Archive for May, 2011

Ring Around the U-bend

May 24, 2011

Be kind to your local sewer worker; you never know what he might find for you:

Man gets class ring back after 72 years. VALLEJO, Calif., May 24 (UPI) –. A California man said he was overjoyed when a sewer worker discovered the class ring he dropped down a toilet 72 years ago. Jesse Mattos, 90, of Vallejo, said he dropped his Dunsmuir High School ring in a toilet in a Northern California butcher shop when he was 18 and never expected to see the item again, the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune reported Monday. Mattos said he never thought anything about it until he recently learned Tony Congi, a Dunsmuir city worker, discovered the ring in March while performing maintenance on a sewer. Congi said he used the year on the ring, 1938, and the initials J.T.M. To track the ring back to Mattos, whom he located with the help of a classmate of Mattos’ who still lives in town. Mattos said he was overjoyed to hear about the ring, which was found just days after the death of his wife. Something like this ring thing was a real booster for me, Mattos said. Congi returned the ring to Mattos at Easter. I felt like I was a lot younger again, Mattos said. .

What a nice story. I’m betting he’d hardly even thought of that lost ring for years, and then to have it returned to him so soon after his wife die…
This started me thinking about class rings in general. I have one for high school and one for college. I know where the college ring is but have not seen the high school ring for years. I’m reasonably sure it didn’t get flushed down any toilets, though. For one thing, I made sure when I ordered it that the fit would be good and tight so it wouldn’t slip off. I really hate rings (and watches) that are loose and slide around. But where can it be now?
For that matter, who wears their high school rings long after graduation? It would be interesting to do a survey on that. The few people I’ve checked with so far either never wanted class rings or quit wearing them fairly soon.
Maybe it’s because of the ring’s usual design: thick, heavy and chunky. Or maybe people who keep on wearing their high school rings for a long time are the same kind of people you meet at reunions who still think they are King of the Jocks or Queen of the Cheerleaders. Hmmm. Class Rings As Manifestations of Delayed Maturation/Extended Adolescence? I’d better get a grant for that research project.


Did Somebody Say… Excessive?

May 18, 2011

From the Associated Press:

Man eats 25,000th Big Mac, 39 years after his 1st By CARRIE ANTLFINGER Associated Press The Associated Press FOND DU LAC, Wis. . A retired prison guard ate his 25,000th Big Mac on Tuesday, 39 years to the day after eating his first … nine.

Don Gorske was honored after reaching the meaty milestone during a ceremony at a McDonald’s in his hometown of Fond du Lac. Surely McDonald’s most loyal customer, Guinness World Records recognized Gorske’s feat three years and 2,000 Big Macs ago, and the 57-year-old says he has no desire to stop.

I plan on eating Big Macs until I die,” he said. I have no intentions of changing. It’s still my favorite food. Nothing has changed in 39 years. I look forward to it every day.

The sign beneath the golden arches Tuesday read “Congrats Don Gorske 25000 Big Macs.

Before he ate No. 25,000, he showed dozens of onlookers many of the different styles of cartons he has collected over the years and other Big Mac-related stories.

Before biting into the sandwich, he said, “It’s been seven years since 20,000. Same thing goes this year folks. You can’t have the carton and it probably still takes 16 bites for me to finish a Big Mac.

The crowd erupted into applause.

Gorske, who appeared in the 2004 documentary “Super Size Me,” which examined the fast food industry, looks nothing like one might expect of a fast food junkie. He’s trim and walks regularly for exercise, and he attributes his build to being “hyperactive. He said he was recently given a clean bill of health and that his cholesterol is low.

Gorske’s obsession with the burger two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun, for those not familiar with the once-ubiquitous ads started May 17, 1972, when he bought three Big Macs to celebrate the purchase of a new car. He was hooked, and went back to McDonald’s twice more that day, eating nine before they closed.

He’s only gone eight days since without a Big Mac, and most days he eats two. Among the reasons he skipped a day was to grant his mother a dying wish. His last Big Mac-less day was Thanksgiving 2000, when he forgot to stock up and the store was closed for the holiday.

Gorske said he loves numbers and counting things and was inspired to start counting his burgers because McDonald’s noted how many hamburgers were served on their sign.

He said he is probably obsessive compulsive and that he likes repetition and doesn’t like change. He said he’s kept many of the Big Mac boxes and receipts over the years, and has noted his purchases in calendars he’s kept.

McDonald’s says there are 540 calories in a Big Mac, which is more than a quarter of the calories a person on a 2,000-calorie diet would consume. The burger also contains 29 grams of fat and 1,040 grams of sodium, which are both more than 40 percent of the Food and Drug Administration’s daily recommended value for a 2,000-calorie diet.

Tara Gidus, a registered dietitian in Orlando, Fla., said she wouldn’t recommend Gorske’s Big Mac diet, and that he’s likely stayed relatively healthy because of good genetics and because he doesn’t order a lot of extras, such as fries and sodas.

She said the Big Mac provides protein and grains, which the body needs, and that she would be “less concerned about the bad stuff in the Big Mac and more concerned about the good stuff he’s missing,” such as fruits and vegetables.

Gorske said he normally buys six on Monday and eight on Thursday and freezes or refrigerates them and warms them when he wants to eat them, so he doesn’t have to run to the restaurant all the time.

Gorske said he likes other foods, including bratwurst and lobsters, but that he loves Big Macs and his wife Mary, a nurse, never has to worry about making him a meal.

I really do enjoy every Big Mac,” he said.

He said his wife jokes about ending his streak.

She says … when she has to put them in a blender, it’s over,” he said.

All right, I like McDonald’s too, and I’m not ashamed to say so. Theirs are some of the best fries to be had anywhere, and their burgers are quite good too. But 25000 of them over forty years? No thanks. And I can’t imagine that a froezen or refrigerated Big Mac would taste half as good as the real deal fresh from the grill.
You know what this guy kind of reminds me of? “Bread and Jam For Frances.” Remember Frances? She went through a stage where bread and jam was the only thing she wanted to eat, so her parents quit reasoning with her (you can’t reason with an unreasonable person, or a badger either; Frances was a badger, right?) and just gave her bread and jam for every meal. It didn’t take long for Frances to get bored with her new menu and want to eat regular food again.

I said I loved Mickey D’s burgers, but that doesn’t mean I think they can’t be improved. For starters, why does McDonald’s, and every other fast-food place I’ve ever been, insist on putting those thin little slices of pickle on every burger? I hate those pickle slices with a passion, and I wish they were an option instead of standard. Chik-Fil-A even puts them on chicken sandwiches, for crying out loud! Even on chicken sandwiches that are otherwise completely bare, without even mayo or lettuce to liven them up!
Another gripe: on small burgers, like Happy Meal burgers, you find this sprinkling of tiny little bits of onion, rather than the nice healthy slice you get with Big Macs and QP’s. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it does. Those anemic little chips of onion don’t taste half as good as the regular slices, or even a burger without any onion at all.
All right, that’s enough for now. I’m going to get some lunch.
Supersize me!