3hree Things: Riley vs. The McRib

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

The McRib is back and coincidentally, so is explosive diarrhea.

I used to have a gullet of steel. In high school I dabbled in most of the fast food Irvine had to offer; a lunch the Carl's Jr. on Culver, a late night post-party mess of "meat" and cheese at the Del Taco a near University High School, or a Friday night pre-football game misery meal with the fellas at the Mc Donald's on Jeffery and Alton. In college, something in my pipes changed and my body started to rejecting 90 percent of the fast food meals I ingested. I'll spare you the gruesome details, but in short, if I ate poorly, I paid for it. It was a simple lesson, and one I'm thankful to have learned (although I'd love to have some of those hours back that I spent with a crippling stomach ache or sweating it out spackling toilets.)

Since my guts took a turn for the better (or worse, depending on how you look at it), I've made it a point to avoid fast food at all costs* save a few emergency meals on tour. And by "few," I mean "maybe five or six in the past eight years or so."

As a result, I missed most of the hullabaloo surrounding McDonald's McRib, it's demise, and yearly return(s). The limited exposure I've had to the sandwich with a cult following has come as a result of fast food advertising's stranglehold on televised sports and my multifaceted sports nerdery. Over the past month or so, It's been made painfully clear that the McRib is back, so with interest piqued and in the name of "journalism,, I decided to set aside a Saturday afternoon, purchase and eat a McRib, and see what all the fuss was about.



1) The Gory Details
A Saturday-morning-workout-negating 500 calories and 26 grams of fat housed in a boneless patty made with whipped pork parts, slathered with high fructose corn syrup rich barbecue sauce, topped with onions and pickles, and clumsily housed in a six-inch roll. The Brett Favre of fast food sandwiches, the McRib debuted in 1981, retired in 1985, unretired in 1994, retired again in 2005, re-unretired for a short spell in 2007, did the same in 2008, and most recently reared it's ugly head on November 2nd. McDonald's has described the sandwich as hearty, fulfilling, tangy, and sticky. While I'll give them "sticky," I think they left out "horrifying".

OC Weekly's Michelle Woo covered the return of the McRib in her piece on November 1st, and quoted an EW.com commenter as saying

"The McRib is like that really hot chick you hook up with every few years when she swings by your town. You never really know when she's coming back, she never stays long, and the reason she leaves again is never that clear, but man, good times when she's around."
If I may take the liberty of rewriting that, I'd put it as such:

"The McRib is like that bargain barrel hooker you realize that you need to pay for because you haven't been laid in a few years, you're tired of masturbating yourself into a fine powder, and you hate yourself. You know damn well that you shouldn't do it, and you know the parting gift she'll leave you with is probably gonna burn one of more of your holes, but you do it anyways because she's cheap, she's right next to a gas station, and you didn't even have to get out of your car."

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