Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A McDonald's Lawsuit

I'm thinking of suing McDonald's. This person did. So did she. And so did they. Never mind that the merits of my case are a little bit sketchy. I'm sure I can find a lawyer looking for a good class action suit that can come up with some good legalese for my perceived McDonald's-induced distress. Something like, "The Plaintiffs are bringing this suit against McDonald's as just cause for the undue influence over said Plaintiffs children and resulting non compos mentis on Plaintiffs' mental state." And why stop at McDonald's? Let's throw in Burger King while we're at it.

And what is the source of my grievance against McDonald's you ask? I'll tell you. It's the toys. And not so much that they give away toys to movies that my kids are too young to see. We still like to play with the toys, we buy the toys at the toy store, we have the Nintendo games, and will see the movies some day. This grievance, this level of stress as a mother that no one ever warns you about when you're pregnant, has to do with the seconds after you receive the kid’s meal from the drive-thru window but before you look into the bag to find what toys you've received with your meals. You feel the level of stress building and boiling in your brain, and know that an unwelcome outcome to the kid's meal toy procurement project can result in a backseat explosion.

There are two main scenarios that can happen for me in this situation:

1. We receive two new toys that neither of the boys have gotten yet – Yeah!
2. We receive two of the same toys that both of the boys have already gotten - Boo!

There are variations on those two main scenarios:

1. We receive two new toys that neither of the boys have gotten, but they are not the same. If they both want the same toy, how do you decide who gets what?
2. We receive one toy that is new and one that is not.

This is where that stress I spoke of rises exponentially, and a decision needs to be made. Do you become that mother that you said you’d never be? You know the one. She’s the one that goes back up to the counter to request a different toy, or sits at the drive-thru window while the toys get checked for approval so she can trade for a new toy if need be, while the growing line of drivers in cars behind her think of ways to creatively end her time at the drive-thru window - permanently. Or the one that spends $1.99 purchasing an extra toy to make a crying child happy, or to derail an impending tantrum when she just doesn’t have the time or energy to deal with it. (And, just to set the record straight, I’ve never done any of these things. I’ve just seen them done or heard them done. And, if you believe that, I have a 15 gallon storage container of rejected kid’s meal toys that I’d like to sell you.)

So, what do you think? Do I have a case?


OhCaptain said...

I do applaud your efforts. Speaking as an attorney, not a real one, but one of those fake blogger ones, I'm not sure it has merit. McDonald's does not force you to purchase said "Happy Meal" but offers it as a bundle for your convenience.

Who am I kidding! Those buggers need to realize the stress those things cause. I REALLY hate it when they have the toys on display - you know showing the one the kids really want. Only to find they get 3 of them and the owners kids got them. Ugh!

Unknown said...

I once worked at Wendy's. Although our toys were not so great as the other places, in the summer they were always inflatable pool toys. I mean what mom doesn't want a beach ball being swatted around the back of the minivan? People would often ask when ordering which toys were available. This helped some, it could prepare you for solving the scenarios you mentioned before you actually receive the meal.

My kids only want chicken nuggets. I have started ordering the adult meal and asking for 2 kid sized cups instead of the big one, or ordering a juice box instead of soda and an extra juice, and splitting the meal between the kids. We do still have a rather large collection of kid's meal toys despite my greatest efforts. For some reason, grandparent's and aunts cannot avoid the purchase of the kid meal with cool, annoying toy.

All this said- I am in on the lawsuit with you as soon as you get ready. We may as well sue for the fact that these toys do not come with warning lights, because I always step on them in the middle of the night when rushing to quiet a bad dream.

Tempered Woman said...

And then there is the additional stress of having a house full of cheap crappy toys that the kids don't bother with one week later~ even tho at the time they just HAD to complete their collection. The yard sales of America would be a much happier place if we weren't all trying to pawn off 8469867 McDonald's toys every year.

Beth Cotell said...

Can I join you in your class action suit?

I am one of those annoying moms that go back to the counter to trade a toy in. I am conflicted when I do it.

I know it's just a Happy Meal toy and my kids should just deal with the disappointment but part of me thinks that the whole reason we are eating lunch at the dang McDonald's in the first place is for the Happy Meal toy so shouldn't we at least get one that we don't already have??

Unknown said...

I have actually asked them to not give me toys in my kids meals so that I do not even have to deal with it! Yes, I am the worlds meanest mom!

Loth said...

There is one even worse scenario you did not mention: your two boys get home with their meals to discover they have been given (*deep breath*) GIRLS' TOYS!!!!! And they are less than pleased when you refuse to drive all the way back to exchange the Disney Princess lump of plastic for the Cars one. I am still emotionally scarred by that one.

Kellan said...

I'll join in on your suit - we'll make it a class-action suit - get all us mothers to join in - HA! I agree with you totally - STRESS!!

Have a good evening - Kellan

Valerie Roberson said...

Oh how I feel your pain.
I dunno if it's a viable lawsuit or not, but if so, I'm ALL over that!

BOSSY said...

With Bossy's kids advancing in age, Bossy is happy to be leaving the whole Happy Meal scenario behind in her wake. They should rename them, "Not So Happy Meals."

Robin said...

Add in the addiction factor. It has taken me years to slowly wean my boys from happy meals (there's not enough food and you are too old for the prize, etc..)

katydidnot said...

god i hate mcdonald's. it is from hell.

Robin said...

Heather, I thought you might like seeing what a friend of mine did with her extra toys here