Monday, August 22, 2005

me and mayor mccheese

This is one of my earliest memories. I’m six years old and sleeping on a palette on my grandmother’s floor. It is three in the morning, and I awake to see the distinct silhouette of Mayor McCheese against the drawn curtains. He is just outside the window with the streetlight behind him. His arms are outstretched and he is wearing his little hat. I cannot tell if he is smiling and happy, as having a cheeseburger for a head certainly limits one’s range of facial expressions, but I get the chills.

I lay there still and unblinking for a good fifteen minutes. The mayor didn’t move either, and it was like we had both noticed one another at the same time and froze in place. I tried to go back to sleep. I tried to tell myself that Mayor McCheese was just as afraid of me as I was of him, but I knew down deep that he wasn’t. He was Mayor Freaking McCheese. He presided over a commercial town full of rejected mascots and fat kids, and that clown always showed up to hog the spotlight and act like the running of the McDonald Land government had no bearing whatsoever on all that damn happiness. Who could blame him for finally having enough?

I eventually crawled across the room, woke my grandmother, and then quietly explained the situation to her. This took a while, as she was not familiar with Mayor McCheese. That was certainly understandable. He was very underutilized in all those old McDonald’s commercials and often had a single line at the end thanking Ronald for yet again nabbing the Hamburgler. Then the clown delivered some smartass punch line and everyone laughed. The mayor was virtually invisible, and we were too distracted by trying to figure out what the hell Grimace was, why the Hamburgler could only say “Rommel” over and over again, or why Ronald always ended up giving the Hamburgler a hamburger anyway—thus rewarding his criminal actions and ensuring a repeat performance.

I can’t remember how much of that I related to my grandmother, but she eventually humored me and switched on the lamp. She even went over and pulled the curtain back and showed me the pine trees and streetlight outside. She explained that it must have been the shadows, but I heard none of it. Standing there looking out that window I realized that the only thing more frightening that seeing Mayor McCheese at three in the morning is not seeing Mayor McCheese but knowing that he is somewhere nearby.

My grandmother was satisfied that I had mistaken a pine tree for a man with a cheeseburger for a head, and she closed the curtains, cut the lamp off, and went back to sleep. It took some time before I was able to glance back at the window, but when I did he was there. He was back and frozen in that same position. He was mocking me.

I eventually lost interest and fell asleep, and on all subsequent overnight trips to grandmother’s from then on I slept on the couch in the den. I never saw Mayor McCheese there or anywhere else after that, but looking back I suppose it could’ve been the angles of the shadows or a maybe even a peeping Tom in a sombrero.

Why do I mention this? Hell, I don’t know. But I did happen to stumble across this in my research. I don’t know how I could have missed it, but I haven’t seen fast food related journalism this good since Morgan Spurlock made an ass out of himself.
Then there was this very real and imminent threat. Some people must learn the hard way, I suppose. But rest assured that the perimeter of Casa Camino will be secured and well guarded, should he again be released into the general population.


Blogger Kat Coble said...

It's been 30 years and I still get Mayor McCheese and Hamburglar mixed up. Not like there's a lot of precedent for confusing politicians and criminals or anything...

3:19 PM  
Blogger melusina said...

I get them mixed up too!

Still, I never saw them outside the window. Sometimes Rex really worries me.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I have heard others talk about confusing the Hamburglar and the mayor, and I have never understood it. The Hamburglar has a mask and the mayor wears a sash, and we have been taught to associate masks with burglars and sashes with the position of mayor.

I never really thought about that before, but now it is bothering me. The only people I have ever seen in sashes are beauty pageant contestants. What is up with that?

No need to fear, Mel. My hallucinations rarely encourage me to do bad things.

2:36 PM  

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