So, I felt it only appropriate to offer my two cents in on…you guessed it: the Chik-Fil-A fiasco. And is there a better day than their adopted ‘Appreciation Day’? I know, I thought so too.
I have fond memories of Chik-Fil-A.
My most memorable experience was back in college. It was New Year‘s Eve. I was nineteen years old and very excited about the opportunity to drink a lot of alcohol shamelessly. What else would I be doing at what was then the #2 party school in the country? Since I was underage, my girlfriend and I decided to throw a party before going out. Back then, I loved to host. Having people over was quite exciting for me – I got to show off a cute outfit, hair and makeup and our house was pretty cute. So the opposite now. These days, I like the idea of entertaining, but it takes a concerted effort for me to make it happen.
We started the night out with daiquiris and pina coladas, courtesy of my girlfriend. And our appetizers? We kept it simple: platters from Chik-Fil-A! Yummy nuggets and gooey brownies. Perfect drinking food. I was popping them like popcorn. Unfortunately, that was all the food I had that night. A mutual friend of ours brought another friend to the party and he challenged me to a tequila contest. My big mouth started writing checks my liver couldn’t cash. I had never had tequila before. I repeat: I had never had tequila before.
My girlfriend pulled down the dusty bottle of Cuervo, which if I remember correctly wasn’t full, but it was close. I figured that it couldn’t be any different from drinking vodka or Boone’s Farm, right?
Shot. Another shot. Honey, can I have another colada? Colada. Shot. Shot. Shot. Ooooh, daiquiri! Shot. Shot. Finish the daiquiri. Shot for the road. Whew, a bit dizzy.
Yes. Each of us had eight shots, my girlfriend egging us on, knowing full well that she was most likely going to be swimming in my puke later. But I’m hard-headed and she knew me better than anyone. I wouldn’t have listened if she had tried.
Finally, we were off to the club to watch a New Year’s Eve celebration at University Club, complete with drag queens. Every party is better with drag queens! Since it was New Year’s, the line was atrocious. But not to worry. I took it upon myself to entertain the crowd. I struck up conversations with complete strangers, even so far as to taking inventory as to everyone’s sexuality. Straight? Perfect, we love breeders! Don’t laugh. That was my mantra that night, apparently. I loved everybody!
By the time I got inside the club, I was as happy as a pig in shite. People everywhere, laughing, dancing, telling me I’m sooooo pretty. It was awesome. And then I had a beer in my hand. No idea how that got there or who bought it. I didn’t even drink beer then. I also didn’t know what happen to my girlfriend. Usually, when I got tipsy, I knew that I was protected because she kind of acted like my babysitter, telling me ‘no’ when appropriate, keeping weirdos away from me…but she split. My good friend, whom I also worked with, ended up following me around: picking up my messes and apologizing for my brazen attitude. From what I learned over the next few days, this is how the evening went for her:
- follow her into the club
- follow her up the stairs
- pick her up from the stairs
- try to take the magically-appearing beer away from her
- leave the magically-appearing beer alone
- find her girlfriend
- try to fix the heel of her shoe that just broke off as she tried to save her beer from the fall down the stairs
- divert her away from the drag queen’s dressing room
- follow her down the other set of stairs to the dance floor
- find her girlfriend
- watch her dance on the speaker to make sure she doesn’t fall
- help her down off the speaker
- take the shot out of her hand before she gets thrown out
- find her girlfriend – FOUND!
- discuss how funny I am
- where the hell did her girlfriend go?
I do not remember getting home: just what happen once my girlfriend and I were finally reunited on our kitchen floor. She was drunk and trying to feed me bread. Which I spit back out at her. Then she tried nuggets. They were cold, but fared much better compared to the bread. But then she went back to the bread, which I kept spitting back out at her.
How she got me into my pajamas and into my bed-clothes is beyond me. How I did not choke in the middle of the night was beyond me. I woke up thinking that it wasn’t going to be that bad. Isn’t that what we all think? Up to this point in my life, I’d never had the pleasure of experiencing a real hangover. This was my first and definitely not my last. I sat up, hopeful that I didn’t puke in the bed. Looking around, so far so good. And then I peered over the edge. There was a stream of vomit down the side of the sheets and mattress, eventually landing in a bucket my girlfriend had the good sense to prop next to me. Not that I made it into the bucket in my unconscious slumber, but some of the nugget chunks managed to hit the target.
Dizzy and feeling like roadkill, I noted the taste in my mouth. All I could taste was the essence of vomit, tequila and Chik-Fil-A nuggets. It was the most disgusting thing one could ever imagine. I made the mistake of actually looking into the bucket. I immediately needed to hurl as the pieces of undigested nuggets stared back at me, mixed with the acrid odor of puke. What the #$%^!
I headed toward the living room, following the sounds of noise. More party? Nooo, I can’t take it…there was a sudden burst of applause.
“Way to go!” “What’s up, slugger?” “How ‘ya feeling?” “How ’bout some nuggets?”
There was my girlfriend and a couple of our friends – sitting in the living room, munching on leftover nuggets and brownies. The smell of them was everywhere. I didn’t want to see, smell, taste, touch or eat another nugget for the rest of my life. Or shoot tequila. In that order.
Years did go by before I dared pop another nugget into my mouth. I didn’t even try tequila again until I was in my 30’s. It was that devastating.
But not as devastating as what lies before us now. It’s no secret that this business was founded on Christian principles. We’re not daft. We, as gay Americans, respect and acknowledge freedom of religion, speech and expression. I’ve had their product. It’s quite delicious and the service is always above par. I was never what you would consider a regular, but when I had a hankering for some fast food, it always fit the bill and seemed the least treacherous as far as fast food goes.
And now for my swan song to Chik-Fil-A. How dare you? Not only do you alienate a significant portion of the community by declaring your belief in the traditional, family unit, but you also choose to allow the media to spin this into a freedom of speech issue, which it is not. Kudos to your PR firm for cleaning up its own mess by diverting attention away from the real issue: using our own money (your profit) and supporting a hate group. The Family Research Council, to be exact. They’re not a Christian organization, as you’ve touted. They’re a certified hate group, with some scripture tossed in as justification. It’s on the national registry as a hate group, right next to the KKK. Documented. Fact.
And how funny is it, now that your chickens have come home to roost, I’m learning all sorts of things about your traditional company. Like gays are the equivalent of pedophiles and homosexuality invites God’s wrath upon our nation. Your words, not mine. Like the lawsuits from women who have worked for you: some settled, some pending, one brand spanking new. Thanks to your traditional values, you feel it necessary to fire women to force them to be stay-at-home moms. How very traditional of you. (David Badash: Huffington Post). I’m glad you can sit upon your privileged white, heterosexual, male throne and condemn others. It suits you.
THAT is where our animosity comes from. THAT is what angers the gay community. THAT is what causes politicians to lash out in anger, not wanting you to open up yet another den of judgment and bigotry. And THAT is why I am loath to ever eat one of your crispy, golden nuggets ever again.
Now THAT would leave a horrible, hateful, bigoted taste in my mouth. And that is something I can gladly live without. Happy Appreciation Day. May you rot in your own self-serving, self-righteous hell.