Tag Archives: Grimace

A Very McRib Halloween!

Written and illustrated by Andrew Blumetti BOOMETTI

Holy moly on toast, we’re finally here!

Before our mouths start watering for delicious turkeys and the stores become packed to the brim with mistletoe and holly, we still have enough gas in the tank for one last spooky blast on this lovely October 31st.

But… well… did you notice something is a bit different?   Call me nuts, but I’ve got that sinking feeling something just doesn’t feel totally right.  Kind of like when Urkel’s voice hit puberty and that squeak of his soon morphed into a sound one would best describe as an alley cat vomiting on top another alley cat vomiting on a hobo being run over by a street sweeper playing Nickelback at full volume.

Let’s do a checklist…

  1. Bags of candy are ready for the trick-or-treaters?  CHECK.
  2. Is my Halloween display is at full tiltCHECK.
  3. Have I now eaten all of said bags of candy, leaving the trick-or-treaters crap outta luck?  DOUBLE CHECK.

Well, that survey is clearly air tight… so why does it feel like something’s simply off this October?  Reminds me of when they switched Harleys on Boy Meets World for one episode, not thinking we’d even notice.

“Dear Adam Scott, please get me an autograph from Ron Swanson.
Thank you,
Original Harley

Wait a pumpkin pickin’ minute…

EUREKA!  Much like Catherine O’Hara finally realizing she left Kevin McCallister at home by himself for Christmas, it’s hit me!

WHERE’S THE FREAKIN’ McRIB?!?

It’s been an oh-so tasty October tradition for years as those McDonald’s golden arches become a bit more greasy shinier when our collective mouthbuds salivate in all their fast food barbecue-y glory at the sight of this limited-time-menu item.

Never before have sauce-slathered pork, pickles and onions created such a rabid cult following, as rib-heads chase this high-caloric thing around the country as if Jerry Garcia was wailing away on it with his nine-and-a-half fingers.

JerryGarcia

Wait, I’M Jerry Garcia?!?  Man, am I fried! 

Usually, the phantom sandwich nestles it’s way into our beating hearts for just a few short delicious weeks, eventually rushing back into hibernation for another agonizing 11-months that we have to live with just stupid regular food.

In 2012, the Mickey-D’s powers-that-be ponderously decided to delay the McRib’s usual autumn release until December, to strengthen a usually slow-sales period, help anticipation grow, and make Santa even fatter. 

So far, the porkless wait is excruciating as this fall seems to be following the same test-your-fast food-patience pattern as last year, although according to Facebook’s McRib Locator, this currently flatlined ribless-autumn may finally have a blip of a heartbeat as elusive scattered McRib sightings have started showing up in select states. Hopefully leading into what hopefully will be a full-scale release before year’s end so I won’t have to keep writing weekly angry letters to the Hamburglar.

So, it makes you wonder… with all this newly-found time off, just how has the McRib been spending his downtime this Halloween season?

Lucky for us, the aggressive paparazzi never sleeps a wink, and being the invasive monsters they are, TMZ happened to snap a few pictures of just what happens when mass-produced pork has the time of its McLife.

Strap in folks, things are gonna get saucy

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  • You can believe McRib’s shaking in his boots watching things go bump in the night in during a Paranormal Activity marathon

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  • Everyone knows no Halloween season is complete without going all horror punk and blasting some Misfits.
  • His playlist:
  1. “HyRIB Moments”
  2. “Return of the Fries”
  3. “We Are 13-Ate”


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  • One cult following meets another as McRib crossdresses and hits up a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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  • The horror!   Ribby’s spilled his Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin coffee!!

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  • Too many Snickers!!   C’mon McRib, lay off the Halloween candy!

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  • Finally, no proper Halloween is complete without spookin’ your McDonald’s brethren as the McRib zombie.  Behold… THE WALKING BREAD!!!

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Have a safe, happy, and sugary Halloween everyone!  It’s been a fun month, and a blast to celebrate with all of you.  Catch ya in November!

Andrew

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Halloween, Humor, Pop Culture

The Horrors of the McDonald’s Playground: A Walk Down Memory Lane

By Andrew Blumetti

As if writing about Skippy from Family Ties and TGIF hasn’t dated me much so far, I’m certain the following will surely peg me as an ancient McNugget lovin’ dinosaur, cobwebs intact.

(insert semi-horrible Andy Rooney impression here… but without the messy desk)

With the seemingly never-ending onslaught of new-fangled gizmos and gadgets readily available today, every grade-school scamp is virtually a walking Best Buy store with a backpack.  If an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, these tweens will live to be nearly a day short of one-hundred.

You have your fancy I-this and your spiffy I-that.  Geez cheese Louise, they’re so tethered to their modern electronics, the only thing that you don’t see follow the “I” is “played outside after school with my friends“.

(end impression here.)

Now, I may only be a child of the 80’s—  a simpler time of a feathery-haired Tony Danza, infinite cans of Aqua Net, and the gravity-defying locks of A Flock of Seagulls, but rest assured, it’s a cold, cold realization that smacks you square in the jaw when even my generation is starting to sound curmudgeonly.

