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9to5to9: A call for Crappy Meal consistency

Submitted by on Sunday, 19 October 2008 5 Comments

It was a faux pas so felonious that even Dad, who has two sisters and never had to tangle over toys, caught it.

Big Guy’s Crappy Meal car lights up; Little Guy’s doesn’t. There’s going to be Trouble, he predicted.

I cursed the teen-age fast-food worker who carelessly made two meals from the same order an unmatched set. Either he was an only child raised by only children or he was too swamped to notice.

But you see, overworked teen who’s praying the steam doesn’t aggravate an already raging case of acne — I know because I once was you — your haste set off an hour-long set-to.

Siblings are like that, especially when they’re less than two years apart. Mine have mauled each other over milk jugs. They measure breakfast every morning to make sure they didn’t get shorted. And those things aren’t even important. Crappy Meal toys — that’s important.

Important enough for the evening to end in broken-hearted tears and for me to make a McDonald’s run today, violating the Mommy Law that prohibits Crappy Meals twice a week.

Somehow Little Guy made off with the lighted model shortly after they got home yesterday, but only for minutes. “Mine!” Big Guy growled, victory glowing in his eyes as he deposited Little Guy’s subpar car in his hands. “You play with yours.”

Little Guy whimpered at his sad gray model. Reliable, but not flashy. I went through the same pangs when I traded my fire-engine red Probe for a Concorde. He forgot his misery, though, when mupcake making got under way.

Big Guy forgot his car when sounds of a churning mixer told him icing was being made. Little Guy was so ecstatic to have the magical lighting machine back he didn’t even want to lick a spoon.

Soon, though, it was time for Dad to go. The guys have a tradition of running up and down the sidewalk as he pulls away, and he putters slowly enough to let them “win.” The guys jetted out the door, Little Guy with the lighted car in hand.

Little Guy loves to zoom Hot Wheels down the sidewalk. Problem is, he presses so hard we have a collection of square-wheeled refugees from the Island of Misfit toys. Big Guy didn’t notice what had happened until they got back into the house and Little Guy handed over the lighted car.

Noooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!” Big Guy wailed. “No! No! NO! Its wheels are square, just like he did to my Lightning McQueen. No, no, NO!! This was my bestest car ever and he ruined it!”

He threw himself on the floor, weeping bitterly. Stayed there for 10 minutes. A bribe of the evil Batman fruit snacks dried the tears. I wondered briefly if I was teaching him to console himself with candy, but decided it would be OK since he’ll never have PMS.

I realize part of it was theatrics, but there also was a dose of real 5-year-old pain. As the frequent victim of a younger brother who often trashed my bestest “fill in the blank” ever, I could relate.

Which is why I went to McDonald’s today and begged like an addict.

I need two light-up cars, I pleaded. I know you usually don’t do this, but the situation is desperate. And it’s crucial that when someone orders two Happy Meals you always put the same toy in both.

The over-worked minimum-wage teen behind the counter obliged, probably more because he thought I was deranged than because I’d laid out such a convincing case.

Big Guy’s smile was wide enough to break his face when I presented a new bestest car ever.

Thank heaven Little Guy has a new one, too. He can make the wheels as square as he wants without anyone complaining.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • ParentingPink Mommy said:

    Too chey! Ironically, we just got the girls Happy (aka Crappy) meals this afternoon and had the same crappy toy experience. Two barbie dolls (my girls are so not into Barbie) that looked like, ahem, for lack of a better word “street walkers.” I was so dismayed that I whipped the toys away and banished them to barbie heaven. Next time I need to tell them what kind of toy I want- preferably one that does not wear skimpy clothes! LOL

  • debra said:

    I was noticing the, ahem, street walkers as I was waiting in line to beg for two bestest cars ever. And thinking “Thank heaven the guys are guys and I don’t have to deal with this.”

    You’re right: The new Crappy Meal Barbie line looks a bit on the promiscuous side.

  • Lora said:

    A totally different battle here in SC… and a totally spoiled only child. Yesterday, when I gave him the same Hot Wheel pictured above, he handed it back. “I not want this. It’s the same.” Meaning, it’s the same as the Hot Wheel he had last weekend! (Now I have two childless bestest cars ever Hot Wheels in my car–he didn’t even hold it long enough to know that it lit up!)

  • debra said:

    Ay, we went through that in the spring with the Crappy Meals pirate collection. They kept getting scary-looking skeletal guy when they really wanted the ship.

    We finally get the coveted ship in May. But only one. Arrrgggggggg! I was ready to walk the plank.

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