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Published: Wednesday, 8/11/2010

Toledo 'McNuggets' video a Web sensation

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Thousands worldwide have come to know Melodi Dushane much the way the morning crew at an east side McDonald's did - minus actual landed punches and broken glass.

With the release of a security video depicting Dushane's at-times physical demands for breakfast-time McNuggets, a Web sensation was born.

The video was made public, according to the Lucas County prosecutor's office, because Dushane did not appeal her July 7 sentencing by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings to three years probation and 60 days in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio.

She was ordered to pay $1,531.97 in restitution.

Dushane pleaded no contest May 11 to one count of vandalism at McDonald's, 90 Main St.

The video shows her throwing a bottle through the drive-through window, which she then further breaks with a fist. She later admitted she was drunk.

Her quest began New Year's Day in the drive-through at the McDonald's, where she'd gone for chicken McNuggets. By her arrival, though, breakfast items - not McNuggets - were being served.

And thereby hangs a tale - and, for all to see, gesturing, flailing, punching, hair pulling, glass breaking.

Search for "McNuggets Toledo" on YouTube, and up pop about three dozen entries viewed collectively by tens of thousands - silent 30-second snippets; a speeded-up version set to the theme of The Benny Hill Show; the full three minutes set to "The Blue Danube."

The security video is silent, but one version features dubbed-in imagined dialogue.

Plus, the video was a staple of television news programs Tuesday.

"People love to watch other people let go of their inhibitions and let loose with all their rage," said Montana Miller, an assistant professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University. "I think maybe it's a vicarious expression of the emotions we have to repress in everyday life."

The video reached viral status when views hit the thousands, Ms. Miller said.

"What really makes it viral [is] when it spreads contagiously and unpredictably by people sending it on to their friends and connections," she said. "It multiplies."

She predicts spoofs and other "creative modifications" ahead. Whether the video become more than a one-day blip could depend on something about it entering the popular lingo - as in "Don't Tase me, bro."

"I guess whatever phrase it would be would include 'McNugget,'•" she said.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

mzaborney@theblade.com

or 419-724-6182.



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