Rick Roll’d and Mickey Don’ts


(Uno) 1. Yesterday, I learned Just How Cool my new colleagues are when one of them directed me to this article about a Rick Roll event in the Oregon legislature.

(Due) 2. That reminded me of the phenomena of Rick Rolling. If you don’t know the practice, it started as an office prank, and then it went viral.

(Tre) 3. To me, Rick Rolling is the practice of manipulating video clips to the music of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

(Quattro) 4. I have a vivid memory of Rick Rolling moments from the 2008 presidential election, when some tried to start an “Barak” Roll’d run. Oh how time makes such memories bittersweet. At the time it was great because it was really nonpartisan! (Well, except for the “Obama” chants at the end).

(Cinque) 5. As we head into the next election season (um, for my U.S. readers, please forgive my description, we are not nearly as inundated with politics OCONUS) – I hope that more and more people can find common ground and a reason to laugh as we discuss politics. Politics are a means to an end, and we can all maintain our integrity and sense of humor while seeking any end.


Today’s post mixes Sicilian and junk food. Okay, what a blatant exaggeration! The food featured below has almost – ALMOST – nothing to do with Sicilia. However, it is unique to Italy and therefore, I felt curious about it. It is definitely Junk Food. A specialized Italian burger named “Adagio” (slowly/at ease) drew me into our neighborhood McDonald’s. It sounded good, the toppings (eggplant diced and roasted, salty ricotta salata) were actually edible; the burger and bun tasted terrible, making the overall experience terrible. AND – the meal (2 burgers, 2 small sodas and one dessert) cost 16Euro (roughly $22)! Sicilian McDonald’s visits? One and done.

Here’s the journey. We started by parking and walking in. We passed by the drive-thru lane, and a lovely outdoor eating facility. The pretty decor had me hopeful for a tasty treat.

Then there were these delightful cubes displayed in the waiting area. Yes, we waited a LONG time for *fast* food. I don’t visit a lot of fast food places, and this IS Italy…yet, they were clearly understaffed, which is too bad. They might be busier and people could use the work, I’m just sayin’.

I looked around at the well-kept area and stylish seating arrangements and my hopes, sadly, soared even higher. You know how you get big expectations for a movie, and then it bombs? I should have been thinking of this tendency and applied some restraint on my enthusiastic expectations.

The burger description. This is one in a line of limited edition burgers designed by Michelin rated Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi. Talk about a marketing scheme! He made such wonderful efforts with the ingredients – eggplant, tomatoes (non-existent on my burger), and ricotta salata (dry salty ricotta, shaved onto the toppings) – and tiny almond flakes and chunks embedded in the dry, cardboardy-tasteless, bun.

Here is the burger in all of its glory defeat. Although it looks as pretty as the advertisement, the bun was as unsubstantial and tasteless as I remember fast food buns tasting. Its texture was so odd – dry, yet impervious to the eggplant and burger juices. I noticed they seared the bun, but I think that was just cover for the odd bun characteristic. I would have enjoyed the flavor combinations in another setting, one without the weird bun and thin, gray-tasting burger patty.

Here I am, chagrined afterwards.

For what it’s worth, I’m not judging anyone for eating any foods or at any restaurants. I try to eat based on my values and tastes, but I still have to balance my ideals and the conveniences and conventions of my current life – and I trust we’re all just trying to do that – to LIVE. Ciao, bella!

UPDATE: Grist published an article about this phenomenon! Check it out here.


Filed under 5-100, Food. Cibo.

4 responses to “Rick Roll’d and Mickey Don’ts

  1. Shelby

    You made me laugh…hard. When I lived in Acireale, there was only one McDonalds on the entire Island of Sicily, and it was in Palermo (over 3 hours away). I kid you not, they had ITT tours to the McDonalds and back. Those tours always filled up yet the tours that mattered, like to ruins, to wonderful neighboring islands, to ancient cities, were often nearly empty. Try the Adagio again in about a year…maybe it will grow on you or maybe McDonalds is McDonalds is McDonalds…no matter where you are. Great description…feel like I was there with you!

    • Glad you got a laugh out of it! We had fun with it, too. I am not surprised to hear that McDonald’s took a while to get here. Sicily is like the land that time forgot in so many ways. If you are thinking about ITT trips to McD’s, then you would be shocked to see the major shopping malls that are everywhere. Did John (Jon?) see them when he was back here a few months ago? From what I hear, a lot has changed just in the past 3-4 years.

      For your reference, the McDonald’s we went to is right at the Acireale exit/entrance to the Autostrade.

      • Shelby

        The Acireale exit at the Autostrade was our exit – we were there nearly every day. We lived about 2 miles up “Etna” from that exit in Santa Maria La Stella. That would have been weird to have a McD’s right there. I know the base has completely changed (saw that in 2006 when I went back) and I’ve heard about the malls. Not sure John went to them in May when he was in town as it was a quick trip. Change is cool but also a little sad. It was really hard to live when we were there…which is why I learned as much Italian as I could! Glad you are picking up on the fun/odd things in Sicily – it will change you…forever.

  2. Pingback: Sigonella Directory | The Cinquecento Project

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