By MATT CRANE
This country was not built on the hard work of great men and women. It was not built on the hopes and dreams of millions of people looking for a better life. No, this country — this beautiful country of ours, I have come to find out — was built on chicken. Fried chicken, grilled chicken, slathered and battered chicken that has you experiencing an emotional mixture of euphoria and fussy all in one sitting is what fuels this country to strive for greatness.
My poultry-patriotism has escalated over the past two years with the establishment of a Buffalo Wild Wings and Chick-Fil-A in our fair city of Starkville.
(Side note: Starkville already had a Chick-Fil-A. Granted it was in the Union and you had to wade through 2.3 million freshmen, coupon books in hand, to get a decent chicken sandwich, but we had one.)
A strange, very American phenomenon has occurred at the opening of these two respectful restaurants: the first 100 people to show up in the early morning hours before the official opening will receive free chicken meals forever.
(Side note: I know it is not forever. It is for one year, which is equivalent to four years in chicken time.)
At B-Dubs, the first 100 guests willing to camp out received a coupon for one order of six wings per week for an entire year. The same thing happened at the new Chick-Fil-A which opened Thursday. One hundred people were given the golden ticket to enjoy one chicken sandwich combo meal, including drink, each week for the next 52 weeks of their lives.
To be honest, this baffles my mind. It is not so much the amount of free food given away, but the dedication of these masses to wait, rain or shine, for the off chance to consume yardbird for an entire year.
I don’t participate in events like these for a few reasons.
One: I have commitment issues. Knowing I would have free chicken at my disposal every week for a year scares me more than the idea of marriage. What if I didn’t want chicken one week? Am I cheating on my own free coupons by neglecting them for night out at somewhere else? And if I give it to a friend, have I broken the level of trust I gave to Chick-Fil-A or Buffalo Wild Wings after sitting in the rain for 22 hours to be in the top 100?
Two: I have never won a raffle of any kind, ever, and I don’t want to be disappointed again. Neither my nerves nor my emotions can handle another rejection from a corporate chain in this country.
Three: Setting up tents, socializing with friends and exchanging pleasantries with strangers gathered for a collective reason is meant for one place and one place only: The Junction. I feel like I would be cheating on football season by practicing the ancient art of tailgating before the month of September.
The dedication, however, of these people is to be admired. I appreciate their willingness to do take the day off, find a baby-sitter or skip a lunch date to be considered for a chance at free chicken. So hats off to you, you crazy poultry connoisseurs. My all your days (except for Sundays) be breaded, grilled and delicious.