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Monday, 13 July 2009

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(AP) - Cambridge, MA: If a newly formed children's protective watchdog group has its way, famed McDonald's Hamburg icon "Ronald McDonald" should be charged with child abuse. According to the founder of "RoGo," Stephanie Hertzberg, 43, a health food store owner in Cambridge's Harvard Square, "That so-called clown is guilty of the worst abuses against children I can imagine." Hertzberg held the newsconference wearing Birkenstocks, a long print dress popular in the 1970's and standing next to her 1978 Volvo 240-D station wagon emblazoned with activist stickers such as, "Save The Whales, Sierra Club, Audubon Society & Kim Jong-IL Is A Hunk." Ms. Hertzberg hair was long, unwashed, and a mixture of grey and brown.

"Can you imagine he forced a lollipop on my 6 year old daughter the other day and gazed leeringly until she finished it, despite her repeated cries of 'Danger Stranger'. To say nothing of his evil behavior, that stick is a horrid hazard. She could have put her eye out with it. Lollipops are also a terrible choking hazard and should be outlawed." She also claimed all of the food sold at the Golden Arches is artificial and heavily laced with carcinogens." When asked why a health food store proprietor so displeased with McDonald's offerings would let her children eat at a McDonalds, she snapped "Listen, when you have a bunch of goddamned brats screaming "We Want McDonalds. We Want Mc Donald's," what's a mother to do?"

Ms Hertzberg said she's received hundreds of emails since starting the ad-hoc movement and read a few to the assembled members of the news media. She began with one from Madame Zenya a New Orleans fortune teller. "My kids love Chicken McNuggets, even though I know they are made by DuPont Chemical and full of benzene, toluene, xylene and WD-40. The other day that "thing" (a reference to Ronald McDonald) tried to coerce my three children into accepting three free Happy meals, but they refused saying they never take 'chicken from a stranger,' so I was happy to pay full price and put a curse on the clown. Watch what happens the next time he tries to pee," she gloated. "Now I see why they call them 'Happy Meals.' The thought of it makes me want to vomit," but added, "when you have a bunch of goddamned brats screaming "We Want McDonalds. We Want Mc Donald's," what's a mother to do?"

The next email she read was from Trixy "Barbara" Mondello, a marijuana farmer from Eureka California. "What I'm about to tell you is enough to put that monster away for life. Last Wednesday my son Elmer and I had one of the worst experiences of our lives, absolutely horrid, thanks to that McDowell or whoever he is. I have a lot of trouble with my memory these days. Anyway, Before we could even order, there he was forcing Elmer to accept a balloon and making gestures for him to blow it up. I've spent my life protecting El from child dangers like lead paint, electrical sockets, Kool Aid, town water and yes, balloons, but I didn't see this coming.

"Before I could stop that molesting clown, my poor son was blowing it up. What happened next is unspeakable. McDiddle kept encouraging him to blow, blow, blow & blow. Oh was he gettin' off on it. Suddenly the balloon burst with a thunderous explosion. My poor little guy ran to me screaming in pain, his life ruined with unrepairable hearing loss thanks to that monster, McDougal. I'm sure the pot I let him use on a daily basis for 'medicinal purposes' helped ease the pain, but he'll be paranoid for the rest of his life. Because of my line of work we are both hungry a lot and way up here where can we go? Plus, when you have a bunch of goddamned brats screaming "We Want McDonalds. We Want Mc Donald's," what's a mother to do?"

Well, there's my proof," said Hertzberg, "need I say more. Ten life sentences wouldn't be enough punishment for the clown, if you can even call him that. Son of Satan is a better name!" As she returned to her Volvo, six supporters chanted, "Ro must go, Ro must go. Stop the monster."

When contacted by the AP, McDonald's VP of Clown Operations, "Emmet "Big Mac" Frye said, "We take these allegations seriously. Ronald's job description is very specific. He's limited to making silly faces and waving to the kids. Absolutely no touching. We'll begin an internal investigation when we get around to it."

This is the first time the trademark clown has been accused of any wrongdoing since he first joined the fast food giant in 1963.

By Howard Cronkite Jr., AP Summer Intern Child Abuse Reporter.

The Following Associated Press Summer interns also contributed to this story: Fluffy Lauer, Pinky Wallace, Corky Couric, Taco Rivera & Stoddard "Little Brian" Williams

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