Do you know about The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas? Today, I do, because of a news report that their unofficial spokesman, John Alleman, just died... of a heart attack.
The Heart Attack Grill, advertised as "Taste Worth Dying For" lets customers who weigh over 350 pounds eat for free. Their quadruple bypass burger holds the Guinness World Record for "most calorific burger." Previously, another Heart Attack Grill customer suffered a heart attack while eating a triple bypass burger and two months later yet another collapsed while eating the double bypass burger.
Meanwhile, the owner calls his burger concept "absolutely honest" and explains that there is a sign right on the door that reads: 'Caution, this establishment is bad for your health."
It's a challenge where to begin on this one so let's just blame John Wayne. Or, rather, the wise guys who created the whole macho thing he epitomized. Clearly, it takes nerve to read that warning sign yet still walk through the door and actually eat one of those burgers. Only a real man would do that, right? Since the restaurant is still in business they must have quite a few real men who do this every day.
How brave! Here's yet another American tradition, the heroism of throwing caution to the wind, risking everything for... well, there's usually a good cause in there somewhere but in this case it's hard to find one. Let's see: "I'm eating a heart attack burger to prove I'm not worried about having a heart attack!" Doesn't quite make the grade in 2013.
Being unconscious about your health isn't heroic, it's embarrassing and completely inconsiderate of your family who will be left to bury your bulky carcass. What's really risky is to take a stand for your wellbeing and then weather the torrent of abuse you're likely to get from threatened co-workers and friends. But that's leadership. Leaders lead, they go where most fear to go, not in foolishness but in genuine bravery.
Let's hope that the colossal stupidity of this burger story will wake up a few readers to the heroism of taking care of themselves, to be inspired to live in balance, not excess, and maybe, just maybe, to find themselves quite unexpectedly opening to the meaning of their lives beyond adolescent macho dares.