I don’t remember my first trip to McDonalds.
There is a very specific reason for that: I feel nothing about McDonalds. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it, I nothing it. In fact, the best way to describe McDonalds is with a quick “meh.” And, yes, that is to be said in the middle of a dismissive shoulder shrug.
I’m aware that what I have just said is unpatriotic. Nothing is more American than McDonalds, except maybe a cowboy eating McDonalds and playing baseball after shooting a Nazi, all while wearing Wranglers and an Uncle Sam mask. The point is it is a piece of America’s national fabric.
In fact, I feel like I may be the only person who feels this way about the golden arches. People have been known to go crazy over the processed meats soaked in grease. If you don’t believe me, go into a McDonalds and tell anyone eating there that you don’t really care for the McRib. Odds are very likely (at least here in the Midwest where the average person has 75% body fat) that you will be met with a bewildered stare.
People love the McRib so much that there are clubs of people who will travel to ANOTHER STATE if they hear there are McRibs there. After paying for gas, you’re talking about at least a $30 McRib, a sandwich made from taking other sandwich meats, mashing them together, and drowning the final product in barbeque sauce.
As if that wasn’t crazy enough, look at the story of Don Gorske. If you have ever seen the movie Super Size Me, you’ll remember Gorske as the crazy guy who ate multiple Big Macs at a time. He loves them so much, when he goes into his local McDonalds, they just ask him how many.
His first Big Mac came on this day in 1972, the day he got his first car. That day, he ate nine Big Macs, in all of their sesame seed bun glory.
Today, Gorske will celebrate by eating his 25,000 Big Mac. He knows this because he has kept all of the receipts and has a calendar documenting when and where he had a Big Mac.
For those keeping score at home, Gorske has averaged 1.75 Big Macs a day since he discovered the sandwich. He has only taken off eight days in those 39 years, but what can you do when your mom requests from her death bed that you don’t go to McDonalds that day? Or if the weather is bad and McDonalds doesn’t open? Or on Thanksgiving?
Naturally, you keep a stash in your freezer to prevent that from happening, because a day without a Big Mac is a day without sunshine.
Salty, cholesterol filled sunshine.
Gorske is the McDonalds equivalent to an alcoholic, a McAholic if you will. Sure, he is less likely than an alcoholic to get into a car accident or start a fight with a significantly larger biker, but he is just as dependent on those two all beef patties as any alcoholic is to their bottle.
Maybe I’m more discerning about my food. Maybe I’m pickier about my burgers. Maybe my parents didn’t raise me right.
Whatever the reason, I do not and cannot understand the love. It can’t be Ronald McDonald. He is beyond creepy, a clown continually trying to convince you to eat some of his food.
Recently, McDonalds announced their intention to redesign the restaurant. It is supposed to look more homey and less like a plastic nightmare. They’re hoping this will succeed at converting us non-fans to their McSide.
Unless it houses a different restaurant inside, though, I doubt McDonalds can count on me becoming the next Gorske.