Saturday, November 5, 2011
The McDonald's sandwich (and cult favorite) the McRib is apparently quite a phenomenon. Because it is regional and seasonal, there are actually blogs devoted to tracking its availability. It has t-shirts, music, an urban legend, a conspiracy theory and a scandal, not to mention mentions on "The Simpsons" and "The Big Bang Theory." In case you missed it, it's a processed pork patty shaped to look like a rack of ribs, slathered in barbecue sauce on a long bun. In theory, it looks like this:
When C and I were in seminary, in the mid-80s, we lived and worked in Waco and commuted to school in Ft. Worth. We were constantly exhausted and lived for our Saturdays when we could usually sleep late and get caught up. Early one Saturday morning, the phone rang and my grandfather's voice boomed, "We're taking you and C to lunch today!" As I tried to rouse myself from sleep enough to focus, I had two thoughts, "Why are you calling me in the middle of the night to tell me this?" and "Cool! We never get to eat out--that will be fun!"
Then Grandaddy explained that he and Mimi were driving all the way from their home in the Hill Country to go to McDonalds to try the new McRib and they were going to take us along. They were meeting us at the restaurant (no time to come by our house) at 11 a.m. and they were paying. Those were our instructions and it never occurred to me to argue with any of it. By the time we got to McDonalds at 11, they had already been there for 15 minutes and were as excited as children.
We found out pretty quick that ordering something other than the McRib was not an option although my usually frugal grandfather was willing to spring for fries and sodas. I remember holding the first bite in my mouth for just a few seconds longer than usual because I was so grossed out by the texture that I wasn't sure that an effort to swallow would be successful. Thankfully, we finished our sandwiches and had a wonderful time visiting. After that, from time to time, we would receive the early morning phone call, the offer of lunch and the spiritual discipline of eating food you hate with people you love.
My Mimi is gone now and I still miss her. She was a really good sport where my irascible grandfather was concerned. Grandaddy is about to be 91 and is remarried to a wonderful woman. After spending most of his life unable to express his affection (except in the language of processed pork), he will now call and instead of saying hello, booms "I love you!" Of course, I've always known he loved me, even back when I was a little scared of him but a few McRib sandwiches through the years have sealed the deal.
Posted by T at 11/05/2011 07:46:00 PM