RANSON – Even before Jefferson High science teacher David Wright shows how he can consume an entire Big Mac in just one bite, he wants all eyes on his mouth.
[cleeng_content id="143310893" description="Read it now!" price="0.15" t="article"]That’s because of the warning that’s about to come from his lips, explains Wright, a 39-year-old who grew up Indiana.
“Do not,” he tells the 17 students, teachers and others who have come out to witness his feat at the McDonald’s off Joshua Boulevard in Ranson after school on a recent afternoon, “try this at home.”
Wright even asks those gathered to raise their hands and vow to always eat reasonably sized portions.
He then takes a seat, takes out a freshly purchased Big Mac and demonstrates his ability to take down the supersized sandwich in a single, supersized bite.
It’s a trick he’s been working on literally for decades. “It’s only been in the last two or three years that I’ve been able to do this,” he said. “I’m not kidding when I say it’s something I’ve been working on all my life.”
In high school, Wright tended to eat Big Macs in just five chomps.
Wright said his big bites weren’t about creating a spectacle, but rather a byproduct of his towering frame and colossal appetite. “Like most teenage boys, I was always hungry,” he said. “I just wanted to get in my mouth absolutely as much food as possible as fast as possible. It was about efficiency.”
Years later when Wright was serving in the Navy, he took to heart (and to mouth and to stomach) his supervisors’ admonitions to improve himself. “When you’re in the service, you get called ‘maggot,’ ‘no good,’ ‘lazy,’ whatever,” he said. “So I applied myself to being able to eat a Big Mac faster than ever.”
Eventually, Wright could finish his double-decker sandwich in just three bites. Once again a civilian, Wright continued to hone his skill. “That’s a lesson I can pass along to young people,” he says, half-joking. “‘Never give up on your dreams.’”
On this day in Ranson after Wright wows the crowd with his single-bite Big Mac attack remedy – those watching look to be both shocked and impressed – he then eats a second Big Mac at a more leisurely pace.
Relaxed now and refueled, he chats about his life and his lifelong love of the Big Mac.
After the Navy, Wright pursued a degree at Purdue University, where he met Eastern Panhandle native Amy Tabb. Once they married, the couple moved back to her hometown and found work – she at the USDA and he at her high school alma mater.
The couple now have a 3-year-old son, Jesse, who looks forward to outings with his dad to the restaurant the preschooler calls “the French fry store.” On these occasions, Wright tends to order double cheeseburgers from the dollar menu.
Living on a schoolteacher’s salary, he said he views Big Macs as special treats, not an everyday indulgence.
But whether taken in whole or eaten bite by bite, the Big Mac remains a pleasure to consume, Wright explained. “Even in one bite, you still taste it – you just taste it all at once,” he said.
Wright does admit that when he polishes off a Big Mac in multiple bites, he is able to focus more on enjoying his meal. With the all-at-once approach, he must pay attention to “not gagging. I really have to concentrate.”