Even in said decade, growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, there was a wealth of fun activities to occupy a young boy’s time on a sunny summer afternoon–  endless games of stickball in the park, weaving in and out of local traffic on your bike, impressing the schoolgirls with the newest skateboarding tricks (or more specifically, “falling off a skateboard”), or perhaps a refreshing dip in a friend’s heavily-chlorined pool was the ideal way to spend your time.

Amongst all that classic-American fun in the sun, certain days really stood out from the others.  Most specifically, being told that an afternoon trip to McDonald’s was being planned, simple as it sounds, now that was a reason to celebrate.

Sure, the sizzling golden fries were soaked in pure saturated happiness, and the Happy Meal box was filled with LEGO sets that were practically as good as gone by the time we got to the table, but going to Mickey-D’s included one other added attraction, one that wasn’t deep fried or dunked in honey mustard…

tumblr_inline_nnyl1kUQCW1sg101c_500

An innocent land of child-like whimsy and wonder… OR IS IT????

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Sadly, most current McDonald’s locations don’t feature these outlandish relics anymore–  A 4,000 square foot outdoor play-area, not much different than any standard cookie-cutter park playground, but decked-out in classic McDonald’s decor, all topped off with all the behavioral calmness of Lord of the Flies (or Fries?) on speed.

It was a barbarous marriage of the trippy universe of Willy Wonka and the happy-go-lucky freak show that was the advertising campaign of the Golden Arches…   Metal slides, swings, and spinning rides that would get hotter than John Travolta’s spoon in Pulp Fiction on a summer day.  A fantasy playland, covered in french fry smudge marks and more-than-occasional bratty kids in Bum Equipment t-shirts hogging every ride in sight.  This madness was such a blast, it’d require multiple requests from exhausted parents to finally drag their surly kids to finally leave for home.

Fast forward to 2013, and finding a classic McDonald’s outdoor playground is quite the challenging task.   Try as I might, I just can’t place my finger on the reason though…

Perhaps they became too costly to maintain?  The cancellation of the McDonaldland promotion?  Maybe McDonald’s brass considered any kind of exercise offensive?

….or perhaps the real reason McDonaldland Playgrounds ultimately went the way of the dodo is because sunshine-y nostalgic hindsight is clouding our vision of how Rob Zombie-ish that freaky place really was.

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CHAPTER I:  THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER

Your kids were better off hanging out in real bars instead.

Remember Grimace?

A giant characterless purple blob that pre-dated Barney the Dinosaur.  Yes, he literally pre-dated a freakin’ dinosaur.

The aptly-named Grimace was initially introduced as a nemesis to main clown mascot, Ronald McDonald.  Fast food head-hanchos realized that’s just the most incredibly stupid thing, and went with the slightly less stupid story that he has no story.  Luckily his character was so crappy, no one seemed to care… but much like Freddy Krueger, he would eventually have his revenge… ON YOUR CHILDREN.

In this ominous Buffalo Bill-esque prison, Grimace forced many innocent kiddies to put the lotion in the basket.  How this thing is better than a real jail is beyond me.

“Thanks for eating our cheeseburgers, kids.  Now get inside this weird purple thing’s torso.”

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CHAPTER II:  JAILHOUSE CROCK

No amount of bathtubs could make you feel clean after this.

Apparently, the McDonald’s brain-trust figured nothing struck a chord with kids like jails, cause here was another one–  “Officer Big Mac”, a big giant novelty cheeseburger decked out in a nifty constable uniform who would one day be destined to become a torture pit for youths.

His main job was to pursue the Hamburglar, a ground beef-thief who decided it was wise to wear his prison stripes outside of prison and pilfer your cholesterol away from you.

After looking at this ominous death trap, one wouldn’t have to scratch their head too long to wonder why Officer Big Mac isn’t flashing his once-famous buns around anymore.  Speaking as someone who isn’t crazy about heights or tight, enclosed spaces (the dirty, slippery, kid-crowded ladder inside this godforsaken thing was nothing short of a living nightmare straight out of Jacob’s Ladder), I avoided this hepatitis-covered abyss the way Neil Patrick Harris avoids women.

Jokes on you, smiling Caucasian children— this time the burger eats you!

 

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CHAPTER III: DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

At least Calista Flockhart found work somewhere.

Rumor has it there’s a deleted scene in the special edition of Saw IV that features this pupil-less Hamburglar’s rusted swings of death, but the MPAA deemed it was too disturbing to achieve an R-rating.

He’s got a Jack Skellington-ish suit, a Jack Skellington-ish body, and contains just the right amount of uneasy to make Tim Burton smile, but don’t be fooled, this boney burger boob simply ain’t any fun.  Just make sure to pour out your Dr. Pepper on the sidewalk as a tribute to all the fallen suburban homies who tragically faceplanted while getting off of this wretched thing.

