Anarchy at the Mickey D’s: The McNuggets rage videoWritten by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | email@example.com
This year marks the 30th anniversary of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, but it’s not off to a great start.
On the very first day of 2010, Toledoan Melodi Dushane allegedly went all Tyson on a Main Street McDonald’s when it could not meet her McNugget needs.
According to the police report, Dushane pulled up to the McDonald’s at about 6:20 a.m. and ordered items including McNuggets. When she was told that the Main Street McDonald’s only served breakfast items after 2:30 a.m., Dushane had a number of options. One was to quickly peruse the breakfast menu to order something else, a McGriddle, maybe; another was to thank the voice coming out of the order box, drive home and return during McNugget hours.
Police say Dushane took yet another, less conventional option: she drove to the window, argued with the McDonald’s employee, then “leaned out of her car, into the window and punched [the employee] on her mouth. [The employee] stepped back and [the McDonald’s night manager] went to the window, and Dushane swung her fists at her. [The night manager] grabbed Dushane’s hair and attempted to pull her through the window.”
The night manager released Dushane, who then, according to police, punched through the drive-through window, “breaking it and sending glass flying everywhere.”
Imagine being in the car behind Dushane. You’re getting your money ready, anticipating your Egg McMuffin and compressed hash browns, when you see the woman in the car in front of you swing at an employee, almost get yanked out of her car by her hair, then punch through the window.
You might think, “Yikes, that woman must really be angry that McDonald’s switched Happy Meals from ‘Avatar’ to ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel’ before she collected the Great Leonopteryx.”
The most exciting thing I ever have ever seen in a McDonald’s drive-through was at the Talmadge Road location about two years ago. A man at the pickup window opened his car door in an attempt to scoop up some of the coins that invariably land under the window and in the process dropped the wallet from his hand. He tried to wedge himself farther down between his open door and his seat to reach it, inadvertently tapping his gas pedal and sending his car closer to the window wall, further trapping him as his wallet disappeared beneath the car.
I stayed where I was to give him room to maneuver, trying not to laugh, but it was a lot like watching a vintage Lucille Ball skit. It was amusing, but nowhere near as exciting as the New Year’s Day Mickey D’s Smackdown on Main Street.
Dushane has been ordered to stay away from the McDonald’s and is due in court later this month.
The physical assault element to this story takes away some of the potential humor it inspires, but hopefully McDonald’s can reach an accord with Dushane and spin this in a better direction. Either they can have Dushane appear in a series of commercials (“When it comes to my fast food,” Dushane could say, “I am just like a McDonald’s McNugget: No chicken!”) or maybe allow her image to be used in a “scared straight” campaign should Dushane be found guilty (They could make posters of her in the Shawshank license plate shop with the slogan, “Ba-da-da-da-da, I’m not lovin’ it.”
This is certainly not the first time Ronald and his team have been forced to deal with McNuggets controversy.
- The widow of a man who murdered 21 people at a California McDonald’s in 1984 sued the restaurant and the man’s Ohio employer, claiming a combination of work environment and Mickey D’s food, including McNuggets, fueled the rage that led to the massacre. She lost.
- The 2004 Morgan Spurlock documentary “Super Size Me” portrayed an extremely unpleasant process allegedly used to produce McNuggets, with such descriptions as “mashed,” “ground up,” “pressed into shape” and “combined with stabilizers.” Yum.
- In March 2009, a Florida woman called 911 three times when she was told her McDonald’s was out of McNuggets. She was cited for misusing 911, but eventually received a nice McDonald’s gift card out of it.
- In April 2009, an Australian man was accused of forcing a teenage runaway into prostitution, then only compensating her with McDonald’s chicken pieces. I don’t have the McNuggets to make a joke about this sad situation, but there has to be a vegemite or Men at Work reference in there somewhere, if you care to look for it.
Once this odd little story hit the Internet, it was featured on such sites as Drudge Report and Smoking Gun, providing the world with another wonderful image of Toledo and its citizens. We were all kind of hoping that the exit of the former mayor would provide an exemption from national embarrassment, but even before the mayoral baton could be handed over, Dushane brings the spotlight of “McNugget Rage” to our community.
Not cool. The clowns are supposed to be inside the restaurant, not outside.
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column was originally published Jan. 8, 2010.