We’ve all had late-night burger cravings. The sun sets, you’ve already eaten dinner, but somewhere deep in your stomach there’s a meat-patty-and-sesame-bun-shaped hole begging to be filled. As an adult, you can either ignore it or give in (sweet, sweet surrender), but as a child your options are more limited. That’s where YouTube comes in.
Last Sunday, propelled by the powerful, yet mysterious forces of meat cravings, an eight-year-old boy from East Palestine, Ohio, drove his father’s van to McDonald’s after watching YouTube tutorials on how to drive. He brought his four-year-old sister along for the mile and a half long journey to the drive-through, as well as money he had gathered from his piggy bank, because he’s an independent kid who don’t need no parents.
Police arrived at the scene after receiving several reports from people who had witnessed the young motorist driving “effortlessly” through downtown. According to Patrolman Jacob Koehler, witnesses said that the boy “obeyed all traffic laws, stopping properly at red lights and waited for traffic to pass before making the left turn into the McDonald’s parking lot.”
The boy’s parents were already asleep when the burger-craving hit, so he watched some driving tutorials on YouTube before standing on his tip-toes to grab the keys to his father’s van, and setting off shortly after 8 p.m.
When he pulled up to the drive-through window (wearing, I like to imagine, a trench coat, sunglasses, and a devil-may-care attitude) workers thought the whole thing was a prank, and that his parents were in the back of the car. It quickly became apparent that they were not. A family friend spotted the children and called their grandparents to come pick them up.
The boy started crying when he realized he had done something wrong, and told Officer Koehler that “he had just really wanted a cheeseburger.”
Officer Koehler told the Weirton Daily Times that it was not a case of neglect, and that “the boy and his sister had already eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day, but he still really wanted that cheeseburger,” and I don’t know about you, but I have never identified with another human more in my life.
Fortunately, all’s well that ends well. No people were injured or property damaged during the excursion, and no charges are being filed. Most importantly though, the boy and his sister still got cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, and fries while they waited for their grandparents to come and pick them up.