Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Captain Great's McDonalds EXPOSE (!!!) Part 2!

I'm sure you know who Grimace is. But just in case you live under a rock or you're a blind deaf-mute here's the lowdown: he's a furry, big boned muppet that sort of talks like Forrest Gump and is corporate shill Ronald McDonald's best friend foreva (or until the character is inevitably phased out ala Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac). Basically he's the snufflufagus to Ronald McDonald's Big Bird. Or as the McDonald's website poetically puts it: "the friendly big purple thing that's always seen by Ronald's side." The McDonald's website also describes Grimace as being "always ready to do fun things" and "a bit slow and clumsy." So my Forrest Gump reference totally wasn't arbitrary.

So you know who Grimace is. What you probably don't know is that when Grimace originally debuted in 1972 he was known as evil grimace and had four arms! For reals!

A friend told me about this ages ago, then I looked it up on Wikipedia and stuff and it turns out it was true! His original schtick long before he became Ronald's retarded pity friend was not dissimilar to that currently used by other popular McDonalds figurehead Hamburglar. In a delightful light-hearted homage to Charles Dicken's classic fictional character The Artful Dodger, Grimace was a thief who used his, then, two sets of arms to steal as many thickshakes as possible from McDonaldland, a fantasy realm probably inspired by Tolkein's Middle Earth. Probably.

I guess these sinister origins explain why the purple blob thing is called Grimace despite being a happy, positive person. Also slightly interesting is the fact that Grimace's apparent obesity problem was a reflection of his gluttenous intake of sugary soft drinks and therefore not intended by McDonalds as a cynical representation of the effects the company's products have on the bodies of their consumers.

I also discovered on Wikipedia that Grimace is supposed to be a tastebud and has a relative called Uncle O'Grimacy who is "a green coloured Irish-version of himself". And someone apparently thought it would be well worth their time to write out an entire Wikipedia entry for McDonald's Fruit and Walnut Salad. So there you go.

Sidenote: What the hell was up with Birdy? I vaguely recall her being introduced to the McDonalds mythos when I was a little kid but I'm pathetically intrigued about the justification for her existence. As far as idiot fast food franchise muppets go, she's just so random you know. In a bid to avoid doing actual work at my place of employment I've extensively considered the Birdie enigma and come up with two possible theories:

  • The McDonalds Fat Cats decided to put a token girl in their cast of cheeseburger shilling monsters
  • The McDonalds Fat Cats decided that a cute animal mascot was required to sell crappy happy meal toys and sparrow was the only animal meat not used in McDonalds burgers. Snap! Of course McDonalds apparently doesn't use weird animal products in their food.

Update: Someone I work with informs me that Birdie's full name is "Birdie the Early Bird" and she represents the breakfast menu or something. She still fucking weirds me out more than a red headed man in heavy stage make-up who plays with small children all day.

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