I stopped by the office on my off day several weeks ago because I was expecting an important e-mail. Zac and Wyatt were with me.
We had run all of our errands and were heading home when James Phillips said, “You should go to McDonald’s and get the baby a Smurf. I bet he would like that.”
Zac and I had seen the previews for the Smurfs movie that came out this summer. It looked cute, and we both wanted to watch it once it is released to DVD.
However, we were not aware that McDonald’s is giving out Smurf toys in Happy Meals until James mentioned it.
The thought of having our very own Smurf was too tempting to resist. We decided to splurge on fast food for lunch rather than cooking something at home as we had planned.
When Zac brought our food to the table, I went straight for the Happy Meal. I held my breath in anticipation as I reached in the box.
Our first Smurf is named Hefty. He is holding a barbell and not even close to three apples tall like the “real” Smurfs are supposed to be.
Wyatt was intrigued by Hefty for a second or two. Then he threw the Smurf on the table and started cramming fries like he hadn’t eaten in days.
I might not have thought Hefty was anything special either if the Happy Meal hadn’t come with a tiny slip of paper showing all 16 Smurfs included in the promotion.
“Wyatt could have a whole family of Smurfs!” I said to myself.
Three days later, Zac asked Wyatt and I to spend his lunch break with him. We eagerly accepted because we don’t see him as much as we used to on Saturdays since the Pig closed.
Getting together for lunch, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, makes us all feel better.
We met Zac at McDonald’s in Sumiton. I ordered a Happy Meal too so Wyatt would get two new Smurfs instead of one.
That’s how Chef and Panicky were reunited with their friend Hefty.
The next day, we stopped by Wal-mart after church to buy our groceries for the week. We could have made it a quick trip and waited until we got home to eat. Instead, we were drawn to the McDonald’s in the back of the store like moths to a flame.
Our fourth and fifth Happy Meals of the week brought us Vanity and a second Panicky.
The Smurfs still weren’t impressing Wyatt. He spent most of the meal flirting with a Wal-mart employee who was having her lunch at a nearby table.
When he first noticed her, he threw his arm across the back of the highchair like the smooth operator he is and smiled in her direction.
When he started to feel like he was losing her attention, he put a fry halfway in his mouth and wiggled it up and down with his teeth.
I was barely paying attention to my son’s shenanigans. We now had one fourth of the Smurfs set and I was concocting a plan to complete it.
A rational person might ask, “Why?”
I think it has something to do with a chemical imbalance in my brain that constantly attracts me to challenges. I set a goal and then work toward it to the point of obsession.
Having all 16 Smurfs lined up on Wyatt’s bookshelf would give me the same sense of accomplishment as earning my college degree. And yes, I know that’s a little twisted.
I went over the edge on a Monday, five days after James suggested that we buy the baby a Smurf.
Zac and I had decided that we would hit the McDonald’s closest to our places of work a couple of times a week until we had all of the Smurfs.
Around lunchtime that Monday, Zac sent me a text that said, “I got Smurfette.”
I couldn’t believe it. Smurfette is the second coolest Smurf in the collection. If Zac had gotten her, then I had to beat him to the king of the Smurfs, a.k.a. Papa.
I dropped whatever I should have been doing (which was probably pretty important) and raced to McDonald’s. I ordered two Happy Meals and didn’t care if the drive-thru person judged me for not having a child in the car with me.
I didn’t even get out of the parking lot before ripping into the Happy Meal bags. To my horror, I discovered that not only did I not get Papa but also that I had ended up with two of the same Smurf in a skirt named Gutsy.
Okay, technically it was a kilt.
My quest to complete our Smurf collection ended a short time later. I was going over our budget and realized that we had spent about $50 in one week on those stupid blue toys in diapers.
We now have eight of the 16 Smurfs. I guess that will have to do.
But if anyone has an extra Papa Smurf, I’d be willing to either trade you a Smurf in a skirt for him or give you a shout-out in a future column.