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Common Sense: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, literally

February 18, 2013

By Brent Davis, editor of The Saline Courier

Would you eat a 9,983-calorie, 3-pound hamburger called a "Quadruple Bypass Burger?" It appears that many people would, and do. One person, in particular, is reported to have been a lover of the meal that packs more calories in one sitting than most people eat in a week. His name was John Alleman. Last week, Alleman suffered a heart attack as he waited at the bus stop in front of the Las Vegas location of the Heart Attack Grill, home of the Quadruple Bypass Burger.
Alleman was 52.
On Monday of this week, Alleman was taken off life support shortly after 1 p.m. Alleman was considered a spokesman for the restaurant. Jon Basso, owner of the grill, is quoted as saying of Alleman, "He lived a very full life. He will be missed."
The restaurant has a medical theme. Waitresses were skimpy nurse uniforms. Customers have a hospital gown placed over them instead of a bib. Signs located inside the dining area note that "Caution: Eating here is hazardous to your health." If a customer is able to finish a full Quadruple Bypass Burger, a nurse rolls them to their car in a wheelchair.
There are so many different levels of discussion this particular event can start. Why would anyone eat this food, knowing the harm it can do to the human body? Does the grill hold any responsibility for promoting eating habits that are seen to be as unhealthful? Should the government step in and place restrictions on what the restaurant can serve to customers who are willing to eat whatever is placed in front of them?
However, the wider question here is, "Why do any of these questions matter?"
Alleman was described as a man who loved the food. In a statement from Basso, Alleman is noted to have "a genetic predisposition for cardiac problems, as both of his parents died of heart attacks in their 50s." It would appear Alleman was living his life in a manner that caused him joy. He had only one survivor, his brother.
So, what harm is there in living a life that brought happiness. It appears Alleman enjoyed his life.
The harm comes from those who will sit in their comfortable glass houses and begin the stone throwing that will inevitably follow. Judgements will be placed upon Alleman regarding his actions and questions will be raised about his "addiction" to the calorie packed burger. However, in less than twenty-four hours, the obsession with this curious tale will fade. Some other item will raise our collective ire.
Alleman's life didn't fit the established pattern of how life is supposed to be lived. He colored outside the lines of conventional wisdom.
Rest in peace, John.

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