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6 Days: McDonalds Happy Meals

October 29, 2008

As a child, there were three things that were the ultimate delight, the things I looked forward to more than anything else:

  1. Going to McDonalds
  2. Getting candy for the wait while my older brother and sister were at CCD
  3. Halloween (shocker!)

McDonalds was a rare treat, since we lived out in the boonies and the closest one was a lengthy drive away, every kid likes candy, no matter the significance of the event that gets the sweets to him/her, and I’ve discussed at length my obsession with the dark and chilling Halloween season. But, what about when those three meet in one grand moment, an event crystallized in time whose inspiration of desire haunts me to this very day?

I give to you the McDonalds Halloween Happy Meal pails!


These Happy Meals inspired in me a greed that exceeded the avarice of any two Christmases put together. Now, the one that I wanted the most was the ghost, but the jack-o-lantern came in as a close second. I didn’t have any strong feelings of the witch because, hey, that’s girl stuff.

Every Halloween that these were offered, I saw myself proudly carrying one of these pails, gathering candy, and reveling in the pride of having the Holy Grail of candy collection. I fell asleep with visions of carrying a plastic jack or the severed head of a ghost, filled to overflowing with Kit-Kats Snickers, or the bane of Trick-or-Treaters everywhere, rolls of 10 pennies wrapped in tissue paper.

McDonalds covered all the bases, too! If some ultra-generous giver was in the mood to hand over a cute little kitten, the pails had air holes to compensate for that. Brilliance! Each pail had it’s own personality, too. The witch was just delighted that a child condescended to choose her, probably just to complete the collection. The ghost had a little sarcastic smirk. Only the jack seemed to show the horror that a child was about to store sweets in his hollowed-out head. It was the entire human experience shown in three finely-crafted plastic toys!

I would love to close by showing you old pictures of me proudly carrying my ghost or jack pail while costumed and ready to spend a day begging for sweets. Unfortunately, I never got one of the pails. Every season that they were offered began with the anticipation of collecting at least one, and ended in sugar-filled disappointment as the season passed with my quest for the Grail unfulfilled.

So, pity me but more importantly, if these ever pop up again and you have a child that says they need one of these pails, take them to MickieDs and get one. If not for them, then for the 10-year-old in me that ended too many Halloweens in disappointed envy!

PS: Regarding the source of the above photo, go read SydLexia. He’s a great pop culture writer!

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