Just when you thought that the hype surrounding a discontinued fast food condiment featured in a cartoon series couldn't get any more out of hand, it has. Like, in a big way. Deadmau5, everyone's favourite rodent-masked DJ, is now involved.
For those who wisely steer clear of news stories involving grown adults throwing tantrums over dipping sauce, let's rewind this sorry tale to the beginning. Back in July, McDonald's announced that it would be giving away limited edition jugs of Szechuan sauce, a condiment it had sold for a short time in 1998 to promote the Disney movie Mulan. This revival of a long dead sauce was inspired by an episode of the hugely popular Adult Swim cartoon Rick and Morty, in which one of the characters dreams about "that Mulan McNugget sauce."
Comic book writer Robert Workman was one of the few people to receive a jug of the sauce. He put it on eBay and when the top bidder backed out of a $15,350 (£12,000) offer, decided to throw it to Joel Zimmerman, a.k.a. Deadmau5. The Canadian DJ had expressed his desire to try the Szechuan and gladly accepted Workman's offer (it's not clear how much he paid), later posting a photo to Instagram of the sauce, captioned "Holy Fuck!" Zimmerman also tweeted: "I will be enjoying the hell out of this sauce when we get back from our honeymoon ;)"
True to his word, at a gig this week in Toronto, Zimmerman cracked open the hallowed sauce—but not without first ordering 1,000 chicken nuggets for his audience members to enjoy it with. A photo posted by the DJ from the night shows boxes of McNuggets waiting to be smeared with Szechuan and handed out to the crowd. "Fuck yeah!" Zimmerman tweeted. "Unloaded 1.8 litres of Szechuan sauce with my friends at the toronto show at rebel :)"
Attendees of the Toronto show were stoked with the surprise Szechuan delivery. Twitter user @AviKoen wrote "That moment when @deadmau5 buys hundreds of nuggets with MCDONALDS SCHZEWAN SAUCE!!! Literally best surprise ever" and @Mykuull tweeted the Zimmerman directly, saying "u literally distributed sauce to an entire crowd of people better than a billion dollar corporation to all of america. you're the fuckin man."
The fans' gratitude is understandable. McDonald's came under fire this week after another Rick and Morty fan-appeasing stunt ended in chaos. The company gave away small packets of Szechuan sauce at selected branches around the US on Saturday, but things turned nasty when stocks of the sauce inevitably ran out. Videos uploaded online show fans screaming at bemused McDonald's workers, protesting outside restaurants, and in some cases, becoming so unruly that police had to be called. Compared to that, listening to "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" at 100 decibels while being poked in the eye with a glowstick seems like a small price to pay for a taste of Mulan McNugget sauce.