There are, in this universe, established laws of science that are considered universal and invariable facts of the physical world - laws so irrefutable that the mere mention of disproving them would bring scorn and ridicule from even the lowliest of scientists which helped to establish them. I'm talking about laws such as the fact that the earth circles the sun and not vice versa, that gravity is the force that causes the apple to fall to the ground instead of floating off into space, E=mc2...and the fact that french fries have a limited window of time in which they must be eaten before they are no longer deemed edible.
In my years of college, mission, and as a young newlywed, I've become quite a connoisseur of "fast food" (AKA: I'm too lazy to make my own meals, food) and therefore, quite the connoisseur of french fries, or "fries" as I will refer to them through the remainder of this article in hopes of appealing to the cooler crowd who might happen upon this blog entry.
If given even the slightest period of time to consider this most important law of nature, most, if not all of you reading this will probably agree that fries have a very small window of time in which they must be eaten. You all know what I'm talking about - the inevitable shift from hot, crispy, salty deliciousness to tepid, rubbery, unsavory awfulness. From the time you first receive your little carton of goodness into your loving hands, the stopwatch has already begun its inevitable countdown. And unfortunately for all of us proud owners, fries have a very short lifespan.
Sure, it's no big deal when you're dining in. Anyone can eat their fries within the allotted time it takes to snarf down lunch at the local greasy burger joint and never worry about reaching that awful point of no return. But it's a different story for the many of us who get it to go and therefore waste precious minutes transporting the precious cargo home to eat. The way I have it figured you have 12, maybe 15 minutes tops, from the time they're almost too hot for your mouth to inedible and disgusting.
My problem is that I live at least 10 minutes away from the nearest McDonald's, which leaves me and my family very few minutes left to devour our fries before they turn. I've had many nights of heartburn and upset stomach as a direct result of having to swallow my fries whole in attempt to eat them within the time constraint. This happens even if I tell them at Mcdonald's that I want the fries to be loaded at the last possible second. Even if I tell them I want them fresh out of the fryer, molten hot. Even if I tell them to eliminate the middle man (the fry tray under the heat lamps) and to just load them directly from the fryer into the fry carton. All of that might, and I stress the word might, save me an additional three minutes on the drive. Which, don't get me wrong, I'll take whatever additional time I can get, but it still leaves me in a serious race against the clock. Tick. Tick. Tick.
I would be lying to you if I told you that the thought of running a red light or calling in for a police escort has never crossed my mind. I mean they do it for organs being taken to a patient all the time right? Isn't this equally important? After all, I paid good money for those fries.
The only thing known to man in the slowing down of mother nature when it comes to the aging of fries is of course the heat lamps they're placed under when they first come out of a fryer. Unfortunately my car doesn't have one of those, but I do believe it should be an option on all newer vehicles. Could you imagine the time and heartache you'd save if your car had one of those babies tucked right in under the stereo?
I once had a friend tell me to just pop them in the microwave when I got home...as if that somehow would magically rejuvenate the limp and lifeless fries. Uh, yeah. No. Let's just say he is no longer my friend. I mean these things are like nachos. They can't be reheated! French fries are untouchable that way...it doesn't matter how badly you wish they could. And let's just call a spade a spade. The microwave...it's just an appliance. It's not a miracle worker.
Nope, once the fries have met their time limit, it's best you pass on them and just chalk it up as another loss to the fry gods. They're gone. They're toast. They've given up the ghost and no matter what you try, you'll never resuscitate the things. And even if you could, what would be the point? It would be like trying to resuscitate a 95 year old man who died peacefully in his sleep. In the end he's still 95 and pretty much dead.
Nope, my suggestion to you is to enjoy them while they're hot. I know we're all busy with life and that things get hectic - so busy in fact that it seems like we never have time to stop and enjoy the fries, so to speak. Might I suggest to all of you, when it comes to eating these heaven-sent strips of potato, salt and grease, to stop, take but a moment of time (12 to 15 minutes) out of your busy life, and allow yourself to enjoy the fries.