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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014

He's a 'Super Size' hero

Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at 12:25 PM

Professional athletes are all overpaid. Movie stars have egos the size of Alaska. And politicians? Well, they're all either too liberal or too conservative to be too good.

So I've been holding out for a hero. And today I have a new one.

Don Gorske is the guy. After all, he's The Man With the Sesame Seed Buns.

Gorske, perhaps you have heard, was poised to eat his 25,000th Big Mac Tuesday afternoon at McDonald's in Fond du Lac, Wis.

Impressive as devouring (and living to tell about it) that many concoctions of all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame-seed bun might be to some folks, it is not the only reason to be astounded by Gorske.

Gorske, a fairly thin fellow, is a 57-year-old correctional facility employee in the Land of Cheeseheads.

Yet after 25,000 Big Macs -- which carry more than their weight in calories (540 each) and grams of fat (29 per sandwich) -- his cholesterol is surprisingly low and he says he's in good health.

That's despite ingesting what I have computed to be13.5 million calories and 725,000 grams of fat just from Big Macs alone the past 39 years.

But perhaps my favorite part of the story is that -- not unlike yours truly -- he is married to a nurse.

The story goes that his Big Mac love affair began when Gorske ate nine -- count 'em, nine -- on that fateful first day, May 17, 1972. He has eaten two Big Macs a day virtually every day since for 39 years, keeping the boxes and the receipts as proof of his addiction.

"A person like me, I just don't change too much," he told the Fond du Lac Reporter newspaper. "It's pretty much two Big Macs a day. When I can travel to sporting events, I like to take my Big Mac along."

To assure the latter, he keeps two Big Macs in his luggage in case he can't find his favorite restaurant while traveling. Yum, I'll bet that suitcase smells good!

Gorske says he has eaten a Big Mac in almost every U.S. state. He was even featured in the Morgan Spurlock documentary "Super Size Me."

How Gorske can consume 25,000 Big Macs without gagging is amazing since Spurlock couldn't do 30 days of McDonald's without barfing in the drive-through (that, by the way, is when I turned the film off). Must be the sesame-seed buns is all I can say ...

Back when I worked in a suburban Chicago deli that featured hot corned beef sandwiches, I devoured those daily for an after-school snack. Until the day came that I couldn't look at another one, couldn't stand to smell another one, and certainly couldn't stomach one more.

And when that time comes for Don Gorske, he'll certainly deserve a break that day.



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A native of Chicago and a graduate of the University of Missouri, Eric Bernsee has enjoyed residing in Greencastle for more than 25 years. Years of consuming McDonald's iced teas, Dairy Castle flurries and Marvin's GCBs have helped make him the man he is today.