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McDonald’s Near Convention Center Serves as Stark Reminder of Outside World

ROSEMONT, Ill. — After attending several voice actor panels and spending a significant amount of time browsing the exhibit hall while having his photo taken, cosplayer Steve Eldridge stepped away from the Donald E Stephens Convention Center to grab a bite to eat at a local McDonald’s, which only served to act as a stark reminder of the outside world.

“For one weekend and one weekend only, I get to be Sora from Kingdom Hearts,” said Eldridge. “I got the spiky wig, the big boots, and a 1:1 replica of his iconic Keyblade. I hear people call out, ‘hey Sora!’ I turn around– yeah, that’s right. They’re talking to me. They gather around to take photos of me, with me, you name it. In there, I’m a god. But here in McDonald’s, I’m just a guy with too many zippers who ordered the Big Breakfast 30 minutes too late. It’s humbling, honestly.”

Staff at the McDonalds location outside of the convention center said they are prepared to handle run-off from large events.

“I been at this location for 36 years. Trust me, we make sure we got enough staff when this kinda stuff happens,” explained store manager Pat Larson. “Times change, though. Used to be we’d get a bunch of quiet guys dressed up in Star Trek too afraid to make a mess in here. Now we got a buncha people dressed up like Neon-Genesis-whatever singin’ about somethin’ called ‘Caramelldansen’. I don’t care though, so long as they buy some food and nobody pokes my eye out with a rubber sword.”

Not everyone from the convention was able to handle the disparity between reality and hobby quite so well.

“It honestly threw me off my game a little when I tried to order and the lady couldn’t hear me behind my mask,” said Luke Hanson. “It’s like, does nobody here know who Kakashi Hatake is from Naruto? It’s too bad there isn’t anywhere else to eat besides the one McDonald’s, honestly. Now I’m walking around the convention hall and nobody wants to take a picture of me because I had to be reminded of the cruel, outside world. And no, I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I forgot to pack my deodorant this weekend, either.”

At press time, workers at McDonalds were just pleased to see customers dressed up in colorful uniforms and outfits for a change.