Turns out, the world is fucking doomed.
We say this neither because the Doomsday Clock is a mere 2.5 minutes away from the nuclear apocalypse that is midnight, nor because Russia-US-Korea relations are arguably at their lowest point since the Cold War. No, this bright blue marble we call Earth is doomed thanks to this blood-curdling truth: Someone just bought a pair of 19-year-old McNugget sauce packets that were found in "an old car" for a staggering $14K.
Why would someone pay 14,000—yes, thousand—bucks for a fast-food sauce that spent over a decade, presumably between the seat and door, in an aging car?
Honestly, there is no good reason. But as far as bad reasons go, there are plenty. First of all, one of the sauces—a so-called "Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce"—was part of a tie-in for the 1998 Disney movie Mulan. That movie is slated to be the subject of a live-action remake in 2018, but, that's not what's driving up the ancient sauce's price.
More to the point, the McD's Mulan tie-in sauce has been the subject of a bit of viral food nostalgia, thanks to the animated TV comedy Rick and Morty, now in its third season on Adult Swim. Earlier this month—on April Fool's Day, to be exact—the show featured a storyline centered on the Mulan dipping sauce. Evidently, Rick, the eponymous mad scientist grandfather in the cartoon, became obsessed with the stuff and vowed to find the now-discontinued sauce at all costs. A Change.org petition to bring back the sauce soon followed.
The internet caught on—as it will sometimes do with utterly meaningless and ridiculous subjects—and bringing back the Mulan dipping sauce became a thing on social media. Suddenly, the sauce has become a 90s nostalgia fetish, with nearly 30,000 people signing the Change.org petition. The old McDonald's Mulan tie-in commercial can be found on YouTube and now has over 100,000 views. A "Behind the Meme" video about the Mulan dipping sauce has even more views: over 250,000, as of today.
Other eBay listings have popped up since Rick and Morty brought attention back to the sauce. A Wisconsin eBay user who goes by the name higni-steve listed a promotional poster for the Mulan Szechuan dipping sauce for $499.99, although the listing received zero bids. Others have taken to simply listing for sale drawings of the sauce or bottles of regular soy sauce with homemade labels slapped on top.
When asked whether it would be bringing back the sauce, a McDonald's spokesperson said there were no plans at this time, but "We never say never, because when our customers speak, we listen."
Yes, the world has gone mad for a most-certainly-rancid, tackily branded, chemical-filled, fast-food dipping sauce based on a Disney movie. In the meantime, start checking the backs of your kitchen cabinets and under the floor mats in your cars, kids. That's where you may make some big bucks.