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The President’s Spread

So what do you do for a meal during a government shutdown?

January 15, 2019 - 9:44 am
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The only thing that spared Adam Gase from completely destroying Twitter yesterday was the Clemson Tigers making their visit to the White House. And of course, the timing is a little awkward given that they’re showing up during the middle of a government shutdown.

So what do you do for a meal during a government shutdown? The same thing the kids do when the parents are out of town – fast food.

And President Trump ordered a bunch of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s for the players. Honestly, not a terrible idea. I mean, it’s a little weird that there’s a hotel with his name on it less than a mile away and presumably they have a kitchen that is used to catering, but whatever. Bring on the Big Macs.

And on they came. And that led to one of the most bizarre photos you will ever see. The president of the United States standing behind a giant table of fast food.

Burgers and fries, stacked up and spread out, the same way law enforcement officials present drugs after a big bust. It finally looked like Mayor McCheese had caught the Hamburglar … and McDonaldLand would be able to live peacefully and happily ever after, after the Mayor confiscated every big mac and q.p. in the district. Shut down every big mac house and q.p. den in the city. Went right to the source and choked off the city street’s big suppliers of filet of fish.

And no…this is not a political take. So don’t make it one. Because I’m not. I’m not here to argue about whether or not it was a good idea to order a lot of fast food to celebrate a national championship. You can argue about that somewhere else.

And no, Clemson’s culinary coach, yes, they have one, is not going to be thrilled about that spread, but the Tigers are known to get down on some donuts after a win, so it’s not like they don’t have a cheat meal every now and then.

My beef with this beef isn’t about the quality of it. Or the quantity of it.

What I am about to say is fact. And there is no room for debate.

Fact number one: everyone loves fast food.

Fact number two: nobody loves fast food that has been sitting out for even a second.

Ordering fast food isn’t the problem, not giving it to the guests the moment they arrive is.

Again, I’m not opposed to eating fast food in the White House. I’m sure this wasn’t the first time it happened. And it won’t be the last. Fast food in the White House is not beneath the office of the president.

You can’t tell me Abraham Lincoln would not have gotten down on some late night square burgers from Wendy’s if that had been an option back in the day.

And you know James Madison, our fourth president, would’ve loved some fourth meal if he could’ve had it.

James Monroe – fifth president? Noted Five Guys fan. The Monroe Doctrine was actually all about how he wanted his burger prepared.

Millard Fillmore? More like Fillmore buckets with KFC. And with respect to William Howard Taft, there’s no way he got stuck in the White House bathtub, allegedly, because he was just eating clean burning fuel.

So the Oval Office hasn’t exactly been filled with health nuts. Eating fast food at the White House is totally fine. In fact, it’s better than fine.

Eating fast food off White House china – cool.

Eating COLD fast food off anything – awful.

And that’s the problem. It’s not the order. It’s the presentation. There’s a reason why every fast food place likes to tell you how quickly they get the food from the grill to you. Because you want it hot. And you want it now. You don’t want the staff at Wendy’s taking photos with the food and talking to you about it. I know what it is, just give it to me. It’s the Wendy’s Dollar Menu, not the dessert cart at Morton’s.

I know spreading that food out on a big table looked awesome. Shout out to the person who stacked the sauce packets on silver trays. That is a killer look. Perfect presentation. Seriously.

But again, and I can’t stress this enough: A Big Mac is great. A cold, clammy Big Mac is the worst thing on the planet. It tastes like a used tire. In fact, I’d rather eat an actual tire than a cold Big Mac.

I know there were some heat lamps out there on that table, but that’s not going to keep everything warm.

Heat is a crucial part of the fast food experience. The faster you get it from the tray or the bag into your face, the better it is.

Unless you’re going with a McDonald’s apple pie. Then you have to get the timing just right. Because if you bite into that at the start of the meal, you’ve burned your mouth for a month. And if you wait too long, it’s too cold. For the apple pie, there’s a fifteen second window when it’s just right. And only the true fast food masters know how to time that.

There’s a reason why half the people who go through the drive-thru finish off their meal before they leave the parking lot. Because it’s better hotter. The further away from the fast food joint you get, the worse it gets, and the worse you feel.

Nobody feels great about themselves going through a drive-thru, but if you eat it quickly, it feels better. The heat dulls the remorse and self-loathing.

If you have to wait until you get home, the burger is lukewarm, the fries are damp, and you hate yourself a little more with every bite. 

Oh, and here’s another thought about this: did I see a Filet-O-Fish on that table? Because if I did, I want a full-blown Congressional investigation.

And no, I did not see A Filet-O-Fish on the table, I saw multiple Filet-O-Fish on that table. And that is unacceptable.

I’ll look past the fact that this table of allegedly great American fast food did not have In-N-Out. There isn’t one east of Texas, so I’m not going to crush anyone for overlooking the greatest American fast food, but if someone on the White House staff actually ordered Filet-O-Fish, that’s a fireable offense. Nobody wants Filet-O-Fish and they certainly don’t want it cold. And no you can’t cover the taste of that whack fish with that whack fast food tartar sauce: and don’t run up on me about that special fish sauce they use:  ain’t nothing special about that fish sauce:

The Filet-O-Fish order was a cardinal sin. But you know how this could’ve all been redeemed? You know what would’ve brought the entire country together?  The one thing that would have gotten us all on the same page, even with this president.   Shamrock Shakes.

I know its January. I don’t care. You’re the President of the United States. You can bring back Shamrock Shakes at any time. Hell, use the power of the president to bring back the McRib while you’re at it: Just make sure those stacks and stacks of fat are hot: that’s all. I’m fine with serving fat, as a one off, as long as it’s HOT FAT.