Before moving to Indiana, my exposure to Chick-fil-A was limited. I can only think of one in the greater Salt Lake area which might not currently exist since it was in the food court of a mall that was gutted. That all changed when we moved here and I beheld a Chick-fil-A within minutes of our neighborhood.
Given my little experience with Chick-fil-A, I wasn’t in any hurry to go there. Particularly since we don’t usually eat fast food unless we’re on the road. Then came the promise of free food. Sorry, but I’m a sucker for free food. Chick-fil-A is always giving away free food. Free breakfast week. Kids night. Oh, and then there’s the lucky 100 who get free food for a year when they wait in line before a new restaurant opens. Plus there are always coupons being sent out for more free food. How can one resist?
The free food got me to go in but there are oodles of reasons why I keep going. They have a great play place. They have these little plastic placemats that stick to the table so your kids don’t put their food and fingers all over the table of questionable cleanliness. They actually have an amazingly tasty sandwich that is low in fat and calories. And their workers don’t glare at me and look eternally pissed off. Okay, so I’ll stop gushing now.
Although I had heard of kids’ night, I never went out of my way to go. Sure, there is the promise of a free kid’s meal and a balloon artist on site but I usually use Chick-fil-A as a lunch spot, not dinner. But one fateful evening, we were out getting flu shots as a family and it was getting late. I made the command decision to have dinner at Chick-fil-A. It happened to be kids’ night.
The place was insane. Kids were going wild in the play place. G sat at the table staring wide-eyed at the guy next to us who was slapping the table with his hand and shouting to his children, “EAT YOUR CHICKENS! EAT YOUR CHICKENS!” A creepy five year-old kept invading my personal space, touching me unnecessarily and saying strangely invasive things about how he had looked in our windows last night. It’s not like I was surprised. I had just heard a piece on This American Life about the people that stay out all night in line waiting for free sandwiches. Some odd people come out of the cracks. I knew that there were bound to be a few eccentric people lured in by free food.
As we stood in line for a balloon animal, G was particularly grateful for this special mid-week treat. G is always willing to give me a kiss. Big kisses. He likes to give me a really long kiss on the cheek accompanied with a loud “mmmmwaaah” or many small kisses all over my face or both. And that night, he was particularly affectionate because every minute or so, he pulled me down to give me a big kiss. I was sure everyone in the place was thinking we were just like the kissing family on Saturday Night Live. It was then that I realized, we fit right in with the “free food crowd”.