I once kicked Chuck E. Cheese square in the dick. I was six, maybe seven, and that rat bastard was just getting too close to my personal space near the skeeball, and he just had to cool off for a second. I think about this a lot. More specifically, I think about the man inside the suit. Whose testicles I obliterated sometime in the mid-90s. Did he ever have kids? Could he ever have kids? Did they go on to carry his torch as degrading living mascots for evil corporations to be laughed at and physically assaulted by their customers? Did my dick kick on Charles Entertainment Cheese have such a butterfly effect that this guy went home early that day because his testicle popped up and out his peehole and on the drive home had an idea for selling a bunch of shit online in boxes that will never degrade while also ruining the planet and the workforce and the modern world at the same time? Did I castrate a young Jeff Bezos inside of a Chuck E. Cheese suit and set forth the course for this modern dystopian nightmare we're all inside of? 

These are the questions I ask myself since that day. And now, I have a new one after learning about the batshit insane rules McDonald's has when it comes to playing their very own mascot, Ronald McDonald: Is there any good reason we're making people put these costumes on to begin with?

They're Not Allowed to Hug the Kids

The first rule for being the food world's most terrifying mascot is actually a damn good one. They are not allowed to hug the kids. They can only pat them on the back, at most. I'm pretty good with this as a baseline for any stranger, but especially ones in clown getups that smell like canola oil and unspeakable sadness. To be fair, any child whose first instinct is to run up to Ronald McDonald and hug him is a lost cause, anyway. At a certain age, every child should be placed in a room with a mannequin of Ronald McDonald and a flamethrower. If they grab the flamethrower and scorch the red wig off that head, then you've got a good one. If they approach, it's back to more training on how to have some goddamn decent judgment, you three-year-old idiot. 

I would take this rule a step further and treat Ronald like a supervillain with a restraining order. He cannot hug the children ... because he also has to stay at least 6,000 miles beneath the surface of the Earth. At the bottom of a volcano. Guarded by huge dog wolves and an army of kids with flamethrowers outside the gates.

Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock

If this triggers a hug reflex then keep that kid away from the zoo, before they try to cuddle something that bites.

They Cannot Promote the Food

"You kids ever had the nuggets over at Wendy's? I'm telling you. WAY better. Also, you kids ever had meth? It's like the feeling of eating a zillion chicken nuggets all at once, rushing through your veins and eyeballs and shit. Here, hold up, let me get you kids some meth and Wendy's nuggets to try." Another bizarre rule is that under no circumstances is Ronald McDonald supposed to be out there promoting the consumption of McDonald's. If Ronald so much as tells you to try out the Sweet and Sour sauce on the down low, a couple of guys in black suits will pull him back to the frying station and hook jumper cables up to his nipples and give that insubordinate idiot a lesson like he won't believe.

They Have to Sign Waivers Saying They Won't Reveal Behind-The-Scenes Details

This is where the rules start to get more serious. And begin to feel like becoming a Ronald McDonald is a lot more like being forced into a cult than just trying to scrape by financially in this shitty capitalist hell world. This one is as vague as it is ominous. What does this even mean? What kind of information is Ronald getting his hands on back there? These are the kinds of waivers you sign when you take a job at Northrop Grumman. Not when you put on a yellow jumpsuit and hang out around a ballpit. 

I'd like to picture that the first week of Ronald McDonald camp is just a tour through the seediest underbelly of the McDonald's corporation. It's like Training Day -- an experienced Ronald McDonald throws another into his Dodge Neon for a tour around the place and gets him in so deep that he just has no way out after it's all said and done. He learns that those breakfast hash browns are ground-up ferrets and that behind the McFlurry machine, a bull is being handled by another Ronald McDonald, and that ain't no typical dairy coming out. His nonstop thrashing back there is also why the machine is constantly down. When you become Ronald, you BECOME Ronald, and there is no way out after that.


"Did you ask how to take off your clown makeup? You DON'T."

