Do you have a memory of eating food as a kid that you would never eat as an adult? Mine is of Chicken McNuggets. When they were dropped on us, I was probably in junior high school. I also lived a couple of miles from a McDonald’s, so walking wasn’t such a big deal. The best part of walking there was that after ingesting a gazillion calories, I walked home burning a few of them off.
How was it, though, that I could house the nuggets, fries, a soda, and most likely a hot fudge sundae without feeling like the end of the world could happen without a complaint from me? Youth I suppose, but with an impending trip back to the wide open tourist and outlet trap that Williamsburg is, I thought I’d give the old Friday afternoon snack a try, less the soda and shake.
I had not been to a McDonald’s in so long that I actually had to ask questions about the menu. The pressure of ordering at the drive-through proved to be too much for my journey back into adolescent eating habits. I imagined the kid in the back rolling his eyes as I asked, “Do you still sell McNuggets” and “What are the sizes?” I was relieved to see that he was not one of my students and started the short drive (three miles) back home. Hmmm, it seems that I am destined to live within a few miles of a McDonald’s…
Upon getting home, my wife gave me the look that was both disapproving and excited. I brought her fries, which provided the excitement, but I didn’t bring a sundae, a let down for her even though she had no idea I was even stopping for this nutritional nightmare of an experiment. Then we ate.
I prioritized the nuggets as being more important than the fries. Back in Williamsburg twenty nuggets would have been nothing. Heck, I used to eat a large pizza at the Pizza Hut before football games. Thirty five years later, the beastly fried food, which seems to be one of the only products not to have changed size over the years, looked to have dominion over my most recently healthier eating digestive tract. Each nugget was chore, rubbery, crunchy, and seeming to add a sticky film to my mouth. When I ran marathons I trained myself not to count the miles left until after twenty has been completed. Today, I started counting the nuggets left with eleven to go. The weather came on twice while I ate and the forecast called for frost, although I think that will be hard around my house if I internal combustion from the nuggets ever lets loose.
I could use a walk back to Skipwith Farms right now. I think that must have been the only way that I was able to handle to much junk food back then. As for now, tomorrow I’m crushing a spinach salad to flush all of this gook out of my gut. Unless, of course, it happens before then.
Keep an eye out if you are from Williamsburg, I might just see you at the homecoming game. Just don’t look for me at McD’s. I’ve had my fill.