Few would be surprised to learn that American corporations are rampant with secret histories. From the horse that gave Henry Ford the designs for the Model T, to Walt Disney's invitation-only beheadings, to John D. Rockefeller's closet heterosexuality, the foundations of Corporate America are so rotten with deceit it's hardly shocking when an institution's facade comes crashing down, its true past laid bare before the public like a manplate of sushi. Such is the case with that national treasure, McDonald's. For years, McDonald's has stood as a symbol for all that is good and pure in American gastronomy, and has been an edible ambassador to foreign countries across the globe--even to lands opposed to all artifacts of Western culture, such as the Soviet Union and South Carolina. The accepted and official history of the company: that Mac and Dick MacDonald opened the first restaurant in San Bernardino, CA in 1940 as a misguided attempt to impress Adolf Hitler.
It wasn't until the publication of The Legend of Pappy McDonald in 1952 that the true story of McDonald's founding was finally brought to light. Fearing media backlash against the lewd and misanthropic history of McDonald's contained in its pages, Dick and Mac began a campaign to ban the book. Eventually, they convinced Senator Joseph McCarthy to publicly denounce the book's author as a communist, and all copies of the American edition were burned in massive bonfires alongside other "indecent" literature of that era, such as the Betty Crocker Cookbook and Ernest Hemingway's controversial memoir F***ing S***balls, Am I Ever An Overrated Drunk! Unfortunately, the book's manufacturer used substandard pulp for the book's pages, and all those exposed to the toxic burning copies of The Legend of Pappy McDonald suffered from soft tooth disease and eye warts for the rest of their days.
Luckily, copies of the book reached the shores of godless Europe, where Communism is warmly embraced. There, the book is still widely read, though aspects of the prose may be daunting to contemporary readers, including the frequent use the formal "vous" when the informal "tu" would be more appropriate, and the author's tendency to expound upon, over chapters and chapters, just how many meatballs he can eat in one sitting. The patient soul, however, will find the true history of McDonald's founding by 19th-Century prospector/badger-tamer Papatoine "Pappy" McDonald a riveting tale of unchecked hubris and gingivitis.
Amongst the many startling revelations brought forth in The Legend of Pappy McDonald are the following:
- Pappy McDonald was not Scottish, but merely wore the skin of a Scotsman he mercilessly butchered for a handful of plugged nickels.
- The original McDonald's restaurant, built entirely out of moose antlers in 1893 in Dead Man's Nostrils, CA, featured a self serve salad bar that contained nothing but a single head of iceberg lettuce filled with live scorpions.
- The original recipe for McDonald's famous Quarter Pounder required six kinds of bear meat, and a special emulsifier known only as "sour glue." Modern Quarter Pounders substitute the meat from the extinct Californian Golden Bear with tapioca.
- The first McDonald's logo featured Pappy mooning then-presidential-hopeful Zachary Taylor, above a caption that read: "Take a bite of of this, Whiggish trollop!" In today's logo, Pappy's incandescent backside, in the form of two Golden Arches, are all that remain.
- All hot apple pies served in McDonald's restaurants worldwide are from the same stock Pappy himself baked in 1902 while attempting to construct the first man-made pie yacht.
- Fearing criminal prosecution for his 1905 slogan, "Disrobe and Your Nuggets Are Free!," Pappy went underground, emerging years later to compete in the 1916 Amsterdam Olympics' wolverine toss, where he secured America's only gold medal that year.
- Pappy's mysterious death in 1917 was likely the work of French diplomat Serge le Pommefrites, who for years vowed revenge for Pappy's insistence on calling his deep-fried potato side dish "French Diplomat Serge le Pommefrites is a Crossdressing Nancy Boy Fries." The dish's name was later shortened.
To this day, Pappy McDonald is such a popular figure in European culture, even American expatriates find him a worthy figure to immortalize in art. Why, just recently a gentleman posted a t-shirt design idea to the website Threadless.com in the hope of exploiting the international love of Pappy for his own profit:
Why don't you visit the t-shirt's critique page on Threadless and offer any suggestions you might have for improving the shirt, or leave a comment below?
It's what Pappy would want you to do.
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