My almost 3-year-old daughter likes chicken nuggets. What 3 year old doesn’t? And so, it is with too much frequency that we visit McDonald’s (or as my daughter says, The Chicken Nugget Store) to get the 4-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal. We’re not proud of this fact, but at least we get apple juice (not soda), and apple dippers with caramel (not french fries). And of course, what is a Happy Meal without a cute little toy?
Until recently, that cute little toy was one of several wonderful little cars from the recent Pixar film, Cars. Our daughter liked her first car so much that we went back week after week to get more. And then we saw the movie – her first time to a movie theater – and fell in love. In all we got five cars from Happy Meals, though we lost one somewhere between the front steps and her bedroom.
And so it was with great sadness and gnashing of teeth that on our most recent visit to The Chicken Nugget Store that we received a stinkin’ pirate toy with her nuggets (McDonald’s has moved on to Pirates of the Caribbean). What would we do?
Ebay, of course.
And so, last night I’m sitting on Ebay, bidding on cheap plastic fast food promotional toys. One of the auctions for the Doc Hudson car got up to $6.50 – too much for my liking, so I moved on to another seller offering the same toy. Ha! I got it for $2.50! OK, one down, but we still needed about 5 more cars for the whole set. And so I bid, and bid, and bid, anxiously refreshing the webpages every few minutes to see if I was still the high bidder.
As the auctions came down to the last minute, I found myself hitting the refresh button in rapid-fire mode as if it were the shoot button on a Space Invaders arcade game. It went something like this: Hit refresh. "58 seconds remaining – I’m still winning!" Hit refresh. "57 seconds – I’m still winning!" Hit refresh. "56 seconds – I’m still . . . " And thus went the last minute of about 5 different auctions last night.
Yeah, I’m pathetic. But in the end we won six toys for a total of $40 (including shipping). And how do we feel about this? Well, there are mixed emotions. First, there is the exhileration of winning. But then there is the shame of spending so much money on six McDonald’s give-away choking hazzards. Yet on the other hand, our daughter really did enjoy the movie and has (temporarily?) abandoned her love of princesses for a love of cars and trucks (she cried last night because she wanted to sit on a car and truck potty seat, not the pink princess potty seat that she picked out). It’s for our kid, right?
So I feel OK about the cars. I’ve paid for them, the Ebay madness is over, and everything is hunky dorey. These will be a nice little gift to throw into the mix with my daughter’s birthday coming up.
But then I got an email from one of the Ebay sellers. "You purchased the clean Lightning McQueen car. Would you like the dirty one, too?" (an alternate version of the toy, depicting the main character covered in tar and asphault during his hiatus in the all-but-abandoned town of Radiator Springs).
My response, after some hemming and hawing: "Sure, but no more than the $5 I paid for the clean one."
Argh. Whether it is Mormons or cheap plastic toys, I’m a sucker.