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CHAPTER IV:  SOMETHING’S FISHY…

For hippies, this was known as the “Fillet ‘O Phish”.

This underwater treasure was the thing you were forced to play on when everything more fun was being occupied.  Yes, when standing inside the Grimace jail was too exciting, this became the last resort of the desperate fast food playgrounder.

Being a fish is a wild ride.  It’s freedom personified… something we as humans will never be able to fully appreciate or relate to.  You spend your entire life in the magnificent deep blue sea, travel in schools, and gracefully glide your vibrant scaly body amongst the endless coral, the flowing greenery, and the vivid rainbows that compose your fellow sea-brethren–  it’s stunning peace and Studio-54-ish chaos all in one felt aquatic swoop. 

Then one random day, you spy a tasty worm just ripe for the picking…  the next thing you know, there’s a hook in your stupid cheek, and you end up a processed square patty with a slice of room-temperature kinda-cheese on you, stuck on a bun at McDonald’s to be sold in a pair for three bucks.

True, it’s not necessarily the most dignified fate, but man, imagine being the ride based on that sandwich?

Fish, burger… heck, they all look the same in McDonaldland.

Meet the “Filet-o-Fish” ride, a humdrum bouncy piece of junk that didn’t even bounce properly.

Look familiar?  You may remember this weirdo as the chestbuster that burst out of Ripley’s stomach while your were nodding off at the end of Alien 3. 

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CHAPTER V:  HOW BIZARRRRRRRRRRRE

Don’t laugh. The Burger King’s corpse is buried under this thing.

No list of forgotten McDonald’s mascots would be complete without nefarious swashbuckler, Captain Crook, the one Mc-imbecile who actually wanted to ride the bouncy fish seat.

A two-bit pirate with a soft spot for both thievery and seafood, this seafaring counterpart to the Hamburglar was yet another immoral advertising idea who wanted to snag your salty food while your back was turned.  That’s so absurd, even the Oakland Raiders mascot is pointing and laughing,

Of course, since the McDonaldland Playground was missing a slide, they kindly threw Crook a bone.  If avoiding the child Mcvomit at the bottom wasn’t taxing enough, battling the derelicts walking up the slide the wrong way was nothing short of the final battle in 300. 

Look at his face.  That tells you everything you need to know about this thing.  Raise your hand if you’d have rather walked the plank into a sea of blood-thirsty sharks instead.

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CHAPTER VI:  “I BELIEVE I CAN FRY”

This was known as “The ride you sat on while you waited for some greasy porker to get off the swings.”

There’s a point when it’s painfully clear you’re just flat out of original ideas.

When Steve Urkel began endlessly cloning himself, we knew Family Matters was ready to mercifully be put down, or when Home Alone 3 hit theaters with an entire new cast, the planet shifted off axis as a nation simultaneously rolled their eyes at the offensive shark-jumping.

…and on that dubious note, I present to you, The Fry Guys.

Originally named “The Goblins” (cause they’re “gobblin’ up” your fries- hey, good one!), these are basically cheerleader pom-poms with volleyball-sized eyes that stare straight into your soul.  So, basically all of the aspects of cheerleading and volleyball that don’t involve the attractive women.

Yes, this is starting to sound like a quite obvious pattern.  Between the Hamburglar, Crook, and these walking Koosh balls, McDonald’s figured the most effective marketing method was to make you believe your recently-purchased food for would be stolen away from you by moronic mascots.  Diagnosis:  Mc-agita.

To McDonald’s credit, they created a playground ride that aptly matched the excitement of The Fry Guys.

Blumes noteNo hands, yet they purchased shoes with laces instead of Velcro.  Poor shopping choice, Fry Guys.

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CHAPTER VII:  SEE, I’M NOT A MONSTER, I’M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE

WHITEST. GUY. EVER.

RONALD McDONALD’S CONFESSION LETTER:

To Whom It May Concern,

I, Ronald McDonald, or “Ron” as I wish to be called, hereby admit to the number of charges of being a colossal creep, even by clown standards. 

First off, I am not even Scottish, it just rhymes with “Ronald”.  Secondly, this is not my natural hair color, I have been hoping to score the part of Little Orphan Annie in an off-Broadway theatrical run of Annie. 

Most importantly, I apologize for my maniacal thousand-yard stare, constant serial killer smile, and the fact you’ll see me in your sleep the way you heard creaks and squeaks for weeks following a viewing of Paranormal Activity.  When the borderline psychotic Burger King king was still the second-most terrifying fast-food corporate spokesman, I know I did something wrong.

Oh yeah, I also killed Waldo and stole his shirt.  He’s buried and decaying under the Hamburglar swing. 

See you in your nightmares,

Ronald McDonald

P.S.–  I also peed in the all the McFlurry machines in Michigan. 
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mcdonalds dreams

Hey kid-  If this is true, your dreams stink. 

 

The preceding is a work of parody, and I do not own any of the photos used.  Except for the Fry Guy ones… I’m making a t-shirt out of that bad boy.  

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