Grimace was a happy child, even though his parents perished in an accident involving a cotton candy cart and exorbitant amounts of aerosol hairspray. He was raised by his grandma, Winky, in a small cottage in Ireland. The Grimaces as a population had long been outcasts in society because they were purple in a land that loved green, but mostly because they were Jewish.
On rainy Ireland afternoons, Grimace and his brother, Conga, liked to listen to their HAM radio, fascinated by the tales of the outside world.
For a science fair, Grimace fashioned his own HAM radio out of a colander, but woke up to find that his brother had stolen it, and convinced Winky and all of his teachers that he was the one who made it. Grimace stared at the blue ribbon his brother took home that day, and developed right then what would always be a tick that made his left eye blink when angry. Winky took the boys into town to celebrate, and they ate dinner at a small diner. When no one was looking, Grimace used his extra set of arms to steal a row of milkshakes and pops. It was the first time all day that he smiled.
Every St. Patrick’s day, Grimace’s uncle, Uncle O’Grimacy, would visit to bring the boys Shamrock Shakes from a new restaurant called McDonald’s. Grimace liked the shakes, but he did not like Uncle O’Grimacy because he smelled like cheese and always touched the boys’ butts when he hugged them. One year, he took Grimace into a room and put his hands down Grimace’s pants “to see if he had entered puberty.” This deeply upset Grimace, but did not push him over the edge.
What finally did was his brother’s rise to the top. After gaining a small fortune running a successful non-profit that made clothes designed for the unique figures of Grimaces, Conga wrote a book about the Grimaces’ history of societal oppression. It won him a Nobel prize nomination and the title of “King of the Grimaces.” Every time Grimace heard his brother being called “King Conga,” he felt a ping of jealousy, guilt over his jealousy, and anger that no one else knew about the opportunism that lied under his brother’s charm.
Grimace began hanging out at bars every day after working at his joyless job as a technician. One day, in a bar called O’Hoolihans, he met a similarly disgruntled man named Hamburglar. The two began breaking into diners after bar close and stealing snacks. Hamburglar was the only person that Grimace had ever met who was impressed by his extra set of arms. Most people close to him growing up had told him to strap them under a shirt so no one would know he was a freak.
The pair eventually found fame of their own as they made it their personal mission to put the suddenly-everywhere McDonald’s restaurants out of business by stealing as much of their inventory as possible. They gained a reputation for being anti-capitalist heroes and savers of small, family-owned restaurants, although this mission was not intentional on their part.
Eventually, they were approached by a PR agency called Adler and Wolfe that wanted to help them manage their reputation, and tell their story. The agency encouraged Grimace to drop his nickname, “Evil Grimace,” and publicized him as a harmless oaf, whose clumsy antics accidentally foiled the quest of Ronald McDonald. As Grimace became more and more of a caricature, he started to hate fame, and everything it brought with it.
As McDonald’s itself warmed to his new character, even using it in their advertising, Grimace entered a deep depression that he drowned in whisky, Prozac and excessive overeating. When he got the news that his grandmother, Winky, had died and left the cottage to her son, Uncle O’Grimacy, he knew he had lost his only connection to this planet. He tried to shoot himself but woke up in the hospital, having experienced only minor brain damage to the left hemisphere. He was then institutionalized, all four of his arms strapped down at all times. He never smiled again.