The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


A man in his 30’s did a self-assessment and realized that his sex life was truly bleak.  He heard about a “Sex Enrichment” class that was starting and somewhat abashedly enrolled in it.

The first night the class met he took comfort in the fact that there were almost 100 others who had also joined and so he settled into his seat.

The instructor introduced himself and then said, “Thank you for joining this class.  In order for you to get the most out of it, it’s important that you participate in our discussions in a totally honest manner.”

“I am going to start by asking you this question. . How often do you have sex.?  When you hear the category which describes the frequency of your sexual activity, please raise your hand.”

“How many of you have sex three times a week or more?”

About 10% of the attendees raised their hands.

“Thank you – that’s good.  How about at least once a week?”

About 30% of those present raised their hands.

The instructor went on, “Once every two weeks … once a month … once every two months.”

Our 30 year old realized that at two months everyone in the room had raised their hand but for him.

“Once every three months … once every six months.”

Still no response.

The instructor finally said, “Once a year.”

At hearing that, our friend sprang from his chair, started jumping up and down and began waving his hands wildly above his head.

The instructor said to him, “I don’t mean to be critical.  That’s not what we’re here for.  But once a year, as you can see from the responses of your fellow students is certainly a minimal frequency.  Why are you so excited?”

The man shouted out, “BECAUSE TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!

Tonight I am celebrating my 25th anniversary of abstinence – from McDonald’s.

Some good friends who live in Chicago’s Gold Coast hosted a wonderful annual Holiday party.  The company, food and libations were always delightful.  The gathering this particular year had far more people in attendance than on previous occasions and I consumed less food but an equal amount of booze as in years past.

The result was that after three hours of merry-making I reached my car and realized that my judgment and motor skills were functioning at less than at a peak rate.   I decided that for the sake of the pedestrians on the street, fellow drivers and myself I needed to stop and get something to eat and wait about an hour before driving the 10 miles home.  Fortunately, the “Rock and Roll” themed McDonald’s was only a few blocks away.

It was about 11:00 p.m.  I left my car in the garage of my friends’ apartment building and walked the two blocks to McDonald’s.

As usual, I ordered a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a medium French Fries.  And then I added a large black coffee.

My order arrived with its usual efficiency and I grabbed the bag and coffee and made myself comfortable at a table.

I took a bite out of the Quarter Pounder.  It was moderately cold and I could feel the grease from the meat starting to coat my tongue.  My stomach churned a bit.  I reached for one of the fries but the grease from the burger minimized any flavor that the potatoes might have had before their deep-frying experience.  Well, I really wasn’t hungry so much as I was hoping to overcome the effects of the alcohol.

I put the sandwich and fries back in the bag and reached for my coffee.  Calling it coffee truly required a fertile imagination.  My concept of coffee is that you take a sip of the stuff and you’re ready to run a marathon.  That’s the way I brew it at home. This stuff came nowhere close to that.  It was more like darkly colored water with a strange flavor.

I thought about this “meal” as I sat there and I realized something.  This stuff was, pardon the expression, crap.  It wasn’t healthful and it wasn’t something that I needed to include in my diet.  And I vowed then and there that as a New Year’s Resolution, I was going to refuse to patronize McDonald’s starting that moment and throughout the following year.

I gathered up the remains of my order and carefully placed them in the garbage receptacle, went outside and hailed a taxi to get home.  That was in 1986 and every year since then I have renewed (and kept) my vow not to eat at McDonald’s.

In the last 25 years McDonald’s has probably grown about 30 gazillion times the size it was then.  And they did it all without my patronage.  I guess that they don’t miss me – nor I them.

But I am grateful to them for one thing. 

If it weren’t for McDonald’s I wouldn’t be able to say,


Comments on: "MY 25 YEARS OF ABSTINENCE" (8)

  1. dennisranch said:

    Sorry for your bad experience. I love them. Quarter pounder with no cheese and fries and a Coke. And no, it is not unhealthy for you. And I was just starting to like this blog. Too bad. Anyone who would fall into believing the crap they hear that is unhealthy for you…well, I guess they are not someone who I want to continue to read what they write.

    All food is unhealthy for you if you don’t burn off the caloric intake. Beef is a healthy choice. As are french fries and grease. you just need to get some exercise. My how this country has fallen. too bad you couldn’t ask your ancestors who lived thru’ the 30’s if they thought this kind of food was healthy. Bet they would have loved to get some. Of course, they were real people who actually did some work in their lives.

  2. Admit it, both stories are actually true 🙂

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful, if somewhat adversarial, comment. As my dad used to say, “That’s what makes horse races – difference of opinion.”

    I have neither an objection to beef nor to french fries. (I prepare them on a regular basis at home – and I might add they are far superior to those at your favorite fast food joint). I will admit that I don’t drink Coke – or any other soft drink – but, of course, you are free to do so if that is your beverage of preference.

    As to your statement about “actually working” I would like to let you know that for most of my adult life I worked an average of 12 hours a day. In my last business I put out 2800 W-2’s. Employing and managing that many people was, I suspect, more than most people in this great land can claim.

    I am, of course, sorry to lose you as a reader. But the intention of this blog is to provide a forum where reasonable people can agree to disagree – and through that process help us repair America.

    If you do not feel that you can be part of that dialogue then all I can do is wish you the very best.

    • dennisranch said:

      Sorry, I did not mean to infer that you yourself did not work. I was making the point that those who think this type of food is fattening, are overlooking thew obvious, if you get enough exercise (which most people in this country don’t, because of mechanization and labor saving devices) then perhaps you should eat less or work more.

      Seeing as you handled my caustic remarks so well, maybe I better give you another chance and keep checking on this blog. Besides, I might have to try and educate you on some things you are not aware of. 😉

      • Thank you for your follow up.

        I suspect that we are in susbstantial agreement about food consumption, exercise and obesity. I tried to address this in a very early post.

        As to your educating me … The older I have gotten and learned the more I realize that there is to learn. So you have a fertile field in front of you. I will look forward to sharing some of that wisdom.

  4. McDonald’s food is garbage. Like all fast food, it was created in a laboratory, processed in a a contracted meat plant and sent out to be cooked quickly and efficiently by sometimes slow and inefficient workers. The food may taste good but the chemicals it contains cannot be burned off by exercise. My suggestion for optimal health: Pick and choose where you buy food, then cook it at home. Seriously. P.S. I like your posts Juwannadoright which is why I’m nomination you for the Versatile Bloggers Award. 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for your comment, Brian. I appreciate your interest in this blog and your kind words as well as your nomination to an award I didn’t realize existed! It brings to mind a passage of Scripture that I start each morning by repeating. “This is the day which the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it.”

    I wish you all the best.

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