Okay, no more Mr. McNice Guy.
First, I tried to get Theresa to eat a McRib by offering her ten bucks. She turned it down without a second's hesitation. Undeterred, I moved on to Plan B, which involved a certificate for a half-hour massage and some really, really fine print. The plan actually worked like a charm, as she accepted the offered massage. However, displaying a shameful disregard of the established contract, Theresa refused to honor the microscopic "Neener-Neener-Now-You-Gotta-Eat-a-McRib" clause.
So, left with no other choice, I had her dog Newton kidnapped.
Theresa was sitting in the living room, probably thinking about what a great deal she could get on Halloween decorations for next year. She's kind of obsessive like that. I heard her son Doug and his girlfriend Obie come in through the front door. I intercepted them before they could get to the living room.
"I need one of you guys to take Newton for a drive. Just fifteen minutes or so," I said.
They knew what I was up to, so Obie volunteered. She took Newt out to her car while Doug went upstairs and I placed a phone call to a third accomplice, my brother Bobby.
"Dude, I need your help with something," I said. I explained my McQuest, and gave him his instructions. This is the brother who, when he was seven, rigged a booby trap for our babysitter and then hit her in the face with a bucket of water. He was absolutely the right guy for this assignment.
I went back upstairs and sat on the couch, waiting. A couple minutes later, Theresa's cell phone rang.
"Do you know where your dog is?"
"Doooo . . . yoooooo . . . knowwwww . . . where your dog is?"
"Who is this?"
"It's Ronald McDonald. Have you seen your dog lately?"
Theresa covered the phone and asked me and Doug, "Have you guys seen Newton?"
"He's not here?" We pretended to look for the dog, calling his name over and over, trying not to chuckle. Of course, he didn't respond. He was on a pleasant drive with Obie. Meanwhile, Theresa's panic level was rising.
"Do you have my dog? . . . WHO IS THIS! YOU'RE NOT RONALD MCDONALD!" Finally, she hung up on him, and helped us look for Newton.
That's when I texted her this picture:
The text was clearly sent by "CHRIS CELL". Why this didn't clue her in to the prank, I have no idea.
"Oh my God! Someone just texted me a picture of Newton! He's blindfolded! Who took this picture?!"
She ran out into the back yard, frantically calling out, "NEWTON! NEWTON!" while Doug and I watched from the back deck.
"Think we should tell her?" he asked.
"Not just yet. Let her sweat it out just a little longer."
She came back inside. "He's not out here! The gate's still locked so he couldn't have gotten out, where the hell is he?" She went to look downstairs.
When she was out of earshot, Doug looked at me and said, "You know she's gonna be pissed, right?"
"I told her she should've just eaten the McRib when I offered her ten bucks. This is her own fault."
"Yeah, I'm sure she's gonna see it like that."
"Okay, okay, I'll let her in on it." I took out my phone and texted her this:
From downstairs, I heard her phone beep, followed by an ominous silence.
And then the yelling started.
"YOU KIDNAPPED NEWTON TO GET ME TO EAT A FUCKING MCRIB?! WHERE THE HELL IS HE?!" She stormed back upstairs and gave me a look that would cause ravenous wolves to flee in terror and woodchucks to burst into flame.
"If I tell you, will you eat one?" I asked.
"Fine, then I don't know where he is. He probably ran away and got hit by a truck."
"You're a jerk. Where is he?"
"Eat the McRib?"
"Yeah, okay, fine, where's my dog?"
Doug called Obie who returned moments later with Newton who, as usual, hadn't the foggiest clue what was going on.
Theresa eventually calmed down, and she started putting it all together. "Who was it that called me?" she asked.
"That was Bobby."
She grabbed her phone, and called his number. Suffice it to say, someone's going to be short one Christmas present this year.
Victorious, I drove to McDonald's to get a McRib. As a minor concession, I agreed to let Theresa special order it, no pickles or onions. By the time I got home, though, she had reconsidered the whole thing.
"Forget it, I'm not eating one."
A rather boisterous argument ensued, Doug and I taking the "you gotta eat one, you promised" point of view, Theresa adamantly in the "oh no I don't, either" camp. Obie was keeping out of it, as she was already in enough trouble with Theresa and our other dog Munson, who was pissed off that she didn't take him for a ride in the car.
"Okay, okay," Theresa finally agreed. "I'll take ONE bite, and then you have to eat some seaweed."
"That wasn't part of the deal," I said. Seaweed is friggin' disgusting. Theresa eats it all the time, wrapped around rice and fish into a "moosabee" or something like that. Truly, they're gross.
"Do you want me to eat the McRib or not?"
Remembering the original goal, I said, "Fine. But you're eating the McRib first."
She was a bit reluctant at first:
She tried to get away with a couple microscopic nibbles, but Doug and I weren't about to let her get away with it. "You gotta at least take a full bite, meat and bun," I said. So she did.
I kept my end of the bargain by choking down a bit of seaweed. In case you're wondering, it tastes just like fish food smells, if that makes any sense.
Of course, we still had about 90% of a McRib left uneaten. Theresa sure wasn't going to finish it off, Doug and I both passed, and Obie was still sitting silently on the couch waiting for the whole ordeal to blow over. In the end, there was only one reasonable thing to do . . .
It was only fair. Newton had gone through a pretty traumatic experience.
It may have taken a few weeks of playing Sam-I-Am -- offering bribes, giving a massage, and finally stooping to doggie abduction -- but as promised, I got Theresa to eat (or at least take a bite of ) a McRib sandwich.