Mayor McCheese – The Greatest Politician, Ever.

I took an extra day off recently. I spent the day running a few errands. This gave me a chance to grab some lunch with the Omawari-son.

While we were picking at some fried okra and waiting for our barbecue, we were talking about some sort of foolishness that led to me mentioning Mayor McCheese. My son laughed and we batted the name back and forth, then he started talking about what Mayor McCheese might be made of. He described some sort of grilled cheese sandwich with feet.

My son reveals that he was raised by wolves.

His Honor, Mayor McCheese.

I said Mayor McCheese’s head was a cheeseburger. Omawari-son laughed and said, “yeah that would look funny but it’s not really practical”. At that moment, it hit me. He had no idea who we were talking about. I confronted him with this. He said he thought I was making  up Mayor McCheese.

Making up Mayor McCheese. What a horrifying moment this was for me as a parent. Here I am, about to send my son off for his first year of college and I find out that he knows nothing of Mayor McCheese. Eighteen years of teaching him the important principles he needed to understand to be a respected man. Among those things are:

  • Chivalry, courtesy and manners never go out of style. Holding a door, a smile, a firm handshake and pausing to help will get a gentleman far.
  • Born To Run is the greatest single album of music ever recorded.
  • There is no talking in the men’s room from the moment you reach the door until you are washing your hands. No exceptions, even if the building is on fire.
  • A man who does not have time for his mother is not a man.
  • Arriving late is better than never arriving at all. Leave early so you don’t have to rush.
  • A-hole theory: If you hang around a bunch of a-holes, you’re going to get crap on you, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Choose your friends wisely.

The McCheese Legacy.

I got so many lessons into him, but I never told him about the one shining example of a politician who was not suspect simply because he was a politician. During McCheese’s time in office (1971-1985) his image was that of a bumbling, easily flustered dandy in a top hat. I consider McCheese a peerless builder of consensus.

Fourteen years in office, not a hint of scandal. McDonaldland was always bright and clean. The citizens seemed happy.

Safety was the touchstone of the McCheese years. Yes, there was a clown around all the time, but he was not allowed to kill anyone. The Hamburgler went to jail every time he tried something. Every time.

I guess this was a reminder, albeit a very harsh one, that I must stay on top of my efforts to pass on the important life lessons as opportunities present themselves. In the next few weeks I am resolving to make sure the Omawari-son understands that:

  • Fried Okra is good. Okra in gumbo is good. Okra in other forms, not so much.
  • Devils and Dust is an underrated part of Bruce’s catalog of work.
  • Ordering North Carolina style barbecue in other states is a mistake. It will not be right, no matter what the reviews say.
  • Mayor McCheese is the greatest politician, ever.

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33 Comments on “Mayor McCheese – The Greatest Politician, Ever.”

  1. jammer5 says:

    Mayor McCheese kept everybody under his thumb via his secret sauce. Subliminal messages were broadcast through the cities loudspeakers telling everyone to clean up at a certain time, eat burgers loaded with secret sauce three times a day, and brush their teeth after every meal. Other than the secret sauce, it don’t sound too bad 🙂

  2. pattypunker says:

    awesome list of principles to teach your son! born to run is right up there in greatest albums of all time. i tell you my lastest number one album of all time is “alligator” by the national. check it out sometime.

  3. Pauline says:

    Being a child of the 80s, I remember Mayor McCheese! Do you remember the creepy Moon Man called “Mac Tonight” from the McD’s commercials?

  4. HippieCahier says:

    Duly noted on the NC Style Barbecue. Ditto for Maryland crab cakes.
    Gosh, now I’m hungry!

  5. I’d never heard of Mayor McCheese either, but now that you’ve educated me I must beg to differ. Anyone who would let a freak like Ronald roam the streets wasn’t doing his job!

  6. One more thing–I do agree with you about Born to Run. At least it’s in the top 5. Strange Days by the Doors has an unusual persistence for me at number one.

  7. queensgirl says:

    I hope he didn’t take you to McDonald’s for Father’s Day! 🙂

  8. Abe's Blog says:

    Oh man, this is a great blog! I really enjoyed the link to McDonald’s history as I’ve always wondered where those wonderful, happy characters went and have never considered looking it up on Wikipedia.

    Your listing of the important points you have taught your son are just great. I especially like the “no talking in the men’s room, ever” line. So true. All of us have had to endure the hapless fellow who is not aware of this rule and attempts to make conversation in this special place. It is not a good scene.

    • omawarisan says:

      Those guys that don’t know the rule…auuugh!

      I especially like it when they come in and I’m standing there and they say “what are you doing?”

      I’ve been telling people who ask that that “I’m holding my own” but I’m considering switching to something like “you dropped your car keys, I’m washing them off”

  9. tsanda says:

    your son and I should hang out… I had no idea somebody so perfect existed either. do you think that mayor mccheese is sick of getting eaten?

  10. Because People Are Idiots says:

    Mayor McCheese is indeed the golden (arches) standard of cartoon mayors. I mean, look at his counterparts. The mayor from The Powerpuff Girls is incompetent and the Simpsons’ Joe Quimby is a corrupt womanizer. I say more McCheese, less sleaze (good campaign slogan if he runs for prez).

  11. linlah says:

    I recently refered to one of my young co-workers as “Mr. Greenjeans” and he had no idea who I was talking about. Really? You don’t know who Captain Kangaroo is? Nope. Ugh, welcome to you are old.

  12. frigginloon says:

    Might be an opening in the Whitehouse soon. Vote 1 Mayor McCheese for president!

  13. Pie says:

    I like the a-hole theory as one of the principles to teach a child. Excellent.

    I vaguely remember Mayor McCheese. I don’t think he was such a big deal in the UK. Or maybe it was just me, because he wasn’t on my radar. He would be a good candidate for any high political office, nevertheless.

  14. planetross says:

    – I agree with all of those 6 principles.

    – I remember there was a policeman hamburger in some of those commmercials as well. I can’t remember his name though.

    – I would listen to Bruce sing anything … even Mcdonald’s theme songs. hee hee!

  15. spencercourt says:

    > Okra in other forms, not so much.

    Have you tried pickled okra? There is nothing pickled that I lust after more. But it is so expensive….

    I used to pickle it myself when okra was cheap. Sometimes, I find it on a buffet and then gorge myself….

    Okra and tomatoes is also very good. Plain okra is not as good.

    I think I read somewhere that “gumbo” is a West African word for “okra.”

  16. […] McCheese is not really the greatest politician ever. The truth is, politicians and greatness do not […]

  17. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I miss Mayor McCheese, Birdie, The Hamburglar, the Fry Guys, & so many more. I bet they’re somewhere hanging out with Joe Camel.

    Did you ever see Mac and Me? It’s a movie-length commercial for McDonald’s that’s a blatant ripoff of E.T.

    Perhaps the kid ought to have that under his belt before he goes out into the real world.

    Perhaps some Bloodhound Gang is in order to maximize understanding of pop culture references?


    Tried to O.D. on the Cold-Eeze
    “Golden Girls” got me “Sweatin’ To The Oldies”
    Hanging out like Double Ds, sip Long Island Iced Teas
    Wrote to Mayor McCheese “Send a Shamrock Shake please!”
    Three O’ Clock on the dot, time to cruise for Eighth graders
    Rather tape the Weather Channel so that I can watch it later
    Reruns of Rerun so “What’s Happening?”
    Dee’s knocked up and Rog on crack again

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