From the Editor’s Files: Blessed McRib…a Christmas miracle


By Paul Rhodes, publisher and editor

I told my family and friends I was coming out of the closet this week, so let’s get right down to it.
I love the McRib sandwich. Whew! There…it’s out in the open. That’s a load off my shoulders.
Over the past few weeks, since early December when the seasonal McRib sandwich was rolled back out at Golden Arches across the nation, I’ve been defending myself and my McGenuine love for this fast food sandwich.
It’s McCrazy.
Many of you know my health history – open heart surgery that involved a half a million dollars worth of interior plumbing work a few years ago. That alone, you say, should make me run and hide when this drippy, sloppy, meat-like sandwich makes its annual guest appearance.
And at Christmas, no less! Oh blessed holiday miracle!
After my surgery, my cardiologist and I came to agreement on some pretty basic things. I eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and lean meats – mostly fish and poultry, along with some occasional lean, red meat.
I try to stay away from pork altogether, and I watch my carbohydrates closely.
This diet, we agreed, allows for a cheeseburger once a month, and some occasional bumps in the road.
My new plumbing work includes a mechanical heart valve, so I consume a steady stream of vegetables that include vitamin K to help balance out my blood thinner medications. I especially love and devour spinach and kale, along with broccoli, green beans and every protein-rich bean known to man. I often eat vegetarian meals with beans as my main course.
Sadly, I’m also diabetic, so I work hard to keep my A1C in check…again by following the diet above and limiting my sweets. Otherwise, I’d simply eat them all the time and go out in a flash of hallucinatory light during a diabetic coma.
Oh, but McGolly…then along comes the McRib.
It was invented back in 1981 by the same guy who came up with McNuggets, according to the stuff I’ve read. See…I even have to admit that I’ve read up on the McRib.
But hey…at least I know what I’m getting into. I know that this sandwich is full of fat and sodium. It doesn’t have that many calories, so that’s O.K., but that isn’t an issue for me, anyway.
So yes. I know it’s bad for me on just about every level. And to that end, I have to watch my consumption during McRib season.
Saturday afternoon, Kim and I had finished several errands and were headed home. I was hungry, but she wasn’t.
I wheeled into McDonalds, which had Kim wondering right off the bat. I don’t go there often, except for an occasional breakfast item when we’re on the run early and don’t have time to fix something at home.
At the speaker, I did not hesitate. “McRib and a small fry,” I said confidently. The fries were for Kim, who has her own love affair with potatoes.
That’s another story.
“What in the world do you like about that sandwich?” Kim asked. I stared at the sandwich box, then at her.
“Uuuuhhh, McEverything!” I said proudly. Yes…that funky slab of pork meat, fashioned to look like ribs. The pickles. The onions. And the barbeque sauce.
Kim explained that the only thing she could eat off of that sandwich was the pickles, and that’s fine. She has her potatoes, and we try not to get in the way of each other’s fingers when we’re grabbing for food items.
At home, I McSavored my sandwich (just my third since Dec. 3) and headed to the couch for a McNap. That’s the other thing that goes well with this sandwich.
Thank goodness this dilemma of mine is seasonal, and then the addiction just goes away naturally. There’s no 12-step program for McRibs, so I just have to limit myself as much as possible and wait this out.
Maybe I’ll make it through the holiday season before I have No. 4. And if I don’t, I’ll try not to beat myself up.
I already feel better getting this off my chest. And hey…
Merry Christmas!