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McDonald's Contests & Promos!
Matt - 08/19/00

McDonald's didn't become such an enormous entity simply by fattening everybody up and being cheap with the sweet'n'sour sauce...they also had promos. Promos were McDonalds way of 'giving something back to the people'. Well, they already gave us about 500 million pounds of body fat and about 6 million heart attacks, so I don't see why they felt they owed us something. But hey - this is McDonald's: the people's restaurant. And whereas things like the lotto would simply run off a few numbers before crushing your dreams, McDonalds would at least make things a bit more interesting before letting you realize that the only thing you could possibly win from them was a small apple pie.

The One Million Dollar Contest

Haha! Remember this? This takes us way back to 1988 - a time where people were too busy trying to get neon nametags to realize that hotel carpeting was probably a healthier Happy Meal than anything McDonald's could give you. Alas, the Million Dollar Contest.

You'd get a little square vinyl record with the McDonalds song on it - if the song played the full way through, you won a million dollars. In other words, to this day, nobody has ever heard the song in full. Until now. So without further adieu, here's the full song. I'm really surprised this one never hit the top 10...

Big Mac, Mc Dlt, a Quarter-Pounder with some cheese
Fillet-o-Fish, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a Happy Meal
Mcnuggets, tasty golden french fries, regular and larger size
And salads, chef or garden, or a chicken salad oriental
Big Big Breakfast, Egg Mcmuffin, hot hotcakes and sausage
Maybe biscuits, bacon, egg and cheese and sausage, danish, hashbrown too
and for dessert hot apple pies and sundaes three varieties
A soft serve cone, three kinds of shakes, and chocolately-chip cookies
And to drink a Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, an orange drink, a Sprite,
A coffee (decaf too) a lowfat milk also an orange juice
I love Mcdonald's good time great taste
And I get this all at one place!
The good time, great taste... of McDonald's...

Obviously, this reads more like what a really hungry person orders than a song, but somehow, they made it a lot catchier than this. Course, you didn't hear the song - you heard Ronald sing about four lines before stuttering on his words and telling you that because of his fuckup, you're not winning no money. Lousy clown.

My real problem with this wasn't that I didn't win a million dollars. It was that I had no way to play the damn game. I'm not sure how heavy the usage of record players was in 1988, but I do know that by that time, ours was gone. I ended up having to play the record over a friend's house - a friend I hated - so the combined losses of the million dollars and having to hang out with this kid made me none too pleased with McD's. The worst part was, when Ronald stumbled on his words, he made it out to be no big deal. Fuckin' clown cost me a million bucks - that is a big deal. 'Oh oh oops...sorry! Oh well, go buy a shake!' A shake? A shake?! Dude, I'd buy a thousand shakes if you didn't fuck up this stupid song. What kinda paid clown forgets his lines? A bad clown!

This next one wasn't a prize game, just a regular promo. Know what's worse than a bad dancing routine? A bad dancing routine based on a sandwich that no longer exists...

I want all of you to actually try doing that dance right now. This is the kinda stuff usually reserved for drunken bar bets. I really like Ronald's crotch chop in step three, but other than that, I can't for the life of me piece this together into anything remotely fluid. And I'm looking at Ronald now...I never noticed how exaggerated his kneecaps really were until this very moment. Clown nose, clown knees. Plus, how do you go to a club or something and explain to people where you learned to dance? 'Oh, here and there. Mainly from Ronald McDonald.' Alright, I'm being a little too critical. I'm displaying angst. It all stems from my constant, unwavering fear that someday I'm going to take an IQ test and 'What is Grimace?' is gonna be a 20-point question.

McDonald's Monopoly

Ah, the infamous scourge known as the McDonald's Monopoly contest. If you overlook the fact that your chances at winning a prize with a cash value over 1.59 are nonexistant, it's a pretty cool game. Unfortunately, no one realized that there were only about three of each of the final game pieces out there, so when you got Park Place, you were convinced you would win. I knew this, but it didn't stop my freind from being an idiot - here's the story:

My friend gets in the car, who had just been in McDonald's. We start talking about the Monopoly game, where another friend mentions she had the Park Place game piece. Friend #1 starts freaking out, claiming that he had the Boardwalk game piece and just threw it away. I didn't have any excitement about this for a few reasons. One, even if it was true, I wasn't gonna make any money from it. Two, I knew there was no way it was true. My friend was just about the unluckiest guy on the planet - a guy who managed to get hit by a car while riding his bike in the middle of the woods. There's no way the fast food gods smiled upon him. So I had just assumed he was lying...until he made us go to the McDonalds so he could - yes - search through the trash. I want you to picture five freaks standing around in McDonalds during prime time hours while one of them has his arms fully engulfed in the trash can. No, he didn't ask anyone if he could remove the lid - he just put his arms in the darkness and grabbed whatever he could. Naturally, he didn't find the Boardwalk piece. However, he left with stuff on his arms that was definitely not just fast food waste. It was a dissapointing night on many fronts, but the point is, if you've got a friend who's willing to sort through the trash of a restaurant while a hundred people are watching him do this, it's time to re-evaluate your social life.

Bonus: Who was Mayor McCheese?

We've talked about the McDonald's characters before on X-E. All but one, that is. The forgotten character - Mayor McCheese! Rumors are abundant as to why he dissapeared off the planet, and my guess is that Ronald talked to the McD suits to get him thrown off the island. Think about it - if anyone could thwart Ronald's throne as top dog, it'd be the mayor. And for Ronald to kick him out because of just sucks. Mayor McCheese was a role model of fast food virtuousity for all, and he's sorely missed. Tonight, we salute him. Not only because of his positive message to kids - but because his hat was way too small for his head. Only one giant cheeseburger could pull that one off....Mayor McCheese!

Double double cheese cheese burger burger please please...

- Matt