McDonald’s Was Better When We Were Kids
Laura Lee - April 16, 2018

Lester

By Shel Silverstein

Lester was given a magic wish
By the goblin who lives in the banyan tree,
And with his wish he wished for two more wishes-
So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.
And with each one of these
He simply wished for three more wishes,
Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.
And with each of these twelve
He slyly wished for three more wishes,
Which added up to forty-six -- or is it fifty-two?
Well anyway, he used each wish
To wish for wishes 'til he had
Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four.
And then he spread them on the ground
And clapped his hands and danced around
And skipped and sang, and then sat down
And wished for more.
And more...and more...they multiplied
While other people smiled and cried
And loved and reached and touched and felt.
Lester sat amid his wealth
Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold,
Sat and counted -- and grew old.
And then one Thursday night they found him
Dead -- with his wishes piled around him.
And they counted the lot and found that not
A single one was missing.
All shiny and new -- here, take a few
And think of Lester as you do.
In a world of apples and kisses and shoes
He wasted his wishes on wishing.

One of the biggest joys of childhood was clearly going to McDonald’s. It was a special event that didn’t happen often. Our parents weren’t fully supportive of it for some reason. It was like going to an amusement park with the most delicious food ever. Not only did we get an epic chicken nuggets and french fries meal, but we also got an awesome toy as well as a massive playground that we declared ourselves the royalty of.

 

Obviously, the happy meal was legendary, although our parents had a rule that we had to finish our food before opening the toy.  Ordering McNuggets was pretty much the standard, especially since it’s not like there was actually another healthy option. Even apple slices didn’t yet exist. And the recently added yogurt to their menu can be forgotten right about now.

 

It was all about the nuggets, fries, and soda and tearing apart that plastic bag with that toy that brought us more joy than anything else in the world.  The best toys were without a doubt the Beanie Babies, and it was complete heaven when they started becoming a part of the happy meal.

 

But even the coolest of toys couldn’t keep any child entertained for long enough. That’s why McDonald’s had the Play Place that had us wanting plastic tunnels all day, every day. Remember how there were both indoor and outdoor play places?

 

Living somewhere cold like Canada meant the outdoor Play Places were mostly closed, and all the tunnels smelled like a deep fryer. And we all of course got stuck at least once with the weird kid that refused to move off the top of the slide.  Some of the outdoor playgrounds even had a merry-go-round.

 

Basically, McDonald’s when we were kids was the greatest place on earth and will always have a large place in our hearts.