The day was gray and cold, the sky the color of frozen steel and whipped cream dipped in a downward spiral of war perhaps. My hot cheeka beside me, the one I continually long to mount like an animal, suddenly got a craving for a fruit bowl, but at all places… Chick-fil-A.
We were in the big town this day, the town that has a Chick-fil-A and all the other things of consumption-fueled modern life, many in triplicate, fourplicate, fiveplicate… And so, our loving guts tell us to take advantage, to taste everything we can, when we can, however we can.
I pulled her in for a long love kiss, her lips winter warm, and then I pulled the car into the long drive-thru line, as it always is, winding, binding, crammed and cramped. Chaos. I am always amazed that this many people are so desperate for a chicken sandwich that they will sit in a line 4 miles long and waste half of their day, half of their life, waiting, for a mediocre chicken sandwich doled out by breaded bigots.
But my woman wanted a fruit bowl. And I decided I would become one of the overcrowded crowd and said, “What the hell, I’ll get a chicken sandwich. How about a spicy one?”
She looked at me with grave concern. “Are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean, with everything that happened with your guts last night.”
I thought about it. Maybe she was right. Maybe I should take it easy on the spicy food. I gave in to her wisdom and utter beauty. “All right. I’ll just have the regular chicken sandwich. What kind of crap do they put on it?” I asked my lovely because I am not always wise about such things.
“Who wants pickles on a chicken sandwich? That’s evil and wrong. Someone needs to put an end to that.”
“And I’m sure you’ll be the one to do it,” she said.
The line inched forward.
I looked past the big windows and into the dining room of this particular Chick-fil-A, and there I saw all the people stuffing their tired faces with chicken sandwiches, nuggets, and waffle fries, alternating bites between sucking sips of their big soda pops through red plastic straws. Slurp, slurp, chow chomp, chow chomp …A feeding frenzy of madness, sadness. I wondered what stupid things they were talking about. I imagined the cacophony of societal collapse contained tightly within that box. My eyes went to the front counter and the madness there as the workers desperately tried to survive the onslaught of orders and demands and complaints… “I’d punch someone in the face if I had to work in there,” I said to the steering wheel. My hot woman was looking at her phone. I put a hand between her warm thighs.
The line inched forward.
My anxiety was kicking in as we approached the young woman standing outside in the cold and holding her order machine. I always get nervous in drive-throughs because I’m afraid I won’t be able to remember everything to say or the right thing to say. And then all those people behind me breathing up my tailpipe. There’s too much pressure to order quickly and precisely.
I rolled down the window. There was no happy smile upon this Chick-fil-A worker’s face. There was no greeting of love. In fact, she was as cold as the late autumn day that encapsulated us and everyone else around.
“Name for the order,” she barked like a bitch seal stranded on an ocean rock.
I gave her my name. Had to spell it as usual so they wouldn’t jack it up: AARON.
“What would you like?”
“A regular chicken sandwich,” and I stressed, “NO pickles.”
She angrily tapped something into her computerized pad.
“What else?” she heartlessly wanted to know.
My hot babe leaned across me. I breathed in her scent as she said, “A fruit bowl.”
“Small, medium, or large?” the young lady snapped at us as if we were a complete inconvenience to her Chick-fil-A existence.
“Large?” my wife said with some confusion for she did not realize there were so many various sizes of fruit bowls.
The bitch seal punched some more stuff into her electric order pad and rattled out the total. I handed her a credit card and she bawled us out for such a faux pas. “You pay at the window!”
I pulled forward within the stream. I felt crushed, embarrassed. I didn’t understand. “Then why is she even out there with her stupid little electric pad with its card reader?” I asked my woman.
She shook her head. I wanted to be on her. I loved her madly.
As we inched around toward the window, which was a doorway, my thoughts drifted to the recent Chick-fil-A commercial I saw on the television. It was one of those commercials with deep feelings between a customer and a worker. You know, where they sit on some comfortable Chick-fil-A couch, and they relate a traumatic Chick-fil-A story and there’s tears and hugs and love and it all culminates in a stupid life-long friendship.
In this particular commercial that I was thinking about, a woman was having a hurried, frenzied day and she forgot to take the shake she had ordered when she left the restaurant. Well, have no fear lady because Lupe, or whatever her name was, is coming after you with that damn shake. In fact, Lupe is going to chase you down with that shake. Lupe is going to run two blocks to make sure you get that shake you ordered. Why? Because she has the Chick-fil-A spirit. She has Chick-fil-A soul. She has Chick-fil-A gumption. It’s because she loves you lady, she wants you to have your shake and enjoy it. She wants you to be happy and fulfilled.
As long as you’re not gay, of course. Which is weird because in the commercial there was so much giddiness and joy going on between these two women that I thought they were going to start making out.
So, I told my wife, in reference to the young lady that just took our order, “There’s no way in hell she’d run two blocks to bring us a shake if we had left one behind. No way in hell.”
“She’s no Lupe,” my babe said.
“That’s for sure. What a bunch of bullshit those commercials are,” I complained.
It was finally our turn at the doorway and the young man there politely took our payment and handed us our bag of food. “Thank you,” I said, and I pulled out into the madness of the world.
My woman undid our food bag as I drove. She spread my chicken sandwich open like sex to inspect it because she loves me and wants me to have what I want. “They put pickles on it,” she warned me.
I flipped out. “That bitch. She did it on purpose. She didn’t care about my Chick-fil-A experience at all! Why is nothing ever true!?”
My wife pulled the pickles off before handing the sandwich over to me. That’s love I tell you. She touched pickles for me. She may have even eaten one. I like pickles, but I like them where they belong. Like on a hamburger, not a chicken sandwich. Sometimes I just don’t understand this world.
“I should be in a Chick-fil-A commercial,” I said. “But instead of love vibes on the couch, I’ll be bitching about pickles.”
My wife was busy poking around in her fruit bowl. “You do that, my love,” she said as she put some strawberries in her mouth. She sure does love that fruit bowl, I thought to myself, and then we Took it to the Maxx over at T.J. Maxx. But that’s another story.