Chicken Chicken Chicken Chick-Fil-A

Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken

By William M Briggs Published on April 14, 2018

Sanity took a hit to the gizzard when the New Yorker posted an article by an atheist presumably addicted to Chick-fil-A sandwiches and ashamed of his obsession.

The article is “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City.” The writer is Dan Piepenbring from Brooklyn, whose Twitter bio reads in part, “I want to watch TV in a different time zone. I want to visit strange, exotic malls.”

The benefit of modest goals is that they’re easy to meet. And then we remember it is at malls where Chick-fil-A restaurants are often found. It appears Piepenbring went to one too many.

The dark truth is that once an addict starts on a bag of waffle fries there is no stopping him until he reaches the salty end. He enters a strange, exotic mall and cannot overcome the irresistible force driving him to the food court. He will feel that he is outside himself, that it is another person altogether, who for the fourth time that day orders a chicken biscuit. With cheese.

He will hate himself after. And he will hate his obsession. If he is too far gone, he might even hate God.

A Slave to Taste Buds

What else can account for Piepenbring calling the opening of a new Chick-fil-A branch an “infiltration”? Why else would he cry against the chain’s “pervasive Christian traditionalism”?

We feel the man’s searing anger when he writes, “[Chick-fil-A’s] headquarters, in Atlanta, is adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet.”

But at last the reason for his lashing out becomes shockingly clear when he cries, “Its stores close on Sundays.”

The man has it, and he has it bad.

Now it all makes sense. Now we can see his frustration over the company’s stated purpose “to glorify God.” Now we understand the fixation on cows.


Moo Cow

Piepenbring says, “It’s impossible to overstate the role of the Cows.”

Chick-fil-A, if you didn’t know, has a series of amusing ads which portray cows saying “Eat Mor Chikin.” Cows are notorious spellers. One stunt had life-sized cows scaling a water tower on which was painted the slogan, one cow dangling from a rope held by another.

Cows are not chickens. It takes chickens to make Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Chicken sandwiches, therefore, are not hamburgers. Evidently the thought of hamburgers must set poor Piepenbring off.

He says cows are the chain’s “ultimate evangelists.” Evangelist, as in “a person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith, especially by public preaching.” In this case, not the Christian faith, but the worship of the chicken nuggets combo deal.

Incensed with the company’s ads, he complains that the “Cows have never bothered to improve their spelling.” “Employees,” he says, “dance around in Cow suits.” He seethes that the “company’s advertising manager doubles as its ‘Cow czar.'” We feel he is close to the edge when he lambastes the company’s “annual Cow Appreciation Day, offering free food to anyone dressed as a Cow.”

Finally he tips over the cliff into the abyss:

It’s worth asking why Americans fell in love with an ad in which one farm animal begs us to kill another in its place. Most restaurants take pains to distance themselves from the brutalities of the slaughterhouse; Chick-fil-A invites us to go along with the Cows’ Schadenfreude.

I’m not sure what a cow’s schadenfreude is, but if it comes with a side of fries, I’ll take a double order.

Let’s Hear It for the Cows

Piepenbring’s ravings about cows puts me in mind of a cheer we used back in the old days in a small northern Michigan village with a large Polish population:

Hit ’em in the head
with a big kielbasa
Milk ’em!

We know that the man cannot do without his fix, but still he writes that the chain’s arrival in New York City “augurs worse than a load of manure on the F train.” Now I have ridden the F train to Brooklyn countless times, and I can tell you a load of manure would be an improvement.

Which is why it is bizarre Piepenbring whined that Chick-fil-A restaurants are “cleaner, gentler, and more ethical [than other fast food], with its poultry slightly healthier than the mystery meat of burgers.”

Well, let that be a lesson to readers of the dangers of addiction. His entire article is a cry for help.

Maybe the best answer the poor man can be given was by Doug Zongker, who famously said, “Chicken chicken chicken, chicken chicken chicken chicken. Chicken chicken chicken.”

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