I was in a McDonalds recently, just about to get my happy meal on (head hanging in shame) when I witnessed something even more disturbing than my total loss of dignity to a sugar/carb craving. There was a little boy in line ahead of me (who we will call Damien for the sake of this article) who had “a fit”. I’m not a child psychiatrist, but I did take a developmental psychology course at BU in 2001, so I’m going to go ahead find myself qualified to diagnose Damien with ADHD.
Damien’s mother had ordered a McFish Filet, which anyone who frequents McDonalds should know is going to take a little bit longer at times because its not always “ready”.
I assume the McFish doesn’t sit well. Common sense tells me it can’t have the same turnover rate as a Big Mac, so they might have a policy of just waiting until someone orders it to make it.
Anyhoo… Damien decided that the wait was way too long.
Really, who can blame him?
I was certainly bouncing off the walls behind him, lusting in my heart with pornographic culinary fantasies about the naughty things I was about to do with my happy meal-- and I don’t even have ADHD.
I’ve been getting happy with my McDonald’s happy meal since I was 3 years old. Anyone offended by this confession, please have compassion. From the evil plotting by Big Tobacco with kid friendly advertising using Joe Camel cartoons to lure me in, to the drug pusher who we all know from the Public Service commercials hangs by the swig set during recess, asking innocent kids if they “really want to fly?”, well-- I never had a fighting chance against the power of McDonalds! They got me when I was young!!
Sometimes, out of the clear blue AND after endless preaching about the wonders of the Master Cleanse Detox (while I’m reintroducing my regular diet to my system by sucking on a cigarette and knocking back a Draft of Guinness) I find myself driving directly to McDonalds to indulge in my shameful high.
Let me give it to you nasty. We’re all adults here and we should really just keep it real.
This is how I do my happy meal:
I like to stack the French fries on my burger in a painstaking manner that begins by first making sure that ALL fries are the exact same length. I achieve this feat by biting off little bits from some pieces to get them perfectly even. I then lay the fries in criss crossing rows over the “meat”.
Usually a happy meal will give you two perfect rows of 7 fries. The short fries and the burnt fries offend me. They aren’t good enough for this exercise, so they must go directly into my mouth.
As Damien and his peeps awaited their bag of cholesterol, I was forming a crystal clear vision of my teeth clamping down on the little ketchup bag, ripping it open with gusto and squeezing it in a wave pattern over my meticulously stacked fries.
Would one bag of ketchup be enough?
“No” I mouthed to myself as a knowing smile crept over my face and I made a mental note to ask for three ketchups.
“There is no need to waste” my logical mind noted. “I care about the environment after all! Like Al Gore said, we ALL have to do our part. It’s so disturbing how they give you two ketchup bags and then when you ask for more, they hand you like seven more bags!”
At this realization I looked up judgmentally at the McDonald’s employee who obvious never considered how irresponsible this kind of wanton ketchup dispersion is to mother earth. Can’t they just ask people exactly how many they want?
“Its like they just don’t get it!” my internal dialogue continued as I shook my head at this carelessness.
“Well, maybe they don’t care... but I do. I care deeply about not adding to the waste in the world, so I will ask them to give me EXACTLY three ketchups. I don’t want to end up putting them in my car like last time, thinking I’ll use them later. God, what a mess that was!”
As I launched into a memory of trying to clean the gooey ketchup from the cup holder in my car, a sudden burst of energy from Damien demanded my full and immediate attention.
He wiggled violently out of his mothers grip, screamed at the top of his precious little lungs and commenced a wonderfully spirited assault on a life-sized cardboard cutout of Ronald McDonald and friends that stood to our immediate left.
It’s possible Damien has been taking Taekwondo because he got into something like a Bruce Lee stance before unloading on Ronald and his boys.
He did a roundhouse kick and included some “Yah!” when making contact with his cardboard adversary.
I watched jealously, wanting as always to join in with Damien in this chaotic and pointless activity that is somewhat socially unacceptable after age 15.
Damien’s mother was, in my assessment, a bit slow to respond to Damien. She was still holding his sister’s hand and standing in her secure spot next to the register waiting for her stinky McFish to arrive.
She gazed over at her out of control child with a glossed over look that I like to call “The Laura Bush”. (From now on, when you see a woman looking with a blissful gaze at her jack ass of a husband, boyfriend, son etc…. just call it “The Laura Bush”)
Damien’s father however was fairly quick to the scene. He crouched down closer to Damien’s height and said to his bleary eyed, red-faced son, “Now I know it’s hard to wait Damien, but we don’t hit things that belong to other people.”
Damien screamed “Yah!” and kicked the cutout again.
Damien’s mother dropped the hand of his little sister and went over to include her assistance to her troubled child.
“That’s right Damien. Hitting is wrong. All of these people are waiting in line as well and we have to be patient juuuuust liiiiike theeeeem,” she pointed out.
His mother then turned slightly around and caught my eye and gave me a look that implied “Kids! What are you gonna do?”
Damien was really turning a shade of purple now and responded to the obvious wisdom and logic of his parents by punching Ronald again and letting out a robust and high-pitched scream. Mariah Carey’s end to “Someday” comes to mind:
“somedaaaaay, eeeee, eh-ee. Eh-ee, eh-ee eh-eay-bay yeah”
(On a side note, thank god she doesn’t feel the need to prove how amazing her range is in every freakin song anymore!)
Damien’s parents continued to talk to him, he continued to freak out, their food got to the counter, they comforted him and tried to get him excited about his food and tried to get him excited about his happy meal toy. And I watched in amazement at the whole nutty thing.
Once again the insanity of the culture amused the crap out of me.
I got to the counter asked for my three ketchups and as I stacked my fries on my happy meal and injected my body with a dose of something preservative rich and instantly gratifying, I shook my head thinking how irresponsible giving children with behavioral problems that much sugar is.
I then made a promise to smack the sh*t out of my child if they ever acted that way rather than try to have a conversation.
I then promised that if I did smack the sh*t out of my child I would do it in the bathroom so no one would stand there thinking I was an abusive parent.
I then decided that’s why Oprah never had kids, because she wouldn’t want to be a disciplinarian.
I then vowed that I would feed my kids only organic, healthy food and never take them to McDonalds or put them on Ritalin or Adderall even if they did have ADD or ADHD because that’s basically just cocaine’s cousin.
I then thought perhaps it would be wise to go ahead and get my kids the ADHD diagnoses but not actually give them meds but rather save it for myself for really tough Spring cleaning sessions.
I opened my purse popped out the Thursday and Friday birth control pills I forgot to take and washed them down with my happy meal size coke.
At least I get a happy meal size.
Why do adults think they need such large portions?
People just don’t take care of themselves the way they should these days….
- Katie Rost