Column: The Happy Meal is on the Roof
January 18, 2023
There is an infamous scene from the television show "Breaking Bad" where the main character tosses a pizza on the roof of his home in a fit of rage. As bizarre as that may sound, it seemed completely normal to me.
While it wasn't a pizza, I had once done something similar, which seemed pretty appropriate at the time.
I am ten years older than my sister Megan, and I often had to watch her during the summer months. We would usually get along, but she also displays a stubborn side, and when this happens, it's probably easier to get something done at the DMV than to deal with her.
When she was around eight or nine, she got into this "I need to eat at Mcdonald's" daily phase. She would inform me that she wanted a Happy Meal for lunch every morning. This would start at around 9 a.m., and at about 11, the frequency would increase. If I told her no, she would go into a frenzy that would make Charles Manson look sane.
On one fateful day, Megan was extra vicious with her demands for fast food. I would often cave in, but on this day, I wanted nothing to do with it. There had been times when she got mad, including once when she threw a pan at me, but I had no intention of leaving the house.
I had about $5 to my name and didn't want to use it so she could eat whatever Mcdonald's meat really is.
After about three hours of her going berserk, I finally stormed out of the house. I wasn't even thinking. I just got in the car and drove down the street.
About halfway down the road, I realized I had just left a kid in the house by themselves, and I freaked out. I'm sure she wasn't going to burn the house down and was versed in stranger danger, so I calmed down and decided I would make the five-minute trip to Mcdonald's and get her the stupid Happy Meal.
I was excited to give her the food and see a smile after the morning of rage.
She saw me pull up and came outside to greet me. I showed her the Mcdonald's and got the bad news that she had just eaten a sandwich. I snapped and wasn't sure whether I wanted to scream, curse, or stomp down the street and leave her alone again.
My reaction was swift, and I wadded the bag up and hurled it onto our roof.
Was it a little bit insane? Sure, but in my eyes, it was totally justified. I always felt terrible about the incident until years later when I saw the scene on "Breaking Bad." It was a full-circle moment. It wasn't a vile act I had committed; it was just something people do when they are mad. Since I saw it on television, that made it justifiable.
Getting it off the roof was more trouble than the trip. I'm not so graceful on ladders.
Looking back, I'm sure I probably got her McDonalds a few more times, but it never ended up on the roof.