If you’re wondering what’s happening in my lil’ Midwest town, the big news last week was the unveiling of a giant hamburger statue.
I’m not making this up, kids.
Apparently, people in Rapid City are really fond of McDonald’s Quarter Pounders. So much so that we beat out a bunch of other cities vying for this statue, an 11.5-ton bronze behemoth mounted on a granite base and inscribed with the phrase “hot and deliciously juicy” in Latin.
Still not making this up, I swear.
I can’t believe there was an actual competition to land this thing. We “won” by beating out nationwide competitors from Hawaii, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Rapid City was chosen because we are one of the nation’s top markets for the Quarter Pounder in terms of per-capita sales, our McDonald’s use fresh beef (which means, what…not all of them do?!), and we have a well-known affinity for statues. This latter part is true, but those statues are U.S. presidents that are displayed on various street corners throughout our lovely downtown, not a gaudy bronze hamburger in a parking lot off I-90.
“McDonald’s wanted to celebrate the city’s passion for this classic menu item,” Anne Christensen, field brand reputation director for McDonald’s, said in a statement.
I don’t know, guys. I’m all for public art, and I’m Team Burger, but that doesn’t mean I feel the two should coexist. Also, I can’t remember the last time I had a Quarter Pounder. I visit McDonald’s very infrequently, and I only ever order an Egg McMuffin. If I want a burger I’ll go to the Sugar Shack or Sickie’s Garage.
Yet, some people in town are positively gushing over the burger statue. Josh Ullmark, District Supervisor for McDonald’s, said, “I’m super happy we got it…I can’t wait until tourist season comes…We’ll get some landscaping and lights put on it. It’s going to be beautiful.”
Then again, Josh may be biased.
I ended up working from home 3.5 days last week because of my cold. Can’t remember the last time I was so beaten down by an illness. Usually, Tara will get sick and I’ll be perfectly fine; this time the complete opposite occurred. Go figure.
By Thursday I’d been stuck inside the house for days and decided it was time to head back to the office, but it quickly became apparent I’d rushed things, so I came home at lunchtime. Friday morning, I woke up feeling 1,000 percent better. Funny how a cold that has lingered so long can just suddenly disappear.
Saturday I was symptom-free and felt great, so we took a trip out to the Badlands. It was a glorious Leap Day, full of sunshine and 60º weather. We were even able to get in a little hiking, though it was very muddy in places.
I calculated in my head that this was my ninth trip to the Badlands since we moved here 20 months ago. That annual pass is definitely paying for itself. This desolate, rugged country is, without a doubt, one of my favorite places on earth.
Our plan was to hang around for the sunset, which we did. It sure didn’t disappoint.
It was pushing 7:00 by the time we got back to town, so we stopped for dinner…at a burger place. One that did not have a single arch, golden or otherwise.