Gone With the Hashbrowns

Sometimes it can be near impossible to avoid our impulses or compulsions. For instance:

  • If I see a soda can in the road, I must run it over.
  • I won’t eat deli meats unless they’ve been opened, then resealed for at least a day (it’s very hard to explain).
  • When I’m bored and can’t think of anything to do while sitting at a computer, my fingers automatically type www.quesadilla.com. I have no idea why. (The results are always disappointing. Always.)

Some people wash their hands over and over, I have a hang up on freshly sliced turkey. Those certainly aren’t anything to be proud of, but my real secret shame is that it is near impossible for me to avoid being sucked into McDonald’s annual Monopoly promotion. My addiction is well-documented (see previous account of my sheep-like behavior here).

Curse you, Uncle Pennybags! Darn you to heck, Ronald McDonald! Why do you torment me so, Parker Brothers? Why?

This year, I am determined to overcome what medical research journals and leading psychiatrists are now calling CMMD, or Compulsive McDonald’s Monopoly Disorder. Symptoms include: abnormal anxiety from Oct. 7 to Nov. 3, weight gain, logy feeling, unreasonably high hopes that you’ll win a Dodge Viper, and McDonald’s breakfast items having a monopoly on your desires. Ooh! Maybe I’ll get to host a telethon!

Normally, I pride myself in cutting through marketing BS but something about those blasted peel-off chances at fame and fortune (OK, just fortune) suck me in like nothing else. I know popping open a cold Bud Lite won’t result in eight women in bikinis showing up for the big game and I know that wearing a certain designer’s jeans won’t instantly make me cool (not that I need any help). However, I also know that if I just one more hashbrown for tomorrow’s breakfast I’m going to peel of the bane of my existence, the elusive fourth Rail Road or – dare I hope? – Boardwalk.

I wouldn’t feel bad if I were already going to eat at McDonald’s or even if I had plans to eat at some other fast food joint and altered them for a shot at the “french fry lotto” (I’ve posted the odds at the very end of this post). No, what’s truly pathetic is that I increase my McD rate solely for the purpose of getting those silly peel off stickers in the ridiculous hopes of winning $1,000,000. I am the perfect target of McDonald’s marketing genious. The promotion didn’t just win me over from a competitor like Burger King or Wendy’s, it wins me over from my own common sense. I am a slave.

The sad thing is that I’m a fully aware of my affliction and am mostly complicit. I can live without mediocre hamburgers, but God help me, I loves me a sausage biscuit and some hashbrowns. I’m like a kid poring over his prized baseball card collection as I arrange and organize my peel off pieces.

But no more! If Robert Downey, Jr. can kick his habit, so can I!

Wait a minute…

Fine, I don’t care about Iron Man. You don’t have to been a superhero or date Gwyneth Paltrow’s character to have an iron will. I hereby pledge to not patronize McDonald’s during this next month. I don’t care that there is a daily $100,000 give-a-way. I don’t care if I have three business trips this month that offer the perfect opportunity to have a breakfast on the run on the company dollar. I don’t care that everyday on my way to work I pass two McDonalds just begging me to zip through the drive through. Who is stronger? Me, or a delicious, golden yellow french fry.

As God is my witness, as God is my witness Mickey D’s is not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God as my witness I’ll never be hungry (for a stupid, unhealthy fast food breakfast item bearing a get-struck-by-lightning chance at riches or free quarter pounders) again (or at least until Nov. 4)!

The odds:

  • Odds of winning food prize over the course of the game are approximately 1 in 6.
  • Odds of winning $50 prize are approximately 1 in 591,288.
  • Odds of winning $100 prize are approximately 1 in 5,701,000.
  • Odds of winning $500 prize are approximately 1 in 311,389,700.
  • Odds of winning $25,000 prize are approximately 1 in 118,257,530 (why these odds are worse than the $100K prize, I don’t know).
  • Odds of winning $100,000 prize are approximately 1 in 49,273,971 (why these odds are better than the $25K prize, I don’t know).
  • Odds of winning $1,000,000 prize are approximately 1 in 591,287,650.
  • You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning 1,477 times than you do of winning that $1,000,000.

One response to “Gone With the Hashbrowns

  1. I will always be grateful for the Ashlee Simpson CD “I Am Me” that resulted from your last Monopoly obsession.


    But I’m proud of you for making a plan and sticking with it.

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