They Cannot Say Where Hamburgers Come From

Got some kids running around asking for the Birds and the Bees of meat? They can go ahead and piss right off because you're not saying shit. Ronald McDonald is not allowed to tell anybody that hamburgers come from cows. There could be for a couple of reasons. 

Is it as simple as a dark McCabal secret that McDonald's hamburgers don't come from cows? Maybe, they get whatever the slaughterhouse has leftover and just have to make it work like they're trapped in a constant episode of Chopped back there? Except instead of heirloom tomatoes and fennel seeds in the basket, they're given half of a feral cat, three sprays of a can of WD-40, and some mustard powder and told to make a McGriddle? Is the reason that Ronald McDonald isn't allowed to say that you're currently eating a dead cow is because the dude playing Ronald honestly doesn't know? Maybe he doesn't know what is going on, and he cannot tell you where hamburgers come from because he cannot tell you where the hell he even is right now.

They Have a Script

If the customers come up to them with other dumb questions like, "What is my food made of?" "Is there a bathroom here?" or "Did you just shit yourself, Ron?" they are really supposed to keep things pretty uniform. They are given a script on the kinds of answers they can give to questions without veering too far from them at any point. If something gets far too existential for the great sage Ronald McDonald to answer, they are instructed to say, "Ask someone wearing normal shoes." I would be so pissed if an employee gave me this answer. I'm just simply trying to find out if you have a fire extinguisher because you passed out with a lit cigarette on the hot plastic slide, and the entire playroom is in flames, and you're giving me that attitude. 

More autofill responses in their script probably include, "I don't know, kid. I'm shitfaced," or "Ask someone who isn't wearing a wig, or a jumpsuit, or playing a clown inside of a fast food restaurant, or who is just using this makeup as cover to lay low in this weird midwestern town because I'm wanted on the West Coast for stealing sixteen iguanas from a pet store in Sacramento, what the meaning of life is because I am really not feeling qualified to answer this for you with how things are going for me."


"Ask Mayor McCheese.  He seems to have his life together."

They Cannot Eat on the Job

You sit all day inside of McDonald's or at a mall or god knows what other kinds of remote locations they send these poor souls to, surrounded by the smell of fried foods, and you can't have a single bite. Just another stop in this tour of the unique brand of punishment that is doled out to those who don the Ronald McDonald costume. 

Their reasoning behind this is that if he eats, he will smudge his makeup. We all know it's just all part of their plan to continue dehumanizing these men until they have fully completed their army of brainwashed Ronald McDonalds to unleash when the great fast food wars finally come down upon us. They have heard about the MechaWendy that's being developed by the ghost of Dave Thomas, and people are starting to talk about how the Colonel has gotten his hands on a nuclear briefcase. This shit is going to get real very soon, and if their Ronald McDonalds aren't perfectly trained by the time shit pops off, then we may have to find a way to eat actual food when we're feeling our laziest or in the middle of a car ride in the future.

They Have to be Fit

This one is pretty obvious. I mean, we've all seen a Ronald McDonald. Those guys are McJacked. Every time I see a Ronald McDonald, I have to do a double-take. It's the way he's busting out of his jumpsuit. How vascular he is. Tight is the word that always comes to mind when I see one. Just really tight. I start to imagine that he's hiding a six-pack somewhere underneath all of that, and it all explains why he's got so many babes hanging off of him all the time. They put in the rules that Ronald McDonald must be fit, but I think they're just goofing. Of course, Ronald McDonald will be fit. Some of the nation's hardest hardbodies step up for this role, and they then have to go through the regiment of Hollywood's top action stars getting ready for a role with absurd amounts of testosterone and growth hormones. They emerge out into the McDonald's Play Place as a shredded ambassador of food that barely legally attains the definition itself with the kind of swagger you would expect from one of the hottest food icons on the fast food block.


Anyway, enjoy your burger, kid. 

Top image: McDonald's


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