McDonald’s will always hold a special place in my heart. Not just because it causes heart disease, but because it reminds me of my childhood.
My family lived fairly close to one and as a single Mom with four girls, it must have been like a utopia for her; a ghetto Disneyland, where she could just plunk us in the McDonald’s Play Place, throw some hamburgers at us and relax. FOR ONCE.
Oh, the joy it would bring me and my sisters. We’d play on their McPlayground, go into the McBallroom, and then we’d all sit together as a (screaming) family to indulge in our greasy treats. AND, the best part? Our Happy Meal came with a freaking TOY! Which was awesome! UNLESS one of us got a different toy.
Then it was ANARCHY.
For example, one time it was Hot Wheels/Barbie Princess week and they only had one Barbie Princess left; the rest were Hot Wheels. We were fine for roughly four minutes. We yanked the clear *caution you might suffocate on this* plastic bags out of my mother’s hands, tore them open with our teeth and zoomed our tiny shiny cars all over the table, before we suddenly realized that one sister had a Barbie Princess.
WHAT KIND OF HORSESHIT WAS THIS???
The youngest sister was quietly humming and braiding the Barbie’s hair. Our eyes narrowed as we eyeballed her figurine with envy. Then we all slammed down our crappy Hot Wheels cars and proceeded to scratch each others eyes out, knocking over milkshakes and fries to get our grubby hands on the Barbie.
“GIRLS, STOP IT!” my mother yelled as an airborne McNugget grazed her head.
My sisters and I all fell to the ground in a merry-go-round of punches.
Ronald McDonald happened to be there that day for a birthday party and rushed over to intervene.
“Don’t fight, kids! Here, I brought you some balloons.” He held out four red balloons as a peace offering.
We glanced up from our dog pile. Out of breath, we paused for a moment to assess, quickly decided balloons wouldn’t cut it and went back to scrapping.
“Come on, kids!” he continued in his sing-songy voice. “Would you like some cake? It’s chocolate…”
“STAY OUT OF IT, RONALD. This isn’t your fight.” I said through a mouthful of hair as the sister tsunami dragged me under once again.
Ronald slinked away, his red painted smile was now down-turned.
Finally I emerged victoriously at the top of the pile of bodies. Panting and bloodied, I thrust my hand up in the air with the Barbie Princess in it.
THIS. IS. SPARTA.
It was just her head.
I looked behind me. One of my other sisters was holding a tiny doll arm, the other one held the body and a chunk of blond doll hair in her hand. My youngest sister was in the fetal position.
We all started to cry.
We had officially murdered Barbie.