The La Brea McDonald’s was so bright that it was almost glowing. I blinked as I entered, filled with uncertainty. How was this McDonald’s brighter than the sun outside? And why was it so clean? It was shockingly clean. I looked around, confused.
“Is this nicer than my apartment?” I wondered. “I think it’s nicer than my apartment. I want to live in this McDonald’s.”
There was something about the physics of the place that seemed off. Like, a McDonald’s had no right to be so pristine and shiny. I began wondering if I’d had a massive heart attack on my way in, died, and this was the light I had followed to the afterlife. “Probably not, but hard to say,” I thought, eyeing the man outside of the bathrooms who was sweeping absolutely nothing up off of the spotless floor. It was suspicious.
“Hades henchman might just look like a normal guy sweeping,” I thought. “That is, until he shoves you onto a boat and ferries you to the underworld.”
“Do you want to order something?” The woman at the counter asked, interrupting this dreamy reverie.
She seemed confused about why a visibly pregnant woman was standing in the middle of a fast food restaurant, slowly turning in a circle, an expression of wonder on her face — as if she’d just stepped from the black and white world of Kansas into the vibrant technicolor of Oz. Her reaction was understandable.
“I just need a minute,” I said, my purse heavy with bags from other fast food establishments. “Just one second.”
Most people wouldn’t have reacted to McDonald’s as if they were stepping into the Four Seasons and/or a gleaming, yet terrifying afterlife. But most people weren’t on their fourth fast food restaurant of the day, purse literally overflowing with a chicken nugget bounty. Most people don’t have the chicken nugget sweats at 12pm on a work day. “Most people” are lucky fucking people.
Here’s a realization you never want to have when you’re only 1/3 of the way through a day of consuming roughly 50-75 chicken nuggets: “I don’t really like chicken nuggets.” There. I said it. I didn’t realize this when I started this dumb assignment, but I sure learned it. And let me tell you this revelation was akin to 911 calling you to let you know the calls are coming from inside the house (right before the line goes dead and the power goes out). It means terrible things are about to go down.
I was hungry when I took that first bite of a fast food nugget after many years away. And as the taste of soggy cardboard filled my mouth, I thought, “Oh no. NO. THIS IS WHAT THEY TASTE LIKE? No. Noooooooooooooo.” That’s the moment in the horror movie when I ran towards the dark, basement stairs instead of getting the hell out. The only way out was deeper into the abyss. No escape; no exit. Ronald McDonald was coming for me. And the clown wanted blood.
Plus, I’d already asked our graphic designer to make the pictures.
I started this nugget journey with genuine hope. I remember chicken nuggets as being a delicious childhood treat. Plus, look at all the press nugs were getting lately. If a kid was inspired to get millions of retweets in order to get Wendy’s chicken nuggets for a year, then they must be good, right? Man, looking back. I was really on board with that whole scenario. Maybe too on board, to be honest. “GIVE THE BOY HIS NUGS!” I said loudly to anybody who would listen. I even changed my Facebook status to help him, something I usually reserve for important political posts that definitely make a difference and videos of babies snuggling with cats.
So going into this whole thing, I thought this was going to be delicious, easy. I thought it would be fun.
It wasn’t. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Why do I keep making the same mistakes again and again? Eating this much fast food is literally never a good idea. I’m not a doctor, but if I saw me from the outside, continually choosing to eat copious amounts of fast food over and over again, I’d think, “Were you dropped on your head as a child?”
Well, for your information. I was dropped on my head as a child. I was two years old, and my father slipped on the ice (he does not think this is funny yet, because I fractured my skull. Even though it’s been forever and the only lasting damage is that I am a horrible degenerate who ranks fast food online for a living).
I digress. Point being, I went to fast food after fast food establishment and gobbled down nuggets like it was a fire sale and they were going to run out at some point. And before you ask, “Yes, I ordered other things.” Smoothies, fries, a biscuit….there genuinely seems to be no bottom to the depths in which I will sink.
And I feel…. weary, dear reader. The world is not only comprised of the shining beacon of light that is the McDonald’s on La Brea Avenue. Life is fraught with dingy KFCs, questionable Burger King bathrooms with urine absolutely everywhere, and a Wendy’s with impossibly skinny parking spaces. The path I walk is a lonely one. I am beset on all sides by high cholesterol and breaded nuggets. But I persevere. And will continue to. If only so that you know whether Burger King or Mickey D’s has the best nugs. If only for that.
This is your list of fast food chicken nuggets, power ranked.
For this list we will be rating using, “Chickens I would personally hunt down and murder in order to eat these horribly processed monstrosities (which I don’t actually like).” Yes, this is a particularly dark ranking system. But chickens died for these nugs, guys. Let’s be realistic about that. If you aren’t okay with that reality then you should try MorningStar Buffalo veggie chicken nuggets. Which. Are. Delicious.