I’ve actually been trying to enjoy my summer so I’m a little late to the party on the national news. There seems to have been a bit of hoopla over statements made by Chick-fil-A’s president in his support for “traditional” marriage and therefore his de facto stance against gay marriage. (It presupposes, of course, that one group has the right to decide which definition of traditional we’re all supposed to be abiding by. Forgive my unease, but historically this hasn’t always worked out for women, the poor, or the naturally tan but, you know, whatever.) Moving right along.
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His statements have raised the hackles of Americans, giving us something to be polarized about, again. A nice warm up for the upcoming presidential election, just in case our knee jerk reaction time was getting a little slow. It reminds us that every issue, regardless of complexity, is to be seen only in black-and-white. We only see shades of gray when it’s a best-selling book about sex.
And so now, in the face of a struggling economy, a deteriorating planetary environment, and the militarization of our local police forces, Americans are forced to take a stance on chicken. Well, here’s mine:
I can honestly say, even prior to its president’s statements, Chick-fil-A never had to worry about me. While traveling to a gig with a fellow comedian, we were passing through an airport with enough time to eat in between flights. The food court boasted a Chick-fil-A. When I said I’d never eaten there, my shocked compatriot began raving about the food. He extolled its virtues which principally was the freshness of the chicken.
Unbeknownst to me, my life had been hitherto incomplete because I had not had the pleasure of eating at Chick-fil-A. And because this is exactly how peer pressure works, (although I prefer to call it “being open to new experiences”) I embarked on what I hoped would be a life-changing chicken experience.
It was the worst chicken I’ve ever tasted. This is even taking into account The Great Lemon Chicken Debacle of my childhood. My mom -- a fantastic cook -- experimented once with a new recipe: Lemon Chicken. It was one of the darkest times in my family’s culinary history. We rarely speak of it, and when we do it is in hushed and tearful tones.
As I bit into my Chick-fil-A sandwich I remember thinking, “Oh dear God, if this is what fresh tastes like I’ll take the chemicals.” Apparently I prefer warehouse-raised, hormone-injected chicken. But of course I do. I wasn’t raised on fresh chicken. Here in the Big Apple, and I daresay any sizeable city, our style is fresher than our food. Besides, you know they’ve been pumping chemicals into our food for decades. That’s why today our five-year-old girls look like middle-aged women. In case you haven’t noticed, 10 is the new 30.
No doubt there are people who enjoy the Chick-fil-A taste, but for my chicken dollar they are no threat to Popeyes, Church’s, or KFC. Chick-fil-A even made me wistful for the not-found-in-nature taste of a chicken McNugget. Do you know how bad a meal has to be to inspire somebody to say, “Fuck it, I’ma go to the grocery store and do it my damn self!”?
So, as America winds itself up and wears itself out like a teenage drama queen with arguments about gay marriage, free speech, and the juxtaposition of private vs public opinions, I say, “Thank you Chick-fil-A” for reminding me that I can enjoy chicken prepared the traditional way: at home in the microwave, sans lemon, of course.
I am Leighann Lord and I approve this message.