Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Today - as I walked to Starbucks for my afternoon iced tea - I passed by McDonalds, and saw that it's that very special time of year again. Most people mark the approaching St. Patrick's Day with excessive drinking...but when your social life involves so much of that anyway, it can be difficult to keep track. This is why I depend on McDonalds. Not for their food so much anymore, but their marketing.

Seeing this ad recalled in my mind a fateful March day 3 years ago, when I officially stopped drinking Shamrock Shakes.

What you have to understand about Joe circa-2007 is that I would have tried anything to lose a few pounds - except for join a gym. Or exercise at all, for that matter. They were lazier times, you see. During this particular period, I decided that diet pills were the way to go. Great idea, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, on the day in question...something went wrong. I had just started taking my "vitamins" a few days prior, and I was doing my best to pretty much stop eating lunch. And since I haven't eaten breakfast regularly since 1998, I figured that eliminating one more meal couldn't be so tough. I then decided that - having eaten nothing all day save for an off-brand diet pill - I would drink the largest Shamrock Shake that McDonalds would sell me. And that would be my substitute for lunch.

If there are any of you out there expecting a happy ending to this story, you may want to click away now.

What happened a couple hours later was something that has only happened a total of 2 times in the history of my current employment. I ralphed at work. And I ralphed hard. What's more, the combination of my pill/milkshake consumption resulted in a color green that I never, ever wish to see again. As long as I live.

So here's the moral of the story, gentlemen and ladies: DIET PILLS ARE NOT THE ANSWER. Seriously, just go to a gym. Otherwise, you could end up losing the taste for one of your favorite foods. Or beverages. Or whatever a Shamrock Shake can technically be classified as. I am your cautionary tale.

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