Saturday, March 17, 2012

End of an Era...

Ok I admit it, I am not exactly heartbroken about this, but it's a little neighborhood trivia my faraway kids might find interesting. They are demolishing and rebuilding the McDonalds 2 blocks from my house. I'm not a big Mcdonalds fan, or fast food fan in general, but regardless, I have been in the local McD's on more than one occasion. What parent didn't induldge their kids desire for a "Happy Meal" and toy now and then?

If kids desire for McNuggets and toys was not enough, when my kids were preschoolers they added one of those huge playplaces to "our" McDonalds. Talk about having an attractive nuisance in the neighborhood. Our first trip there, for the grand opening, was a disaster. One of the playthings was a computer game. A CRT and computer equipment in a box, kids excitedly hovering around, checking out the game. 18 or so years ago computer games were still pretty new and excinting. Next thing you know my son is crying. The door hiding the computer equipment was not locked, and some kid fidgiting with the door slammed Matts finger in it. Bad enough that I had to take him to the doctor, because I thought he needed stitches. Which he did, but they didn't do because it would have required them pulling off his fingernail. Eek. Of course I was livid, and from the doctors office went straight back to McDonalds, toting my boy with hugely bandaged mitten of hand, so I could speak the manager. I demanded that they lock up that box, as I did not any other child to get hurt. The box was locked, and Matt got an ice cream cone. I suppose most people would have sued McDonalds, or at least gotten the doctor bill paid for, but I'm not that kind of person, and all these year later I still joke about how I'd be rich if I'd only sued McDonalds when I had the chance.

Unfortunately, that small misfortune did not deter my kids desire to visit the McDonalds playplace. Judging from the size of the box of Happy Meal toys that still takes up space in my storage room, my kids may have been overindulged. This all ended with an incident a few years later. Matt came out of the ball pit with a question - "Mommy, what is this brown stuff on my leg?" Well, it didn't take rocket science to figure out what that brown stuff was... and he, as well as the rest of the family, was pretty disgusted. In some ways that was the best day of my life, because after that the kids never asked to go back the play place again.

I wish that totally ended my McDonald patronage, but I have to admit that there were quite a few "bad mother moments" where a schoolday breakfast for the kids was quick trip thought the drive through for a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. That was also forever ago, as I don't think I've set foot in McDonalds in 8 or 10 years. I doubt the kids have either, because despite the fast food indulgences of their childhood, both became young adults who only want healthy, organic, and in Sarah's case, vegetarian food. I do wonder though if they will be a bit nostalgic about the destruction of the McDonalds of their childhood.

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