drive-thru johnson

I realize this is terrible so don’t grill me about it but look: I’ve eaten McDonald’s three times in two days, and I fucking hate myself for it, and, weirdly, what most bothers me is the idea that McDonald’s workers are noticing how often I’m popping in, day after day, ordering the same toxic shit—which for some reason bothers me more than the idea of bartenders, after I visit three times a week, who might say, “Wow, this is the seventh pint I’ve poured him since Monday.”

            For some reason I feel way more debauched about my fast food habits than the drinking.

            Maybe it’s cuz I can temper their attitudes about my drinking by saying that I worked really hard this week. Or I can say that I’m a beer enthusiast, a budding cicerone, and thus my beer drinking is like a high-minded gustatory experience. Similar to how a dog’s nostrils flicker in a fevered contemplative way when you take her to the park after a heavy rain.

            You can’t be a cheeseburger enthusiast, though.

            Or you can, but nobody’s gonna respect it.

            My understanding is that the consumption of red meat is a major contributing factor to kidney stones and I’ve heard from several sources that their passage out the urethra is a pain comparable to and in some cases worse than childbirth, a silver lining being you don’t then have to put the stone through school.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in front of fast food provided for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers due to the partial government shutdown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

            Robert Caro in his portrait of Lyndon Baines Johnson campaigning for the senate in 1948 shows us how Johnson had a kidney stone lodged in his ureter, which bred a life-threatening fever of 104 Fahrenheit, debilitating howl-inducing agony—but still he gave twenty speeches a day and shook 400 hands and smiled for the cameras. The man could take an ungodly amount of physical pain.

            But here’s what he couldn’t take: after his presidency, whenever Johnson appeared at a public event, there’d be an angry chorus to spontaneously sing what he referred to, in anguish, as “that terrible song.”

            Hey hey / LBJ / how many kids / did you kill today?

So he lived the rest of his life in isolation on a ranch and died in his mid-60s of a heart attack (not his first).

            That’s what’s waiting for me if I keep it up with all this McDonald’s food: Lyndon Johnson.

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