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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Review: French fries can fix us right up, as long as they come from McDonald's

By Debra Hawkins

November 11, 2008 | For a sodium-aholic, french fries are the holy grail of all foods. Not only are fries naturally salty but they can be easily salted to heart attack levels without as many raised eyebrows that come from salting baked potatoes and steaks.

French fries are the most incredible form of food because they can be used on any occasion. They are a sad food, ranking right up next to a pint of Haagen Daas. You can eat them after a bad day with the same effect of that pint of ice cream, and that is saying something because ice cream is a powerful substance.

French fries are multifaceted. Not only are they as powerful as ice cream on a bad day, they are as consistent as scream therapy for anger. For those of you who don't know about scream therapy, it is where the frustrated person grabs a fluffy pillow, holds it tight to their face and screams at the top of their lungs until they run out of oxygen. Then the participant is encouraged to inhale, replace the pillow and repeat until the anger goes away, or if pillows are scarce, a box of fries utilizes the same principles.

There is something about crunching through a hot bunch of bunch of salty fries that gives your body, or at least your jaw, the workout it needs to allow it to let go of the anger it was holding inside.

Last, but definitely not least, fries are a birthday, anniversary and any other happy day in your life food. If you just finished that major homework project, have some fries. Did you get out of bed this morning with only half your visual amount of grumbling? Have some more. In any given scenario, a quick run to a fast food restaurant can change your whole day around.

There are usually at least two different fast food restaurants in any given town to help quell the average person's need for artery clogging, cholesterol-raising food. Those two restaurants are usually McDonald's and Wendy's. McDonald's and Wendy's are similar in many ways to the untrained french fry pallet. <:P> Both restaurants revolve around redheaded people, although Wendy's redhead doesn't involve face paint, perhaps something that would make people more forgiving when it comes to some of their food, but without the face paint, their food is left to rest on its merits alone.

The merits of a Wendy's french fry are anything but impressive. More than once I have bitten into a Wendy's french fry to find out it never made it into the the fryer with the rest of the fries. Rather, it is slightly less than frozen solid because of some time under the heat lamp.

Even when I get through a whole box of Wendy's french fries without so much as a cold surprise, the experience has never been pleasant. The fries are mushy and tasteless, nothing like the miracle food fries have the potential of being. The best way to get through a box of french fries from Wendy's is to double that dollar menu purchase and add a dollar frosty to your purchase. Somehow, dipping each fry into a cold chocolate treat, although to every true french fry lover's distaste, allows the fries to have at least half of their usual magical effects.

Now I don't know what it is about that scary-looking clown in the yellow jumpsuit that ensures great fries, but McDonald's french fries are easily the cheapest way to get a taste of that french fry magic. The crunch, the golden color, all salted to perfection creates a wonderful experience. Every time you take a bite of this gift to the human race, you think to yourself, "Man, no matter how scary the yellow jumpsuit and makeup, that clown sure did something right."


Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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