Fried: McDonald's French Fries

Mmm ... good!

by Sarah Fenske

I'm starting to think I've got a problem.

I was on a ship for seven days eating some of the best food known to man: wild Alaskan salmon, pecan-crusted trout in beurre blanc sauce, prime rib and giant prawns stuffed with crab. Every meal started with a cup of wonderfully savory chowder or fresh greens drowning in Roquefort. Every meal ended with blueberry pie or bread pudding or cherry cobbler.

And there I was, craving McDonald's.

This wasn't a total shock; I've got a four-day-a-week fast food habit, and the Golden Arches are such a regular part of my diet that I usually lhave my exact change ready before I'm even finished ordering. And when the rest of America briefly turned on Ray Kroc's baby, I stayed steadfast. I refused even to countenance "Super Size Me". I argued, long and loud, against going after the company a la Big Tobacco. I even decided not to look at the calorie counts prominently displayed in the restaurants last time I was in New York City. Ignorance is bliss, baby, and I'm happy to swim in it.

Still, it was a shock to get off the boat in Juneau and realize that I was dying for McDonald's fries. Literally, I took one look at the brightly-lit storefront on Front Street and my heart started speeding up. I think I even started salivating, Pavlov Dog style.

So of course I gave in. I've got no self-control.

"Medium Diet Coke and a large fry, please," I told the teenaged cashier, trying not to show how desperate I was, trying to look like any other thirty-something woman in need of nourishment and not a hopeless fast-food junkie.

'I'm sorry," the cashier responded. "We don't serve fries until 10:30 a.m."

Suffice to say I didn't attack the cashier, or pull out a gun and demand SOME FUCKIN' FRIES NOW! But I was still a bit heartbroken as I headed out into the streets of Alaska's state capitol, fry free. I swear, I could picture the salt. I could smell the lightly greasy french fry-on-cardboard aroma that comes with all true McDonald's experiences. I even thought I could taste the ketchup.

I was back at 10:30.

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