McRib McMadness

Nov 092005
Authors: Steven Gross

One of nature's biggest mysteries, the McRib sandwich, is making its annual appearance at participating McDonald's restaurants throughout Colorado. This phenomenon is temporary though, as the McRib only teases consumers with its "unique" flavor for a very limited time. With one of the most loyal and dedicated fan base of any fast-food sandwich, the McRib is truly a McWonder. News of the sandwich's arrival is sure to cause immediate rejoicing throughout the pork-loving community.

McDonald's first introduced the McRib sandwich in 1981 as a permanent menu item. Even though its availability has changed, the rubbery and boneless "pork" patty, three slices of juicy pickles, freshly diced onions and eight gallons of McDonalds' brand barbeque sauce have stayed consistent over the years.

While the very thought of this sandwich may trigger most people's gag reflex, it always seems to leave fans' taste buds demanding more; but even the most die-hard fan's stomach and digestive system can be left in ruins by this delicious ingenuity.

This is why McRib fans across the country always keep their stomachs in shape during the off-season. Fans can train their digestive systems for the saucy marketing gimmick by eating foods found in local dumpsters and by consuming foods that have already expired. With the most unpredictable promotion schedule of all barbeque-smothered sandwiches, die-hard McRib fans must always be prepared for the release of this bowel-blasting beast.

For the really serious addicts who can't satisfy their porky cravings in the three-month period, the answer is a mouse click away. There are actually online communities where fans can fulfill all of their McRib-related needs. A common topic in this pork-loving community is an online petition to make the McRib a permanent addition to the McDonald's menu. Fans can also find online recipes for imitation McRibs, allowing them to take their unhealthy obsession to their own kitchens. The recipes generally consist of a pork by-product patty, 10-year-old barbeque sauce and pickles scraped off of a public restroom floor.

With such faithful fans, one might assume the McRib offers some sort of positive side effect or health benefit. Unfortunately, with more than 490 calories, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1040 milligrams of sodium, this barbeque-smothered sandwich is about as healthy as a carton of cigarettes.

While Ronald McDonalds' pockets burst with extra cash, McRib fans across the state are bound to swell up as a result of this cholesterol-filled sandwich; and much like the appearance of the McRib, fans' lives promise to be short-lived.

Ever since its introduction, the McRib has left its mark in both the American fast food industry and in consumers' hearts; and for the fans that survive the triple bypass, they'll be spending the next three months trying to get a different kind of mark out of their clothes. So act quickly McRib lovers, because this rubbery creature won't be around much longer. And much like the meats contained in the sandwich, when it will return again remains a McMystery.

Steven Gross is a senior finance major. His column appears every Thursday in Verve.

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