I Waited For A Decade, Now It’s Gone

From the Other Side

I remember where I was when man walked on the moon.

I remember where I was when Paul Henderson scored.

I remember where I was when I heard that Elvis died, and when John Lennon was shot and killed.

I remember where I was when I heard the McRib was coming back.

I was watching TV and I saw the commercial. As soon as the narrator said “the four greatest words in the English language”, I knew what he was talking abut.

The. McRib. Is. Back.

Yes, the McRib came back for a limited time. I stopped what I was doing, staring at the huge McRib on my giant screen in some sort of Pavlov’s Dog-like trans. I salivated. On cue, my stomach growled.

‘I have to get one,’ I thought. ‘I’ve got to drive to McDonald’s. It’s 12 minutes away, and it’s in Walmart. That’s not far. It might be my last one ever. What am I thinking? I’m hungry. I’m getting two.’

I got to McDonald’s, ordered on the big giant employee-replacing tablet, and waited anxiously like a kid at the front of the line at the mall when Santa decides to take a pee break just before it’s his turn.

But a McRib. This was better than Christmas. This is the sandwich that I grew to love through my teenage years and beyond. It was perfect. As I would say when I was at Carleton, it was sandwich adroitness bordering on superfluity. I spent a lot of money to go to school there just to learn words like that. If only I knew then that I would only use expensive words when the McRib was back.

The McRib was developed by McDonald’s executive chef Rene Arend in 1981. He is from Luxembourg. Arend also invented the Chicken McNugget. He may be the most influencial creator in quick service restaurant history.

Chicken McNuggets became so popular that other QSR chains quickly rolled out their own versions. As a result, there was a chicken shortage in the food supply chain. The McRib was an alternative. Arend said the sandwich would have been cheaper and easier to produce if it was a round patty on a hamburger bun. But he is an executive chef. He wanted the McRib patty to look like a rack of ribs on a bun. It even had ridges. I wonder if anyone ever thought they would think there were bones in the sandwich and that they would chip their teeth? I guess when people say, ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question,’ we just blew up that theory.

The McRib patty is made from restructured ground pork shoulder. Meat restructuring was a process developed by the US Army to deliver low-cost meet to its troops in the field. The process was not patented, and McDonald’s used the work of meat scientist Roger Mandigo, who had been funded by the National Pork Producers Council. Using Mandigo’s techniques, McDonald’s developed the McRib patty using small flakes of pork shoulder meat.

The McRib has come and gone, and come and gone again. Rarely does it appear in Canada. We waited for a decade. When it goes away, I don’t think I can wait another decade. They make Shamrock Shakes an annual thing. Why can’t they make the McRib an annual thing?

After my McRib sandwiches, I went back home. When I got in the car, I adjusted the mirror. I noticed I had McRib sauce smeared all over my face. I looked at my hands. They were covered in McRib sauce. It was under my finger nails. It was on my wrists. It was everywhere.

I was at Walmart. Why didn’t I get a shower curtain and rubber boots to wear while I was eating?

I took a deep breath through my nose. I may have had McRib sauce up my nose too.

‘I’m basically wearing McRib cologne,’ I thought to myself. ‘Why don’t they have that? What if Old Spice made McRib Body Wash?

That one was absolutely not a stupid question.

When I got home, I knew what I was in for.

“Look at yourself!” the Diva said, in disbelief yet not in disbelief. “Seriously. Just lookatcha. Of course you would come home covered with McRib sauce. I will do a laundry, and I want you to go have a shower because you’re not going to bed smelling like a McRib.”

So much for the cologne idea.

As I was in the shower, my mind wandered. Why don’t they call it Canadian rib like they call the ham on an Egg McMuffin Canadian bacon? More people would want it.

I thought to myself some more. My favourite food at McDonald’s, besides the McRib, is the McGriddle breakfast sandwich.

Has anyone at McDonald’s ever thought how incredible it would be to have little round McRib patties smeared in McRib sauce and put them in a maple McGriddle sandwich bun?

That would be incredible.

In the meantime, I will be at Home Depot looking at freezers.

“Blah blah blah,” the salesman will say.

“That’s nice,” I would reply. “So how many frozen McRib sandwiches will it hold?”

Unfortunately, the McRib promotion is over. I am heartbroken. I never did get my freezer full of sandwiches. When will it be back? I can’t deal with this. Why did they take it away from me?

Those cruel McBastards.

By the way, did you hear that Tim’s brought back the blueberry fritter?!?