McDonald’s: Luxury Dining

Meet this week’s three guests of honor:


Kenneth Brumley (fl. 2009)


Renee Williams (d. 2007)


Billy Robbins (d. 2010, to estimate it conservatively)

At their maxima, these suet inhalers weighed 1035 pounds, 980 pounds, and 850 pounds respectively.

That’s a total of 2,865 pounds. The New York Knicks’ entire roster is listed at 2,585 pounds, notwithstanding that pro athletes notoriously overstate their sizes.

So what does controlling your appetite have to do with Controlling Your Cash? Tons.

Mr. Brumley, the late Mrs. Williams, and Mr. Robbins (or as his overbearing mama calls him, “my titty baby”) have one thing in common. (Aside from unwashed genitalia, dizzying sloth, and toenails that appear to have been grafted on from some reptilian genus.) Each at least partly blames the preponderance and ubiquity of fast food for somehow contributing to their size.

None of the three appears to have (or in Ms. Williams’ case, to have had) much money. Which enables them to use the same excuse that millions of slightly-less-disgusting corpulent people use while stuffing their faces and doing their darnedest to drag our nation’s average lifespan down – some variation on “fast food is cheap, it’s all I can afford, curse Wendy’s and Burger King for making their unhealthy food taste so good and cost so little.”

To quote a British tabloid*,

“Only deliveries of fast food from (Mr. Brumley’s) partner Serena break the monotony of the day. Because of this weakness for junk food, Kenneth is among 2 million Americans who are over (560 pounds).”

Mr. Brumley certainly has plenty of weaknesses – his life appears to consist of nothing but. The implication seems to be that if Serena were spending a little more money to make runs to The Cheesecake Factory or Joe’s Crab Shack, Mr. Brumley’s weight might be – oh, somewhere down in the neighborhood of three digits.

As of this writing, a fresh whole chicken at a local Food4Less goes for 67¢/lb. If it takes 5 ounces of chicken to make a decent entrée, that’s 21¢. Pasta costs maybe $1.19/lb. Half a pound constitutes a pretty generous serving, which would be 60¢. Throw 4 ounces of reduced-fat sauce on there, out of a $3, 2-lb. bottle, that’s another 38¢. Remember water? Depending on where you live, it can be either heavenly out of the tap (Juneau) or straight-up brackish (Detroit). If your water tastes like the latter, get a Brita filter and the price of your water will go up about .0005¢ a glass amortized over the life of the filter.

So dinner costs $1.09, maybe $1.09005 if you filter the water.

Here’s another:

At the neighborhood Wal-Mart, a gallon of non-fat milk routinely costs $2. The store’s equivalent of Cheerios (the healthiest cereal available that isn’t sold exclusively in vegan co-ops peopled by patrons who talk about their chakras and think that all Mahmoud Ahmedinejad needs to calm him down is some yoga) runs about $3 a box.
The price of frozen concentrated orange juice is flexible, but usually costs something like $1.50 for a 12-ounce can.
Eggs are about $1/dozen. Bagels, $3/dozen.
Louis Rich/Oscar Meyer turkey bacon, which tastes better than and has one-quarter the fat of pork bacon (and doesn’t involve slaughtering animals that are as intelligent and affectionate as dogs) costs ~$2.50 for 14 slices.

On a per-use basis at home, pepper, salt, spices and cooking spray are too cheap to meter.

So for a fairly indulgent breakfast consisting of

1 pint of milk (25¢)
a bowl of Wal-Mart off-brand cheerios (30¢)
a blueberry bagel (50¢)

1 pint of orange juice ($1)
a 6-egg-white omelet (50¢)
4 slices of bacon (71¢)

…you’d pay $3.26.

A quick examination at the local McDonald’s shows that you’d get barely a 24-ounce orange juice for that price. If you wanted the protein available in 6 egg whites – say from 6 Eggs McMuffin – you’d pay 12 times what you’d pay to make a homemade egg-white omelet. To stay as healthy as possible, you’d also have to eat your way around the yolks and pretend the eggs weren’t fried in grease and slathered with butter, either.

Hell, you can even break up the home-cookin’ as 2 meals; a $1.05 carb-laden one before the gym, and a $2.21 one full of protein and fiber after: as long as you’re the kind of person who doesn’t sit in bed all day growing chins and testing the limits of Newton’s gravitational constant.

We’re not here to bash McDonald’s for gauging customers: far from it, especially since gauging doesn’t exist (if you don’t like the prices, don’t buy the product.) Furthermore, if you’re driving through a town like Tonopah, Nevada, and don’t have a multi-element hot plate and a fridge in your glove box, a smoke-free McDonald’s owned by a franchisee who has to practice quality control to keep his franchise is probably going to be the finest available restaurant within several leagues.

The point of this post is to disabuse fatties of the notion that their caloric intake is directly correlated to their financial situation. If anything, there’s an inverse correlation: beyond a certain baseline, the more you have to economize on your meals, the healthier you should eat.

*This blog could attribute the source, but chooses not to because it’s our belief that journalists deserve to be treated with disdain whenever possible.

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6 Responses

  1. I have an idea you’ll like: let’s round up all the fatties and sew a yellow (for fat) star to their clothing. Later, we’ll round up all the yellow star people and send them to special camps. Happily, we’ll never see them again. You’ll like that, I think.

    • Sounds good, but why not just eliminate the intermediate upholstering step and just send the fatties directly to your camps?

      • My camps? That won’t work, not at all. My camps are dedicated to training aspiring vocalists to win awards and so on. Some of them are fat, but not all. Plus, if Lady Gaga can win best male video, where does that leave the rest of us?

  2. I wish I had your time on my hands. Slightly didactic at times, still an engaging read. Using a “British Tabloid” source for the 2 million obese is disingenuous at best, reckless at worst. If this were a scholarly publication, I’d hold you to much higher standards. For a “free” blog, this is a compelling read that will go ignored by those who most need to read it.

  3. […] Kincaid presents McDonald’s: Luxury Dining « Control Your Cash posted at Control Your Cash, saying, “How fast food increases your waistline & decreases […]

  4. […] Kincaid presents McDonald’s: Luxury Dining « Control Your Cash posted at Control Your Cash, saying, “How fast food increases your waistline & decreases […]

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