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Too good to be true - Joel Hall

All people, regardless of how strong, have at least one weakness. For Samson, it was pretty women. For Wimpy, it was delicious hamburgers.

As for me, barbecue ribs are my Achilles' heel.

I was one of several people personally devastated when Harold's Barbecue left the Jonesboro area. Driving past the place on my way to work everyday was almost torture, because I would seriously have to weigh the taste of well-prepared ribs against my duties at the newspaper.

Pork or beef, it doesn't really matter, I will travel for miles to wrap my teeth around a well-prepared, tender, juicy barbecue rib.

Harold's Barbecue in Jonesboro was an excellent place to get a fast rib fix. When they left the city, my barbecue consumption decreased significantly, as it was now something I could only enjoy on the weekends.

Then, within the past month or so, there was finally another place selling ribs within the Jonesboro city limits. It wasn't a charming, sit-down restaurant with southern appeal, it was Burger King, of all places.

I first discovered that Burger King had ribs less than a month ago at a rest stop in Kentucky on the way to a graduation ceremony. I literally walked into the restaurant, walked out, and walked back in to make sure I hadn't stepped into a parallel universe.

When I got back to Clayton County, I had to make sure that ribs at Burger King wasn't some kind of restaurant anomaly only found in the foothills of Appalachia. Low and behold, when I returned, ribs were a regular item on Burger King's menu, right down the street.

My first thought was, "How did Burger King get away with that?" It's not quite as delicate as preparing sushi or crème brûlée, but I shuttered at the idea of eating ribs prepared by some gangly teenager.

However, while I think of myself as a pretty smart person, I still fall prey to witty marketing schemes. Following my initial rib discovery, I was bombarded with advertising showing a flying pig in a flannel work shirt delivering ribs to a skeptical passerby.

I was sold.

Last week, on my birthday, I decided to treat myself to a lunch of ribs from Burger King. To my surprise, they were actually very good. They were juicy on the inside, and had just the slightest hint of crunchiness on the outside.

Thrilled with my new discovery, I told my girlfriend about it, and over the weekend, she wanted to experience it for herself. When we drove to the nearest Burger King in Stockbridge, I was told they didn't serve ribs there.

I decided to drive back to the Burger King in Jonesboro, where I had tried the ribs the first time, but before I could get to the drive-through, I saw a sold-out sticker. By the third Burger King we tried, a lady in the drive-through told me that the item had been discontinued, due to high demand.

It was true. MSN reported Friday that Burger King had just sold it's 10 millionth rib and is expected to exhaust its supplies later this month. My dreams of weekday ribs had been answered and dashed all within a three-week time span.

I get it that tomorrow is never promised, and even good things don't last forever, but I don't know if I'll ever be that excited about a fast-food item again. I really hope Burger King will sense the disappointment of rib junkies everywhere, and change its tune.

Joel Hall covers government and politics for the Clayton News Dail.