Despite our ten year difference in age, my brother, (known as Gator on here), and I are very close. And as with all siblings who are close, we tend to antagonize the shit out of each other. As a matter of fact, I just remembered this weekend that I found out that I liked pumpkin pie when I ate the last piece of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie only because my brother likes it and I wanted to get revenge on him for doing something (I don’t remember exactly) to annoy me and .
While there are always new and traumatizing ways to annoy each other, one battle in particular has been raging for years:
The Battle for the McDonald’s Halloween McNuggets.
The Happy Meal is one of McDonalds’ most evil schemes ever. The lure of fast food is kryptonite enough for the average American child, but throw in a toy that comes with that salt-laden, diabetes-inducing garbage and you have children’s Nirvana. In October of 1993(?) and 1996(?) the Happy Meal weapon of choice toy was a plastic Chicken McNugget dressed in different Halloween costumes. There were six nuggets, each with a different face and costume with could be mixed and matched between the nuggets. It was pure evil marketing genius. I was a teenager at that time so I managed to avoid being snared in these heinous traps but my brother was only a kid and fell for them hook, line and cholesterol. My mother was not one to overindulge us in fast food, however my brother did manage to collect all twelve Halloween McNuggets that were released in two waves.
Over the years, my brother lost interest in playing with the Halloween McNuggets and my mother grew more attached to them. They were no longer toys but my mother’s favourite Halloween decorations. She became so protective of these plastic bits of commercialism that when a house guest admired them, she counted the nuggets after they left to make sure that they hadn’t taken any.
About ten years ago–when my brother was the teenager and I was a so-called adult–my mother, knowing how much I love Halloween made a remark about my having the Halloween McNuggets after she was gone.
“What?!” my brother sputtered. “They’re mine!”
“You haven’t looked at them in years! And your sister loves Halloween,” my mother told him.
“I don’t care! And I like them, too!” my brother insisted.
I had been just about to tell my mother that she wasn’t going to be “gone” for a long time so let’s not entertain the topic until my brother became belligerent and I knew I had to check him.
“Since when do you like them?” I glared at him.
“Since always!” he glared back.
“Alright, then you can share them,” my mother replied.
“I’m not sharing! They’re mine!” my brother insisted.
“You won’t even share?” I shook my head at him.
“No! They. Are. Mine!” my brother snarled.
Thus began the battle began.
Every October, when my mother pulls the McNuggets out of the attic and decorates the television stand with them, my brother and I argue over who will have custody of the nuggets. My brother insists that they were his toys. I point out that Mom bought them and took care of them. He counters that she doesn’t even always remember which face goes with which costume so that shows that he knows the nuggets better. (And I have to tell you that in typing this out I’m even more aware of what a bunch of fucking lunatics we are in this family–especially because it only gets worse.)
“Is it true that Gator and Kat are fighting over the Halloween McNuggets?” My aunt specifically called to ask my mother this.
“Oh yes, this battle has been going on for years. I’m not worried about making provisions in my will about the house or the car, but I had better leave some clause in there about these nuggets. I told them that they had to share, though Gator insists that he won’t,” my mother replied.
“Well they were Gator’s toys so he should get them all,” my aunt told my mother. “I’m sure that Kat didn’t want them at the time or we would have bought her some.”
I happened to hear this through the phone and was thunderstruck.
“What the fuck? I was a teenager! Of course I didn’t want them then! But Gator didn’t want them for years after he had them!” I shouted back.
“Your brother and your cousin used to play with them all together!” my aunt shouted through the phone back.
“Then I’ll take Shell’s!” I threatened (though I wouldn’t really take my cousin’s nuggets.)
“I have a few of them that Kat can have!” I heard my grandmother shout through my aunt’s phone.
“This is all because Gator won’t share!” I yelled, at which point my brother entered the argument so that there were five of us having one phone conversation and yes I realize how fucking mental this all is.
And so the battle rages on.
My aunt is on my brother’s side, my cousin is on my side, my grandmother is trying to be Switzerland, and my mother is terrified that she is going to die and my brother and I will kill each in a fighting for custody of The Halloween McNuggets. It’s been pointed out to me that I could find another set on eBay, but to be completely honest, the battle itself has become more the point of contention than the actual spoils. I’ll admit that I’m being antagonistic, but it would be funny to find out that my brother was doing the same thing, and did not want the nuggets but saw an opportunity harass me when our mother made a small, innocent remark about bequeathing them to me.
UPDATE 2020: First, I cannot believe that this entry is eight years old. Second, my brother has since graduated college, completed his Masters, and has a career as a teacher. In 2017 he bought his first house, and when that October came around, the Halloween McNuggets took up residence with their rightful owner who is, I will admit, my brother.