Archive for August 28th, 2010

Nobody Watches Ronald Pee

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I discovered a lot about perception, reality, and life on a beautiful May afternoon in Hudson, New York. It was my first job as an Account Executive for an Upstate New York McDonalds’ advertising agency.  I was 23. One of my duties was to manage Ronald McDonald appearances.

Now here’s a big secret up front. There’s more than one Ronald McDonald; actually, there are many Ronalds.  Regional “Ronalds” looked alike, had various “talents” – like juggling Big  Mac boxes –  and their own unique personalities.

“My” Ronald was an old magician who was cranky and didn’t like kids very much. But for some odd reason, he liked me – and I liked him. And I loved the fact Ronald McDonald appearances were so bizarre, they were like LSD trips without drugs. Ronald was the world’s most famous clown – with a lousy attitude.

On that first appearance, I drove Ronald in full costume to McDonalds with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. When we arrived, he told me to pull up to the side entrance and guard the bathroom.

Seeing my puzzled look, he said, “Look, you go in first , clear everyone out, then go outside and guard the door.  Shit, kids can’t see Ronald taking a leak!”

That made sense, so I did as I was told. Soon I saw two junior high punks walking towards me. The larger delinquent spoke first.

“We gotta use the bathroom.”

“You can’t use the bathroom right now. Ronald McDonald is using it,” I said with a straight face.

The punks looked at each other and burst out laughing. They obviously weren’t there for the appearance.

“Ronald McDonald is really in there pissing?” one sarcastically asked.

“Hey guys,” I said, “I don’t know what he’s doing in there. But you can’t go in until he comes out.” Of course this produced more loud laughter.

Suddenly the men’s room door burst open and there stood “Ronald” immediately taking in the situation.  He put his hands on his hips.

“Oooh Ronald,”one laughed, “why can’t we see you pee?”

And then in a voice cracked by more than 60-years of cigarettes and alcohol, my Ronald growled, “Because, you little bastards, I’ve got a schlong that’s this long (here he put his hands about a foot apart) and it would just scare the shit out of ya!” With that he turned and started clumping towards the McDonald’s entrance in his size 22 clown shoes.

The punks and I stared at each other in silence. After a second or two, I rushed to catch up to the world’s most famous clown.