Ode to Fast Food


In honor of today’s roll out of the limited edition Big Mac Sauce, I thought I’d share a recent writing I did for my memoir workshop class. Following the ode, there are two links to some news articles about the Big Mac sauce debut. As I understand it, the sauce will be free with chicken nuggets, and there will be a limit on how many one person can get as well as only being able to order it through the app. May the odds be ever in your favor.

I sit at my computer, sipping a large Diet Coke from McDonald’s and I wonder why we love fast food so much. I have no doubt there is something in the composition of fast food that keeps us coming back for more, dare I say, something that makes it addicting, and I think that’s a chemical reason, and not so much a psychological one. There have been times that I’ve gone quite some time without a McDonald’s cheeseburger (or in my case the quarter pound with cheese burger), but once I return, it is like a valve on a water hose that just won’t shut off. I want it morning, noon, and night. Of course, I don’t indulge that much, but the want is there.

I just found out that McDonald’s will be coming out with a limited-edition packet of Big Mac sauce. I found this hilarious. A couple of weeks ago, I stopped in the drive-thru for some free fries and I actually asked for a cup of Big Mac sauce. They put it in a small chicken nugget box. It was great on the fries. I have always wondered why they’d never done this before, but I know where I’ll be in seven days [seven when this was originally written] when they are released. Expect it to be Instagrammed and blogged about.

I told my husband the monumental news, and he said he doesn’t like the Big Mac. Really? Who doesn’t like the Big Mac? He must be a heathen. Or a Communist.

Yes, okay, McDonald’s is probably my favorite fast-food restaurant. I have many reasons for that, not the least of which is that they are still relatively the cheapest fast-food restaurant to get a full meal of burger, fries, and drink. Another is that they have the best Diet Coke on the planet. Pretty much. There are reasons for that, too. Oh yes, I’ve done the research.  It has to do with the amount and type of ice, the temperature of the soda itself as well as the size of the straw. It’s perfect and exactly the same every time.

Another reason was that when I was growing up, my dad worked in the post office in Flushing, Queens, which was on Union Turnpike just down the road from my optician. When it was time to get new glasses, I’d go with my father to work or perhaps we just visited work when he took me to the doctor, but either way, I remember walking myself in one direction, probably back to the post office from the eye doctor. I can picture the daylight fading even though it wasn’t dark. On the way home, we’d stop and get McDonald’s for dinner for the rest of the family. We’d bring it home. We may have lived on Long Island by this point, I don’t remember, and there were no McDonald’s near us, so we’d get it in Queens, and drive it home. On the way, we’d eat some of the French fries. It got to the point that whenever we went to McDonald’s, we had to get an extra order of fries to eat in the car on the way home. I still eat one or three fries on the way home from the drive-thru.

I also remember having a birthday party there once when I was little. It was a big thing to do [that and Carvel birthdays] and the party came with the orange drink and a visit from Ronald McDonald. My daughter, at 17 insisted on McDonald’s for lunch for her birthday for something she saw on TikTok – birthday candles in a Quarter Pounder. Problem for her is that she doesn’t like the Quarter Pounder, so she got her regular plain, yes plain, cheeseburger and asked for a Quarter pounder box. We had to go to CVS and buy candles and matches. She’s a character. Now that I think of it, I ate a ridiculous amount of cheeseburgers (not just McDonald’s) when I was pregnant with her. *shrug*

When the kids were little and we didn’t want them to know where we were thinking of going, my husband would call it the Scottish place.

And I know this is going to sound crazy, but if I’m nauseous and feel sick, a regular cheeseburger from McDonald’s will settle my stomach. I don’t know why it works, but it does indeed work.

I guess this was less of an ode to fast food, and more of an ode to McDonald’s.


Lovin’ it.

As an addendum, we will be heading to McDonald’s for dinner tonight, and testing the Big Mac sauce limit. Check out my Instagram for live updates!

Big Mac sauce dipping cups on the menu at McDonald’s; free with McNuggets (The Chicago Sun-Times)

McDonald’s Is Introducing Big Mac Dipping Sauce And Customers Are Psyched (Yahoo)

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