We all know that Ray Kroc was the guy who found the McDonald brothers restaurant and turned it into the global empire that it is today, but what most of us don't know is the (completely fictional) tale of how the McDonald brothers got the idea to open the first McDonald's in the first place.
It all started with their mother. Hattie McDonald was from the Old Country. She spoke with a brogue, loved the bagpipes, and was as good a cook as the British Isles ever produced. She would lovingly prepare the haggis and other traditional fare for the brothers Mac every day. Her Sunday meals were elaborate enough for the Queen herself. Her holiday dinners were spectacular.
But poor old Hattie McDonald, as she was the mother of sons, her efforts were never fully appreciated. For her boys would sooner hoover up a meal in eleven seconds than linger over the subtle flavors and textures that Old Mrs. McDonald had so lovingly prepared. Her husband, alas, was no help. He would simply belch, say, "Boys will be boys," and retire to the couch with his belt unbuckled for a nap, while Hattie would spend as many hours in the cleaning as she had in the cooking, feeling very unappreciated and taken advantage of.
And so one fine summer Sunday, Hattie had finally had it. She looked about her kitchen and said, "Enough! I will no longer slave in the kitchen for these ungrateful heathens. If they are going to eat in eleven flat seconds, then I shall cook in eleven flat seconds, and we'll see if they like it!"
Poor Hattie just wanted a little appreciation. She just wanted someone to say, "Gee, Ma, this is a fine haggis you've made for us today!" or even, "This parritch just keeps getting better and better, Mother dear!"
Hattie pounded out some ground beef as thin as you please, and fried it up in a pan. She cut up some potatoes and fried them in oil. And to top it all off, she served the "meal" on old newspapers, instead of on her dear departed great grandmother's china.
Hattie's plan was that the brothers McDonald would hate this hurried up meal, and would finally come to appreciate all of the loving attention that she had been paying them with her food, all these long years.
Alas, we know that it wasn't meant to be. The brothers McDonald loved the meal. What's more, they saw the potential for a fair living, if not an empire, in those paper wrapped sandwiches. Then Ray Kroc came along, and the rest, as they say, is history...
But what happened to poor old Hattie? Did she stick her head in her gas oven? Did she cut herself while slicing the haggis and bleed to death? Did she leap off of the first set of golden arches to her demise?
We may never know, friends. Because I made all of this up entirely. But it is exactly the kind of thing that runs through my head as I'm spending an hour cleaning dishes from a meal that I spent four hours preparing, and that my family has hoovered up in eleven flat seconds.
Haggis picture courtesy of sausages.co.uk. The preceding tale was fiction, and any resemblance to any person or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Except for Ray Kroc and the McDonald brothers, because they really existed, but I don't believe that their mother's name was Hattie, or that she committed suicide.