Over on Facebook I help lead a group called “Bracket of Champions,” where we run brackets on topics like Best Halloween Candy, Best Pizza Topping (I am the Mushroom Queen for successfully lobbying Mushrooms to run against pepperoni), Best Holiday Film, etc. Our last bracket was on Best Fast Food Restaurant. Unsurprisingly, given that a large number of the members are based out of Tennessee or farther south, Chick-Fil-A won it all.
I have an… odd relationship with Chick-Fil-A. To my memory, the first time I tried it was in 2017 in Franklin. It was merely okay. I wouldn’t remotely call it my favorite. I would have no opinion beyond that, except one opened less than five minutes from me and everyone locally started raving about it. I didn’t get it. I still don’t. The chicken is decently juicy if you like chicken, but the food in general is mediocre, and the service is almost too cheerful. Like, “I don’t trust you because you’re being too friendly” cheerful. Granted, in my brief experience in food service I was definitely the person who preferred to exude an aura of competence vs. feigned happiness, but it’s like… you’re working drive-through in fast food. Stop pretending like you’re excited to serve me an average sandwich and soggy waffle fries.
I do still stop by there on occasion, even though it’s one of my least favorite fast food restaurants. One of those times was while writing today’s sonnet. I’m pretty sure it was tied to a Poem a Day prompt, though I don’t have it written down. I mostly remember seeing the prompt and sitting in the drive-thru, writing this poem.
Originally written November 5, 2019
I don’t get the appeal of Chick-Fil-A:
The at-best average chicken, soggy fries,
The sauces—all just soybeans in disguise,
And breakfast sandwiches—merely okay.
Some say it’s that the staff is so polite,
All smiling, happy, their pleasure to serve,
All just to earn the paycheck they deserve:
Faux friendliness does not light up my night.
And yet I find myself in line here once again,
In Drive-Thru, scribbling sonnets on my knee
To wait for them to ask me what would please
My appetite. I’ll tell them soon, and then
They’ll take my money—serve me with a smile—
And I’ll have food that’s fine for my lifestyle.