...we need to talk about Ronald McDonald's new outfit
Listen. Ronald McDonald got a makeover and we really need to talk about this right now.
You would think, considering my fondness for makeup and all things silly and ridiculous, that clowns would be right up my alley. I've even mentioned clown college at least three times in the life of this column the past four years.
Sorry. The answer is, "nope."
I don't want clowns right up my alley, nor do I want them anywhere in the vicinity.
I shared, a year or so ago, a photo of the original Ronald portrayed by none other than Smuckers' jelly-loving Willard Scott. If you're reading this online, have yourself a quick little Google image search, then save some room in your nightmares.
I'll give him this: Modern-day Ronald is not as silent-scream inducing as the original, by far; but, can someone please tell me who wants to buy hamburgers from this guy? And, furthermore, how in any way is this new outfit an improvement?
Gone is his yellow prison jumpsuit and, in its place, are a pair of mustard-yellow slacks, a red and white striped shirt and a red blazer which makes him appear as though he wants to sell you a house instead of a side of fries. Honestly. It's like bad '70s leisure suit meets realtor.
But how do you improve on an already terrifying ensemble?
Here, in my wild imagination, and keeping with the ketchup and mustard color-scheme, are a few ways it could have gone. And admittedly, I've made it much worse than what exists now in some instances.
Hipster Ronald is most likely a vegetarian because he's so over the whole hamburger thing. He was eating hamburgers before anyone ever thought they were any good. He would don black-rimmed glasses, skinny, high-water jeans and, in place of his giant clown shoes, would be a giant pair of red Chuck Taylors.
He'd wear some kind of ironic T-shirt and smoke an e-Cig while listening to music by bands who you have never heard before. A red and yellow tartan-patterned flannel would replace his Realtor blazer and he would need to grow a beard - two things I fully support. We all know I have a thing for beards and flannels.
Ho-butt Ronald could gladly borrow Hipster Ronald's flannel, but he'd have to replace his skinny jeans with a loose-fitting bootcut denim in a light-to-medium wash - unless it's summer, then roll out the camo shorts. A hat of some sort would also be necessary as well as a propensity for Marlboros and Budweiser. He would wear some sort of yellow or red band T-shirt and his red clown shoes would need to be upgraded to some kind of boot because there is no way this Ronald won't be spending time "out the mountains" tearing it up in his Jeep.
We would welcome this Ronald with open arms around here, but I'm not sure the rest of the world would understand. It's OK, though. There's no way Ho-butt Ronald wouldn't end up falling in love with an "up" and a "down" on a late-night Coney run, destroying all loyalty to the company that bears his name.
I understand Ronald has lived his entire life as a clown. I understand it's all he knows. It's hard. Do you think it was easy for Gene Simmons to hang up the Kiss makeup and face the world with that face, let alone that head of hair, of his? Of course not.
But, who's to say the guy needs to be a clown anymore? It may have seemed like a good idea back in the Willard Scott days, but consider the stigma clowns carry thanks to movies like "It" and "Killer Clowns From Outer Space." People fear clowns and for good reason. They appear to smile simply because they are thinking about murder all day long. Or it that just me?
I don't know. I just don't see why we can't entertain the idea that Ronald is ready to retire the whole clown thing, take some Noxema to that face of his and allow his obviously-dyed red hair to mature into a sophisticated, George Clooney-esque salt-and-pepper style that will, come on, still work with the whole fast food business thing.
I just can't get onboard with the outfit, but he's apparently tweeting now under the mantra, "fun makes great things happen." Well, well, well, Mr. McDonald. Although I'm not a "tweeter," fun is the common bond that I share with anyone who has meaning in my life, so that, sir, is where we'll find our truce.
(Jenna Wasakoski is an assistant editor at The News-Item. Her column appears every Thursday.)