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The Happy Meal

December 20, 2025

Eleven months after the President’s Inauguration.

Six months after his declaration of martial law.

I listened to the Swiss clock mounted on my kitchen wall; I realized my life and my country had gone cuckoo.

I sat at the kitchen table wondering:

Are the kids asleep?

Are they safely in their beds?

Are they okay?

I looked down at and stared at my daughter’s collection of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys clustered on the Formica-topped table.

She had collected the whole nativity scene.

A scene which included:

A Baby Jesus sleeping in a manger, a Mary, a Joseph, an angel, a magi, a brown camel, a shepherd, a sorrel donkey, a gray ox and a black sheep.

I silently cursed, “You fuckers, how could you do this to me!”

My curses were directed to the President’s Council on Religious Affairs. For they had ordered McDonald’s to put crèche toys in every Happy Meal for the whole month of December.

I whispered my curses for I feared bugs in my home.

I remembered when the Supreme Court had ruled—in a 6 to 3 vote—that it was not a violation of the separation of church and state for Congress to authorize the President the power to regulate what toys ended up in fast food cardboard boxes festooned with Christmas trees, red and white candy canes and jolly Santas.

I wanted to shove the collection to the floor and scream, “Enough is enough! You win! I’m leaving! You have driven me coo coo!”

But I didn’t.

For I feared hidden video cameras.

As tears pour down my face, I remembered the good old days when I took freedom, liberty and justice for granted.

I placed my hand on my head.

I prayed, “G-d, please return my life and my government to a state of normalcy.”

And I wept.

And I sobbed.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort was a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal. He has recently taken on the post of president of the South Florida Writers Association.
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