Monday, September 30, 2013

A Chicken Tale ...

I don't know from whence the craving came, but a couple of weeks ago, I really wanted KFC Original Recipe chicken. Dark meat, always. White meat, bah.

Now, I know that there is nothing good for me in KFC Original Recipe, but another part of my brain didn't care.

So I did what I do when I want to talk myself out of something: I Googled.

Oh, Lord, the crap in KFC chicken. Never mind that fast-food chickens aren't exactly featured players in a William Carlos Williams poem, what happens after their nightmarish demise is no better. It's worse, actually. Chemical insult added to life-ending injury.

The poor chickens.

So, that day, I did not go to KFC.

Let's hear it for knowledge!

But then, the weekend before last, I was sick. And I was hungry. And I thought and thought and thought about what I wanted to eat. Nothing appealed to me, the way nothing appeals to anyone when they're sick.

But I knew I needed food. And there was not a chance in hell that I was going to be setting food into a grocery store, so my options were limited to foodstuffs I could procure without having to leave my car.

I ran through the fast-food gauntlet in my mind. Every town has a stretch that features damn near every fast-food option known to man, right?

And I settled on ... chicken strips and mashed potatoes.

I don't eat chicken strips. Because I am not 6. So why that's what my brain decided on, I couldn't tell you.

But I wanted chicken strips. And mashed potatoes and gravy. And I wanted to dip the chicken strips in the mashed potatoes and gravy.

In that moment, maybe I was 6 after all.

Well, there's really only one joint in town if your rhinovirused mind has decided on that menu.

So I got in my car and pointed it toward KFC.

There was no one in the drive-through so I pulled right up to the speaker.

Having no prior chicken-strip-buying knowledge, I asked if I could buy them by the piece.

I was informed that they came as 3-piece, 6-piece, or 12-piece orders.

Perfect.

A 3-piece, please.

Anything else?

A large mashed potatoes and gravy.

(I'd have prefered a medium size, but KFC doesn't offer a medium size, and the individual size would have been too sad.)

The man on the speaker said, "That'll be $9.69*."

I'm sorry?

He started to rattle off my order, in case he misunderstood, and I interruped to say, "No, the total?"

So he quoted the price for each item.

And I said, "Cancel my order, please," and drove away.

I get that fast food can be pricey. I'm paying for convenience. I'm paying for the priviledge of not having to infect a grocery store. I'm paying for the ability to stay in my car.

But nearly 10 bucks? For three chicken strips and a product that does not really deserve to be called mashed potatoes and gravy?

No.

I went to Wendy's and spent seven dollars instead. On a burger and fries and a root beer.

Root beer is good when you're sick. I don't know why.

* I may be misremembering the total slightly, but it was definitely nine dollars and the change was closer to 10 dollars than nine.

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