The McRib: A Free Market Love Story

A student sent me this important news, the most important he had ever shared with me. And I share his joy:

Prepare yourselves: the McRib is coming back!

The barbecue sandwich, which has developed a cult, is making its way back to McDonald’s restaurants all over the country in a mere two weeks, the company announced on Monday.

The sandwich was originally scheduled to burst back onto the fast food scene on Oct. 22, but the McPowers that be decided to hold the McRib’s temporary comeback until December to help four[th]-quarter sales.

At last. I had my first McRib in New Jersey, on the way from Philadelphia to Long Beach Island — the one hit hard by Hurricane Sandy — in the early 1980s. It was a revelation. It was a sweet, spicy, pork product, with the sourness of the pickle and onion. It was like Spam, but better. And the fact that it was shaped like a rib sandwich somehow made it more credible than McNuggets.

Perhaps there is a larger free market story here. The food police may have banned shark fin soup and geese liver in San Francisco, and large sodas in New York, but they have yet to ban the McRib. Even though it is equally strange, artificial, and bad for your health, it is what the market demands. Only McDonald’s, for marketing reasons unknown, forces us to wait at random intervals. But far better for McDonald’s and its customers to make that decision than mayors and governors.