” Not happy, people. NOT. HAPPY.
But at least the kids are happy, I always say. Happy at least until the over-processed sugar, fat and salt content kicks in and they turn completely utterly McFeral. Which is why there legally has to be an enclosed playground on site to let them sweat it out of their system. Consider it a kind of kiddy rehab.
Even as I write this thing, I can hear the loud tutting of certain readers above my keyboard strokes. “We’re so disappointed in you, NDM! We thought you were a better parent than that. Fancy feeding your children junk food.”
But listen up, people: this blog post isn’t about my failings as a parent (for once). It’s about the failings of the Happy Meal Toy. So stop your tutting and let me get on with my rabid-monkey rant.
I mean, there in front of KT and I was an Ice Age 3 toy with components that were so ill-fitting that even I, with my Advanced Diploma at Toy Assemblage, was struggling to see how it was supposed to click together without requiring round-the-clock parental assistance to hold it in place.
“Look at this!” I said, angrily. “This is stupid. It’s almost as bad as the Monsters vs. Aliens toy which had three separate bits which, as you tried to click them into place, would send the other bits flying like a ballistic missile across the restaurant into somebody’s Cadbury Dairy Milk Deluxe McFlurry.”
And we began to list other Happy Meal toys that have ruined our lives:
Like the ones that don’t have an ON-OFF button and mysteriously go off all poltergeist-like in the night.
And the ones that do have an ON-OFF button but one that’s designed to be operated by someone with Barbie-sized fingers and not an NDM having a Godzilla-sized temper tantrum.
And the ones that say stuff that you can’t even understand. There was an A Night At The Museum toy that appeared to say “You give me cum, cum. You will run, run!” and actually caused me to lose sleep.
And the ones that actually don’t do ANYTHING, but are just Stupid Stuffed Toys. As if we don’t have enough of those already, mister.
And the worst thing about all: they all come as part of a set along with the invitation to “Collect them all!” which the kids seem to regard as a Direct Order from Ronald McDonald Himself.
Ah, Happy Meal Toys. Yes, they initially buy me fifteen minutes happiness, but after that…
One thing is for certain: if you were to place every single McDonalds’ Happy Meal Toy one on top of another, you’d have a ready-made pathway to another planet not already being ruined by such a frivolous use of non-recyclable plastics.
And the charity shops would have no toys to sell.
And my house would be remarkably clutter-free.
And I’d have to go back to bitching about Thomas toys.