Chow Down at Chick Fil A
CHOW DOWN AT CHICK-FIL-A
I have a secret. A secret only a few very select people know.
Something I only just this past week shamefully admitted to my boyfriend of four years…
I LOVE fried chicken. In particular, Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken, with its 11 secret herbs and spices.
It reminds me of hot summer days of my childhood when, after a day of swimming and sun burning at Front Lake or Dominion Beach, we’d all pile into the car (or at least as many of us as could fit) and head off to the nearest KFC to get a monster bucket of chicken, with all the fixings: golden french fries, coleslaw,macaroni salad, soft rolls and hot gravy. Sometimes if someone was feeling really extravagant, we ordered the potato salad too (never as good as mom’s though!) AND as an added bonus to all this yummy goodness, we got to use paper plates and forks, and when you come from a family of five kids plus their friends and your very own large extended family hanging about on any given day, and your chore that week was to wash AND dry all the dishes, THIS was a major blessing! And so, sandwiched inevitably as I was next to my much bigger and left-handed brothers, my much smaller and woefully right-handed self would clash elbows in an all out war before those crispy fries got cold, battling for bread rolls and gravy, creamy coleslaw and ice cold pasta salad, and the most mythic, legendary piece of them all: the keel (Hell, I didn’t even know what keel meant – it’s actually the breast bone of the chicken – but I knew I’d fight to the death for it, or at the very least until my brothers would hold me down and stick their disgustingly wet fingers in my ears until I screamed and gave it up!)
Over the years I tried to branch out, with a dabble or two into Mary Brown and her offerings, and a weekend special here and there at Sobey’s or some local pizza joint, and as a grown up I even tried to make my own healthier, oven baked variety. (Also, I learned about things like clogged arteries and double chins, and decided the rare and occasional indulgence suddenly suited me best).
But alas, nothing could compare to the good Colonel. And to be honest, dining alone on a Toonie Tuesday could never compare to the epic battles of my youth. Where was the fierce competition, sense of adventure? Where was the yelling, hair pulling, and tripping one another (and that was just the fight over who got to CARRY the bucket!)
Would I ever recreate that long ago magic?
So it was with some interest that I heard a few months back about a possibility of some famous deep fried chicken franchise known as Chick-Fil-A possibly opening in Halifax. Could it be I’d find a newfound love, where I could trick a group of innocent and naive friends into going out for dinner, and then before they even knew what was happening jump ’em and hold them down with the threat of some wet willies or atomic wedgies until they gave up the most desirable pieces and were left, sad faced and still hungry, holding nothing but some small, sad, shriveled wing?
But then Chick-Fil-A hadto go and ruin things and bring the Baby Jesus into it.
Now, unless you’ve been living in a box somewhere, cut off from all society and its many trappings, you have seen, heard, or read about the controversies surrounding Chick-Fil-A these day. Founded in Atlanta by the Cathys, a southern Baptist family with some pretty deep religious convictions, this once small town American family restaurant has grown into a monstrous chain, going from 1 store in 1964, to over 1600 strong present day. Dan Cathy, son of the company’s founder, and current President and Chief Operating Officer, has come out raging in the media (well, perhaps ol’ Dan wouldn’t approve of “coming out” or “raging” as the best choice of words) as a very outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and a strong supporter of conservative Christian causes. EXTREME conservative causes that Chick-Fil-A has allegedly bankrolled for a cool 5 million, like Exodus International, those zany “straight advocates” who support “ex-gay” reparative theory (ie, they promise to “pray the gay away” and restore you to blissful heterosexuality) or the Family Research Council, who’s charming philosophies put forth the idea that gay men are all mentally ill pedophiles, that gay sex should be illegal and criminalized, and that they’d support gays being exported from the country. (Not sure what island nation they plan to ship them off to, but I’ve gotta admit, that would be SOME party!) I’ve since googled this stellar organization, and came across images of a few of their founders such as Tony Perkins (no relation to Psycho) and Peter Sprigg, and seems to me one thing they all have in common is an unfortunate case of “Gay Face”. Or in other words, I doth wonder if they protest too much?
People everywhere seem to be taking sides, with liberal mayors in cities such as Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco telling the Cathys that their chicken lovin’ but homosexual hatin’ selves aren’t welcome in their towns, so they can forget about any expansion plans (although technically it’s illegal to block a business due to a person’s religious beliefs, according to that pesky Constitution of theirs, so not sure how THAT’S going to work out for everyone). In recent days, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who demonstrated his racist roots with some ill informed attacks on the Barack Obama’s childhood experiences during his failed presidential nomination bid, and his stupid roots by crying downright moral outrage over the Chick-Fil-A anti gay backlash, and calling for Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, urging people across the country to demonstrate their love and support for “a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse” by showing up at the chicken chain on August 1 and blissfully buying their way to obesity, cardiac arrest and Type II diabetes. Chick-Fil-A went on to record sales that day, and as a counter move by some prominent gay activist groups, same-sex couples were encouraged to protest with “Kiss Ins”, by storming their nearest Chick-Fil-A and taking videos and pictures, then later posting them online, of some good new fashioned same sex PDAs.
