Forgive me if this is old news. I’m out of the fast food drive-thru loop.

And it’s not because I eat paleo, so…

Apparently, McDonald’s doesn’t think having a red-haired clown is horrific enough for the children it’s trying to lure into its restaurants. Now it’s added an LSD-worthy animated happy meal box to its cast of stupidity. I’ve seen pictures…and now you have, too. Try getting that scar off your psyche. It looks like someone took a scalpel to the red M&M and cut all the sweet roundness into unpleasant angles.

And then gave it cartoon eyes and a human mouth.

Did the 2012 Olympics start back up again, only this time they’re being held in the McDonaldland Playplace? Is that what this is? Are we going to see the one-eyed oddballs in Lycra luge suits all over the place again next?

One poorly-executed marketing nightmare aimed at children at a time please, Corporate America.

Happy Meals have always been happy without needing a face. The crap they put in that box can only be considered a meal by hobos and people with underdeveloped palates. But now, thanks to this freak-out of a mascot, it can’t even be thought of as “happy” anymore, either.

It’s just a box of despair, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve been trying to determine where the derailment happened, what caused the dissociation of the “happy” from the “meal” as it moved toward the disturbing and the sinister. And let’s be real: McD’s is no stranger to creepy advertising tropes. Their cast of characters was like a Sid and Marty Kroft acid-fest. The Fry Guys were made of leftovers from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop—just a couple pile of legs and eyes and fur that didn’t pass Sesame Street muster. Hamburglar was, by and large, AN ESCAPED CONVICT LURKING OUTSIDE FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS, to anyone paying close enough attention. I have no idea what Grimace was…an anabolic eggplant with the intellect of a four-year-old? Yeah…that. And I’m pretty sure Mayor McCheese made like Rob Ford and partied his way to funky town a few times too many; you never hear from him anymore, even when the others make periodic comebacks on reunion shows and in mushroom flashbacks. Or maybe that was the other legged burger…the one that looked like an English cop and beat the hell out of Hamburglar for stealing food from the mouths of otherwise-healthy children.

See?

Nothing from these people has ever been terribly delightful, marketing-wise.

But at least it related to the food in some way.

This creepy little box has nothing to do with the food, other than being a holder. It’s like a cholesterol piggy bank, and now it has legs and eyes. They took the minions and the M&M dudes and those scary Cinnamon Toast Crunch things that cannibalize each other and threw them in a very poorly-thought-out blender to create…that. I don’t even know what to call it.

“Mcbomination” doesn’t seem strong enough.

No, wait…I read it again.

It’s perfect, actually.

(And no, I wasn’t going to say “I’m lovin’ it”…but that would’ve been good, too.)

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  • reply Steven Luna ,

    What do you think, readers – “yay” or “nay” or “no freakin’ way” to the new happy meal mascot?

    • reply Scarydad ,

      When I was in kindergarten we had some event that the McDonald’s mascots showed up for. It is still one of the scariest days of my life and that was 30+ years ago.

      Who thought the fucking Hamburglar was a good idea?

      Amirite?

      • reply Benjamin Wallace ,

        At least Hamburglar was human. What the hell were the fry guys supposed to be?

        • reply Steven Luna ,

          Fry guys looked like cheap knock-offs of those aliens on Sesame Street that did the “Nooope-nope-nope-nope-nope!” They were creepy enough on their own. We didn’t need them ruining french fry goodness for us, too.

          • reply Benjamin Wallace ,

            I agree. They look like the skinny aliens after eating years of golden delicious fries.

          • reply George Hilbert ,

            Very creepy….The Cinnamon Toast Crunch cannibals came to mind immediately. Are they REALLY so hard pressed to find a mascot that a pasteboard box wins the competition?…..What is it with all these icons having human teeth?……..The Louisville Cardinal is the worst.

            • reply Steven Luna ,

              Right? In the worst case scenario, those human teeth will be all over billboards and t-shirts by the end of summer. I hope it doesn’t come to that :(

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