Defiant McDonald’s manager spits in the face of Grimace canon

Grimace is a taste bud, says one Brian Bates. To that, we say “nay.”

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Grimace and Ronald McDonald in holiday parade
Photo: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s, Inc. (Getty Images)

Listen to me. Listen to me. I—are you listening? Look me in the face, peer into my unbelievably stunning hazel eyes, and listen to what I’m about to tell you: Grimace is not a taste bud. There’s no way. And yet, that’s exactly what a Canadian McDonald’s manager is claiming. I have one word for you: anarchy. Anarchy is upon us.

Let me back up a smidge. First, if you’re unfamiliar with Grimace, he’s the jolly purple gumdrop-like figure in the McDonaldland canon. He debuted in 1971 as one of several McDonald’s mascots, and he was originally branded as the “Evil Grimace” who was hellbent on stealing soda pop and milkshakes. He became one of the good guys in 1972.

Grimace has a story. Grimace has lore. Grimace even has a family, including the shillelagh-wielding Uncle O’Grimacey who used to mark the annual resurgence of the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shake. Grimace is to be respected. And yet, here comes one Brian Bates who, after accepting his designation as Outstanding McDonald’s Manager of the Year, tore into Grimace canon in an interview with the CBC. Now, after 10 years with the company, Bates is using his VIP status to argue that Grimace is, in fact, a taste bud. “He is an enormous taste bud, but a taste bud nonetheless,” Bates told the CBC.

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Are you kidding me? Are you goddamn kidding me?

Now, I know that Canadian McDonald’s menus differ from U.S. McDonald’s menus. But Bates’ proclamation flies in the face of McDonaldland scholarship to which I so desperately cleave. It’s no wonder that Bates’ interview is making the rounds on Twitter. The American people know one thing to be true: Grimace isn’t a taste bud. He’s a GRIMACE. He comes from a line of GRIMACES. They’re big purple monsters with no evolutionary prowess other than looking goofy! They don’t serve a purpose, nor should they! To Bates, I say: show me the proof, sir. Until then, I shall cleave to the lore.