Last week, Atlanta-based fast food chain, Chick-fil-A opened its very first Chicago restaurant. Although it does not counteract the negative effect of parking meters and winter, this culinary addition only helps the argument that Chicago is the greatest (American) city ever. (New York, NOLA, I love you, but the City of Wind tops my list.) I’ve not been yet, but please believe that Chick-fil-A may very well be the last meal I have before I go on my next detox. Chick-fil-A nuggets–along with jibaritos and bleucheeseburgers–is what prevents me from actually believing I could ever permanently be vegetarian.
My Chick-fil-A love is well documented here and other places. The simple mention of the place makes me all teary-eyed as I think about waffle fries and sweet tea and how every time you say, “Thank you,” to a Chick-fil-A employee, she has to respond with, “My pleasure.” It’s true. My sister told me. You should try it. Like, even if you said, “You’re a buster-ass mark, and I want to hit you in your face. Thank you,” they’d probably have to say “My pleasure.” Politeness is in the rule book or something. It’s kind of awesome. Especially when you consider how drive-thru people at other fast food institutions seem adamant about communicating as little as possible with their customers. It’s Jesus chicken. If Jesus served chicken (at the Last Supper or anytime thereafter), it would have tasted like Chick-fil-A. And I say that not simply because it’s that good, but also because Chick-fil-A rolls hard for Jesus. Like, not open on Sundays (boo!) hard. Like, they should hire Davey and Goliath when those cows retire hard.
As Chick-Fil-A has expanded, slowly establishing a north of the Mason-Dixon presence beyond suburban mall foodcourts and into urban centers like Chicago, some of the company’s Christian values and conservative leanings have been widely publicized:
[Chick-Fil-A] has strong, deep ties to anti-gay organizations like Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and its charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to organizations that deliver anti-LGBT messages and promote egregious practices like reparative therapy that seek to “free” people of being gay.
Call it appalling, but such news does not deter me from making plans to eat at the Chicago Chick-fil-A soon. Although I could probably waste blog space pretending to have the right politics by telling you to protest Chick-fil-A because they fund organizations working to ensure that I can never ever marry another girl, that would just be a lie. I’d rather you try their breakfast biscuit. I’ve endured a crappy Chicago fast-food ecosystem for long enough (White Castle? Uh, gross.), and I want some nuggets, regarding each bite of those honey mustard-coated nuggets as a juicy, tender and yummy tiny morsel of self-hate.
Just add “Refused to allow politics get in the way of a good chicken sandwich” to the list of things that make me a bad queer. I don’t care. I could call my dedication to Chick-fil-A a symbol of just how committed I am to getting LGBTQ folks to re-think whether or not they actually want to be married, but that would just be a lie. This is just one of my many, many contradictions. I’m part of the problem. What, I wonder, would Chick-fil-A have to do to make me leave the dark side, despite their fantastic chicken, and become part of the solution? What would Chick-fil-A have to fund for me to buy, uh, McNuggets? What’s the difference? What’s the point?
To what degree are we, our politics what we eat? I’ll be munching on waffle fries until you tell me.