Reminiscing about the day I ate four Big Macs reminded me of a less glorious but in some ways similar day. At Harvard, senior theses for math concentrators are due the day after spring break. The very organized people turn in their theses before vacation starts, and leave town with a light heart. I wasn’t one of those people. So it’s the first day of spring break. Everyone’s gone, the dining hall’s closed, and I’m alone with my unfinished thesis. I know I’ve just got to sit down and force myself to finish it in one great burst of work, so I can get out of town. And this gives me an idea. I walk down to Central Square, where there’s a McDonald’s, and buy a bag of twelve cheeseburgers. Then I come back to my room, sit at my desk, and put the bag by my side. And here’s the rule — whenever I’m hungry, go in the bag and get a cheeseburger; but I’m not allowed to eat anything else until the thesis is done.
I think I only needed eight cheeseburgers. The thesis was finished the next day around lunch time. But I didn’t feel like lunch.