March Madness Fast Food Style

23 March, 2009 (12:37) in Yada Yada Yada written by James Yates

It’s that time of the year again, March Madness! Thousands if not millions of people have filled out their NCAA brackets and are anxiously sweating their favorite teams and/or picks to see who will pull it all off at the end of the….oh wait, this isn’t a basketball post. Oh no. This is day 23 of a different form of March Madness. For reasons unknown to mankind, in late February our family decided to attempt the unthinkable: Go an entire month, a FULL month, without ever eating take-out or fast food. For us, that month was March, conveniently scheduled to have the full 31 days aka the longest time period allowed. Since we’ve endured I mean experienced this challenge for 3 weeks, I thought it would be a good time to go over how the challenge has gone so far from my point of view. And in my view all I can see are delicious, crunchy and conveniently prepared visions of yumminess. Uh oh, maybe I need to think about baseball. D’oh!

On the last day before the challenge began, we all got to enjoy a great going away mouth-party that was an Arby’s lunch and a Mexican fiesta dinner, all takeout baby. I’m surprised there wasn’t a McMuffin in the forecast but I probably didn’t realize how long a month truly takes. For example, try staring at a clock. All day. It takes 1591651316511 hours to complete the day if you do so. I’ve found it works the same for calendars, except maybe longer. Anyway, we started the challenge on March 1st and I dutifully drew chalk lines on the wall counting the days until we’d be able to enjoy the bountiful goodness of Fast Food America. But what happended next was most suprising.

I totally forgot about wanting fast food. The first couple of days went by very smoothly, with me avoiding TV and their super catchy $5-dollar-foot-long jingles and High Definition close-ups of all things sandwich. I even avoided driving by any fast food places just in case I had my window down and would be trapped into cracking like a bear and those damn pies the old ladies set out on the window prompting new episodes of When Animals Attack. But for some reason, I just really didn’t feel the need. What the heck. I’m not sure why, but I think I wasn’t missing it because while we were busy having every meal in we were all noticing that everything was tasting even better than usual. And everything has always tasted great as is (thanks to my wife’s awesome cooking abilities), but it was heightened to a new level somehow. It was like our tongues had been reborn! The first two weeks went by in a flash.

For some reason, though, week three was a bit tougher. All of a sudden I started noticing the fast food places again. I started noticing the commercials. To date, I’ve stayed strong and have not cracked (no one has) but it is definitely going to get harder heading into the home stretch. We only have 8 more days left in the experiment that no one really thought we could accomplish, myself included. I think it will be cool to complete our run, I will feel very good about outlasting my cravings, especially since I always enjoy a challenge where I come out the winter. Wish us all luck, and I’ll be sure to let everyone know if we can make it and squeak into April fast food free!

You can bet I will be tempted to burn the magnetic strip off my debit card on April fools day though…no joke!


Comment from Nicole
Time March 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Awesome post, and I’m so glad that you didn’t tear me a new one thanks to the no fast food rule. I agree week #3 was the toughest, and Cheese Tater Tots and a Route 44 Cherry Coke are calling my name, but I think I can hold out until April :)

Comment from Shaunna
Time March 23, 2009 at 1:58 pm

You are an awesome writer James, I will remember this the next time I need a paper wrote! lol I can’t wait to see what you are like April fools day, probably a big mac in one hand and arby’s roast beef in the other! Great job guys!!!

Comment from James Yates
Time March 23, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Spicy. Chicken. Sandwich. Spendy’s I mean Wendy’s mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Comment from James Yates
Time March 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Thanks Shaunna. yeah I plan on gaining 20lbs immed, but I will be 1 happy fat guy with lots of cool kids toys bwahaha

Comment from Rob
Time March 25, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Sooooo a Jimmy Johns just opened blocks from my apartment and I go there ALL the time. You can just think about that for the rest of the month.

Comment from James Yates
Time March 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm

U bring me Club Lulu, Turkey Tom or Ultimate Porker I give u $$

Comment from rob
Time March 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Hahahaha … will do man.

Comment from Barbara
Time March 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Hey James! Who knew, you write extremely well. Informative, entertaining, comical, satirical, honest, and from-the-heart (or any other body part you would like to substitute there). I’m very impressed with your blog. I’ll be back to read more of your informative takes on life. Keep ’em coming!

Comment from James Yates
Time April 5, 2009 at 1:09 pm


Comment from Richard
Time November 5, 2009 at 1:24 am

Good for you James – fast food is like inject cholesterol right into your heart with a turkey baster! Hope taking a month off has turned into something more permanent – for your sake!

I had a college professor who took a summer off from all media. No radio, no TV, no movies, no newspapers, no books. The hardest part? For the first 2 months he’d dream about commercials, and find himself humming product jingles while he was sitting around doing nothing!

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