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A Different Side of The Golden Arches

Paris, Arkansas

December 2, 2019

I'm sitting here in the MacDonald's in Paris, Arkansas. I've been here for three hours. Towns like Paris don't have a Starbucks (although Paris has a Walmart, a Dollar Tree and a Dollar General - how all three survive is beyond me. The Walmart must be one of the original ones because it is so small). I came here to use their free WIFI and after three hours a wall outlet. Uploading slideshows to Youtube takes a while.

I'll admit this is not my first McDonalds this trip. I've learned that I can get a healthy breakfast here and after a cold night in the tent or the truck, it's a place to warm up. Healthy at McDonalds? How about egg whites and oatmeal with raisins. Granted I usually throw in a sausage patty, but I need some fat and protein, right? Sometimes I pick up a salad to have later - no dressing, thanks. Romaine lettuce with some vegetables and grilled chicken.

When I say a different side of the Golden Arches, I am referring to the sense of community you see in the morning here. For example, this morning there is a table of older gentlemen having coffee and swapping stories. There is a table of ladies talking about Christmas plans. Earlier there was a table of hunters decked out in their camouflage (pretty sure I've never spelled that word all the way out) and their faces painted black. They were too far away for me to eavesdrop. (I'll need to look up the origin of that word.)

It is too bad that McDonalds can't help folks eat better. Looking at the menu, it is disgusting that you can consume 75 percent of your calories for the day in one meal. And the wrong kind of calories. It took me 57 years to learn what a good diet is so who am I to talk. We can't expect profit seeking companies to take care of ourselves - they serve what people want - food that tastes good.

One of my most important life lessons that I've been reminded over and over of during my walkabout is to "check my assumptions." I'm wrong so often that if I were a baseball player, I'd be batting way below the Mendoza Line.

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