In the new season of Rick and Morty, show creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon set up an ingenious motivation for their mad scientist character Rick: He will do anything to obtain the “Szechuan sauce” available at McDonald’s for a few months in the summer of 1998 as part of a promotion for Disney’s Mulan:
On Saturday, Roiland tweeted that McDonald’s had sent him a bottle of the stuff—it used to come in individual packets—complete with a Rick and Morty–themed letter explaining that the company obtained it from “Dimension C-1998M,” a place where it is always 1998:
On an occasion this momentous, prose simply won’t do. So with apologies to everyone, but especially to Gerard Manley Hopkins:
Sauce and Loss
To the co-creator of Rick and Morty
Justin Roiland, are you yelling
Over Szechuan sauce unselling?
Sauce that advertised Mulan, you
On my TV weep for, can you?
Ah! As the tongue grows older
It will come to such tastes colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though bags of fastfood beefmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, man, the date:
Food promotions will not wait.
McDonald’s may have cooked a batch up,
But it’s just soy sauce and ketchup:
There is no sauce you were born for,
It is Justin that you mourn for.
Correction, July 30, 2017: This post originally misspelled Gerard Manley Hopkins’ first name.