A Last Goodbye

This April Fools, what will you do?

In 1963 Ronald McDonald broke every rule in advertising when he stunned children by speaking to them directly, saying:

“Here I am kids. Hey, isn’t watching TV fun? Especially when you got delicious McDonald’s hamburgers. I know we’re going to be friends too ‘cause I like to do everything boys and girls like to do. Especially when it comes to eating those delicious McDonald’s hamburgers.”

But now, almost half a century and an obesity epidemic later, the tide has turned. Ronald’s old childhood chums have become supersized, diabetic adults and aren’t quite so gullible anymore. Today’s parents are a lot less likely to permit Ronald to enter their living rooms and address their children directly.

Aging Ronalds may come to a violent end. Ronnies are vanishing from restaurants and malls. Some have been found hanged in trees, lying in landfills, body parts scattered in unlikely places. Some call it vandalism, others, citizen justice. With April Fools’ approaching, we can only hold our breath and wring our hands with concern for our dear old friend, wondering what hooligans will do next …

—Kono Matsu