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The Return of McDonald's Elusive McRib

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Next month, for six weeks or so, McDonald’s restaurants nationwide will offer a sandwich called the McRib. That may not mean anything to you, but to a certain set of people, it’s big, big news. And if you happen to try one, you just might find yourself among the unlucky hordes who go through life forever searching for their next McFix.

The McRib is not a rib sandwich -- it’s ground pork (we hope) pressed into a rib-like shape and slapped on a bun with barbecue sauce, pickles, and onions. But that hasn’t stopped the McDonald’s contrivance from becoming a cult menu item, with a legion of obsessed followers who will go to great lengths to get their hands on it.

The sandwich’s mystique arises from its scarcity: It’s only offered at a small fraction of McDonald’s franchises at a time, seemingly at random, and then it moves on after a few tantalizing weeks. (“It doesn't sell well all year long because people get tired of it,” McDonald's USA President Jan Fields tells the Wall Street Journal.)

Here’s a member of the McRib cult explaining his obsession to the Journal:
Ryan Dixon of Burbank, Calif., once drove 10 hours to Medford, Ore., after hearing a McDonald's there was selling the sandwich.

"It has a ghostly quality," says Mr. Dixon, a 30-year-old graphic novelist. "You don't know when it will appear. It's the girl who you are in love with who has always been a tease to you."
For those who can’t wait until November, there is a website that crowdsources McRib sightings from the past few weeks. The eastern Midwest is currently blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with a surfeit of McRibs. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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