Posted on February 1, 2019
by Steve Janowick

I’ve seen the strongest of men succumb.

Men with track records of conviction and fortitude and unwavering will power are no match for the sodium-laden offerings waiting at the end of her Golden Arches.  It doesn’t matter what kind of diet or routine or resolution you’ve committed to, if she wants you-she’ll have you. She’s that powerful. She’s that tempting.

And she’s had her hooks in us since we were little boys.

From that first warm, crunchy, French fry my Mom gave me while I sat, unstrapped, in the back seat of our 1973 Maverick to the countless mystery-meat McNugget Happy Meals to the late night, drunken, post-bar binges on Big Macs and hot apple pies, McDonalds has been filling eager American bellies, clogging arteries and soaking up alcohol since the 1950’s.

As guilty pleasures go, I’d wager that Mickey D’s, the king of fast-food, is at the top of the list for many men.  It’s that little pitch-forked, sinister, devil sitting on our shoulders, enticing us with perfect amounts and combinations of grease, salt, meat, bread and…special friggin’ sauce.  Calorically and nutritionally, we absolutely know it’s not a great choice, but we capitulate to the beast and tear it up anyway, because like all foods that are bad for us-they taste oh so good!

There’s just some weird subliminal sensory stuff going on when you’re driving down an unfamiliar road and suddenly see those beautiful arches.  Immediate tingling and salivating in your mouth-and you don’t even need to be that hungry-it just happens. The brain actually taking that first bite of the Filet-O-Fish or Quarter Pounder with Cheese.  And then that terrible internal struggle begins. You know the ones, we all have them. As you approach you tell yourself that you don’t need it. You convince yourself that it’s bad for you. Your inner fitness coach starts yelling at you-reminding you how far you’ve come on your exercise plan.  He begs you not to blow it. To not be weak and give in to your fickle temptations.

But as you drive even closer you can actually taste the tangy pickles and sweet ketchup from your favorite, the Double Cheeseburger.  The tingling is ramping up. You imagine the salty fries mixing with the thick, creamy vanilla milkshake on your tongue. You actually have to swallow the spit building up in your mouth.  Oh God, this struggle is real!

Then, like a miracle from above, you hear your wife in your ear telling you that she’s going to make a salad with grilled chicken for dinner tonight-so the two of you can stick to your collective diets.

But just as you push the accelerator to speed past the drive-through entrance, the little devil emerges from his fiery hell and stabs your coach and wife with his pitchfork.  And as you sit in the parking lot shoveling this feast down your gullet as fast as you can, a warm, satisfying grin forms your lips. You take a big sip from your frosty shake, wipe the dripping sauces from the corners of your mouth and prepare for the giant wave of guilt that will certainly be coming in about an hour or so.

But for now, you tell yourself…

I’m Lovin’ It!

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