McPlan for McCash
McDonald's Monopoly, I demand satisfactionby Dave McAwesome
The first time I played McDonald's Monopoly game, I was determined to fill up the entire board. The way it works is you get a couple of playing pieces (Marvin Gardens, Reading Railroad) for each order of large fries and drink. Get a complete set of a particular color—three greens or two blues, etc.—and you win a prize.
What I would learn about this greasy fast-food contest would shatter my youthful innocence and set me on the dark road of cynicism and outright despair. The top prize was a wad of fatty, deep fried cash if you could pair Boardwalk and Park Place. You can imagine my excitement then when I got a Park Place with my first three gallon cup of Coke. "I'm going to win that bajillion dollar top prize," I announced stupidly. "Even if I have to be the most McDonald's eating-est boy in the world." For the next month, I was. That diet ravaged my colon and took 18 months off my lifespan, but I learned a valuable lesson: life is a giant pile of sour ass. I was just a kid. No way should I have been backhanded by a major international corporation at so tender an age. As I compiled game piece after game piece, I noticed a pattern. I had a small stack of Park Places, but no Boardwalk. I was not as special as I'd thought. Apparently, a trained monkey with a few bucks and the ability to point at menu items could score a Park Place (assuming he wasn't shot and tranquilized by an alert McD staffer—trained monkeys belong in tasting labs providing us indispensable feedback on the amount of Twinkie filling a biped can injest before his stomach explodes). It's sharp marketing because it gives everybody the feeling that they're one Big Mac away from a million bucks, but it's also a brutal reality check for a naive youngster. And then comes the hammer...
I saved the board and pieces in the hopes that the game would return and I could continue collecting my pieces. To my shock and dismay, my nearly completed set of four railroads was no longer valid when the game launched anew the following year. Suddenly, everybody in the McDonaldsverse had a clean slate, and we all had to start over from the same point. What manner of strange socialism was this? All that gastrointestinal discomfort for nothing? Zounds, what a gyp. You can probably imagine the pathetic slow motion image of me standing outside McDonald's as the wind rips that year-old board from my little hands. Up it goes. Up, up. Then down, down into the street, obliterated by onrushing traffic. Tears were shed that day, my friend.
Since then, my excitement for the annual McDonald's Monopoly game has only barely exceeded my anticipation of the next John Tesh project.
Enough is enough. It's time to put the power of the Interweb into my greedy mits and turn this contest on its ear. Here's the deal:
- Snag a game piece. If you don't want to order fat on a bun, you can get a free piece by mailing a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Monopoly 2006 Game at McDonald's, Game Piece Request, P.O. Box 49434, Strongsville, OH 44149.
- Go to the forum and speak up when you collect a railroad piece (Reading, Pennsylvania, Short Line, B&O). The first person to collect a piece on the forum gets a share of the prize. Five million splits up nicely.
- Once we get the set, send me the pieces. I will redeem the prize and set up a trust for the money. Cash will be distributed to each shareholder after taxes and legal fees.
Help me turn this bitter childhood memory into one of joy and adulation as only United States currency can. Let's go win some cashola!