The Popcorn Stand: Thursday was a time to stop smoking and eat a burger

Thursday was National Fast Food Day which seemed a bit odd to me since it was also the day for the annual Great American Smokeout. As Yogi Berra once said, “Only in America” could we encourage people to improve and do damage to their health at the same time.

Actually it was just a coincidence National Fast Food Day and the Great American Smokeout happened on the same day this year. National Fast Food Day is always celebrated on Nov. 16 while the Great American Smokeout is always observed on the third Thursday of November which this year just happened to fall on Nov. 16.

I also now just realized I decided to give up cheeseburgers out of respect for the Great American Smokeout since I don’t smoke on National Fast Food Day.

As I looked around the internet it seemed In-N-Out Burger was an extremely popular choice on National Fast Food Day and In-N-Out Burger is one of my favorite fast food places as well. My favorite fast food item is the original chicken sandwich at Burger King. And of course I’m always happy when McDonald’s comes out with its McRib sandwich.

And of course the portions at fast food restaurants have become huge — extremely huge. At any fast food restaurant when I order a “small” combo, it’s still larger than the “Big Meal” advertised in this McDonald’s commercial from 1971 ( That “Big Meal” included a Big Mac and what looks to be by today’s standards a small fries and a small drink which is referred to as a “big drink” in the commercial.

On National Fast Food Day — or any other day for that matter — we certainly don’t have to just settle for a “Big Meal” any more.

— Charles Whisnand


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