Excerpts From Diary of a Rejected McDonaldland Character

By: Mike Richardson-Bryan

Oct. 16, 1970 — Just got back from auditions for that new McDonald’s campaign. Man, they weren’t kidding when they said they wanted “colourful characters” — there were clowns, burglars, pirates, guys with cheeseburgers for heads, and a bunch of midgets who looked like pubic wigs with eyes — but I was the only talking owl, so I must’ve stood out. Fingers crossed!

Nov. 9, 1970 — First day of rehearsal. Met the rest of the cast, including some kind of purple mutant named Grimace. Seriously, who names their kid Grimace? And he’s so fat, he looks like he couldn’t crack his knuckles without getting winded. I shouldn’t have any trouble acting circles around those freaks.

Nov. 16, 1970 — Another tough rehearsal. I think I twisted an ankle during the human pyramid, but after downing half a bottle of Tylenol in the washroom, I was good to go. No pain, no gain.

Nov. 23, 1970 — I really misjudged Grimace. He’s a sweet guy, much smarter than his jolly fat monster shtick would have you believe, and he really knows his stuff. I bet he’s got a big future ahead of him if the weight doesn’t kill him first.

Dec. 2, 1970 — Unbelievable! I showed up for the shoot, raring to go, but the producer pulled me aside and told me I was cut. Cut! He said it’s something to do with my name not testing well, so I offered to work under another name — any name they wanted — but that wasn’t good enough for him. So, just like that, I’m out. But I’ll show them. The world hasn’t seen the last of CholesterOwl!

Dec. 4, 1970 — Grimace dropped by to see how I was doing. I wasn’t doing so well (oh, sambuca, you can be a cruel mistress), but it was nice to see a friendly face. Haven’t heard a peep out of anyone else.

Jan. 25, 1971 — Saw the first McDonaldland commercial today. I hate to admit it, but it looked good, real good, and everybody was in fine form. They gave my part (sigh) to one of the midgets.

July 16, 1972 — Keeping busy. Doing five shows a week at the dinner theatre, and I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback about that public service announcement I did for the STD clinic (thank God mom didn’t see it). Climb, climb, climb…

Dec. 7, 1973 — Did lunch with Grimace today. He looked bad, sick and pale and fatter than ever, but he ate like a horse. I didn’t want to say anything, but when he ordered his third slice of pie, I suggested he slow down. He started to cry and said he feels sick all the time, but that whenever he tries to lose weight, that producer threatens to fire him if he drops a single roly-poly pound. God, I’d like to peck that jerk’s face in!

Jun. 22, 1975 — Grimace’s funeral is tomorrow. The synagogue isn’t on a bus route, but Poppin’ Fresh said he’d give me a lift if I chipped in for gas. I hope Lynn and the twins are holding up okay.

Sep. 23, 1975 — Just saw the “new” Grimace on TV. They didn’t waste any time, did they? I hope the guy in that purple fatsuit gets cancer of the tongue and testicles and dies.

Jul. 15, 1977 — Checked myself into rehab. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be clean and sober and back on track. Fingers crossed!

Jan. 16, 1980 — Knocked over another McDonald’s. Was on the way out when the manager mouthed off. Should’ve let it go, but for a second there, in the glow of the heat lamps, he looked a little bit like that producer, and that was it. Not sure how long I was on him, but when I finally got off, there was a bloody hole where his face used to be and he was dead. Sure hope I didn’t leave any clues behind.

Feb. 13, 1980 — Saw my lawyer again. He says my history with McDonald’s is gonna hurt me at trial. What am I supposed to do? Admit that I’ve also robbed two Dairy Queens and a Kentucky Fried Chicken? The system is stacked against a guy like me.

Mar. 13, 1980 — Expecting a verdict tomorrow. Lawyer keeps saying I never should’ve taken the stand, but I think I came off pretty well, and besides, Juror #10 was totally coming on to me, which can’t hurt. I feel lucky!

Mar. 17, 1980 — First day of prison. I was worried at first, after all those stories I heard in lock-up about birds in prison being ambushed in the shower and gang-plucked, but so far everyone’s been real nice. Maybe I’ll be okay in here after all.

Mar. 31, 1980 — Feathers finally starting to grow back.

Jul. 8, 1993 — Just came from the best Mascots Behind Bars meeting ever! Spuds McKenzie read some more of his poetry, Sugar Bear and Toucan Sam settled their differences and had a good cry afterwards, and the Noid finally came to terms with his unspeakable crimes. The healing has truly begun!

Oct. 24, 1993 — Had to shiv the Noid. I know he’s the one who raided my stash, plus I just couldn’t take the nonstop giggling anymore. He won’t have anything to giggle about for a while, that’s for sure.

Mar. 16, 2005 — Free! After twenty-five long years, I’m finally free! And mark my words, things will be different this time. No more ego, no more anger, and definitely no more drugs. This time it’ll be all about the craft. I’ve already landed an audition for a reality TV show about troubled product mascots. Fingers crossed!


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