Then, most recently, a (former) CFO for a medical manufacturing equipment company in Arizona by the name of Adam Smith got fired from his job after berating some girl named Rachel who was working the drive thru at Chick-Fil-A when Mr. Smith drove up to express his righteous indignation at this “horrible company with horrible values”. Calmly and politely keeping her composure throughout, although looking on the brink of tears, young Rachel gets berated – and worse, videotaped before even having the opportunity to run off and check her hair or makeup – while Mr. Smith has his say, who then rides off yelling he’s “totally straight, I just can’t stand the hate.” Well Mr. Smith, while I’m sure you at least thought you were well intentioned, and undoubtedly ‘mos everywhere appreciate the straight man support, I have but one thing to say to you: You, sir, suck. Furthermore, ANYONE who gets all up in the face of some fast food drive thru worker person SUCKS. You see, as a former drive thru worker myself, I know what it’s like first hand to be barely 17 and be expected to work “close” and stay out til almost 3 am on a school night and STILL smell like raw meat during your 10 am history class the next day, no matter how much Irish Spring and your dad’s Right Guard you use. And THEN, while at work, having to deal with the irate customers who are throwing a hissy fit because you accidentally let an onion touch their Big Mac or you forgot the damn sweet and sour sauce for their chicken nuggets. Trust me, I doubt being the Chick-Fil-A drive thru girl is Rachel’s dream job (NO offense, but for that matter, who wakes up one day and says “I know, I want to be a medical manufacturing equipment guy when I grow up!”). No, she probably gets to scrape by on minimum wage, and you were probably just one small example of any number of jerkfaces she must encounter and strategically maneuver about, all the while keeping a bright smile on her face, day after day, night after night. Next time you want to express such an opinion, ask for the manager – from my experience, they are better paid (although probably still not nearly enough) to put up with the average customer’s crap, and, more likely then not, they’re probably off napping, taking a 2 hour coffee break, flirting with the new girl half their age or busy yelling at the new guy why they are so much better then him. See, if you yell at each other, then Rachel and the new guy are left alone. Also, it’s pretty clear now that all you’ve accomplished in this messy situation is to go and get yourself fired, while likely getting Rachel one kick ass promotion. I figure when she’s running the show and starts supporting anti medical equipment manufacturing groups, shutting down companies like yours and insisting we go all holistic and home-grown instead, you’re going to be one even sorrier dude then.
However, I think it’s important to note that with all this drama, we’re forgetting one very important demographics in all this: the chickens. Think of all those poor little chickens who got plucked and flash fried and gave up their very lives to satisfy those good Christian masses. And then the poor few that survived the All Appreciation Day Massacre, likely gone to waste the very next day as all those good soldiers that lined up the day before now run screaming from those very same Chick-Fil-A stores, worried they’d catch ” the gay” with all those demonstrations of man loving and girl on girl action.
But seriously, with that said, I truly think that, at the end of the day, everyone needs to calm down. It’s CHICKEN! And not even boneless, skinless chicken, but deep-fried! And I’m not sure what YOU believe in, but as the good Catholic boy I was raised to be, I do believe somewhere there’s a higher power, and I’m pretty certain that He/She/It has a hell of a lot of better things to do then intervene in the affairs of some Southern deep-fried chicken franchise and its wacky owners, even wackier supporters, and the latest folks they’ve antagonized this week. Also, might I suggest that if all those good Christian soldiers wanted to show true appreciation for life, liberty, justice and God above, then perhaps they could’ve lined up outside a local food bank and donated the cost of a spicy chicken sandwich and waffle fries to it, rather than fattening the already deep pockets of the Cathy family and their at best suspect and mostly insane causes. Or perhaps, in a better world, the Cathys could support some causes I’d be willing to get behind, like banning the term “sushi pizza” (its raw fish people, it’s got NO place on a pizza pie!) or criminalizing the sale of skinny jeans everywhere (I don’t care how small and cute you think your butt looks, this “human sausage look”, where I can visibly count the small change in your pocket, looks good on NO one!)
I must say I do find the whole idea of the “Kiss In” as a form of protest rather amusing. Who wants to join me in a big ol’ same sex make out session at the nearest KFC so I can protest those artery clogging halcyon days of my youth?
Although don’t be fooled….I’m really just there for the 2 piece and the neon green glowing coleslaw. With a side order of jabbing elbows and wet willies of course!
PS I “borrowed” the title “Chow Down at Chick-Fil-A from a video by Willam Belli, a FIERCE queen and star of RuPau’s Drag Race.
As she notes, “if Drag Queens endorse Christian owned Chick-Fil-A, is it still an endorsement? NOPE”
Check it out. It’s FUNNY!