An English Professor Pens a Chik fil A Yelp Review

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Who can resist that sales copy?

“Chik fil A”’s understanding of the English language is shaky at best. It’s spelled “Chicken,” not “Chikin.” Yes, I am being flippant. The marketing campaign is devoted to a fictional group of cows who were spared from the assembly line to hastily paint semi-literate signs imploring the human carnivores of the world to “Eat Mor Chikin” instead of beef. I can’t deny that the adverting campaign works. I like beef. I eat beef. But when I drive past a “Chik fil A” billboard and witness these bovine declarations to eat the particular poultry that is provided at this establishment, goddamn, my mouth waters, my foot presses down on the pedal, and I drive straight to the nearest establishment, a mile and a half from my bungalow.

I know that there was a small scandal involving the company a few years back. And I don’t care about it either way. I eat the Chikin and I like it.

After class, on the afternoon of November 9th, I drove straight to my favorite “Chik fil A” and ordered what I call my “regular,” the spicy chicken sandwich deluxe meal with a lemonade. Real lemonade. None of that Splenda shit. I needed my fix. A fight broke out in one of my sections, and in the other there were bouts of spontaneous crying. I wondered if this was in reaction to some event related to the Millenial generation. Perhaps Taylor Swift got a hangnail. I kid, I kid. I know she gets regular manicures. One of my students had once interrupted my discussion of “The Grapes of Wrath” to inform me of such.

I waited with anticipation for my order to arrive. The cashier didn’t take my order with the same verve that I am used to. Indeed, the mood of both the staff and the patrons at the restaurant mirrored the mood on campus, as if Netflix crashed and they all couldn’t watch their precious reruns of “Friends,”and they were all on edge. Which I know isn’t literally what happened—and yes that is correct use of the word “literally,” because I am a human, not a cow, fictional or otherwise. A goddamn tenured professor of the arts. If a manager is reading this review, I hope he or she replaces the young man who works the lemonade on Wednesday afternoons with someone who takes more pride in his work, just as I take pride in mine, just as we all should in our own profession.

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Well, maybe not this guy.

We can do no great acts, only small acts with great amounts of Chikin.

That’s a bad joke. I know that.

In question is the cow’s request for the customers of “Chik fil A” to “Eat More Chikin.” Although it is inferred by the cow’s request that humans eat more chicken in place of beef, this is literally not the request, and not necessarily in line with the meat eating tendencies of Americans. The customers may indeed eat more chicken in addition to eating more beef, so instead of limiting the amount of animal death, the cows actually increased the carnage two-fold.

If the advertising campaign decreased the number of cow deaths, but increased that of the chickens, then this is no better than the prior scenario, as the value of a chicken’s life, objectively speaking, is no different than that of a cow’s. It could be argued that this scenario is worse, because in the former, the cows were unwilling participants in their own mass consumption by Americans, and in the latter, the cows were accomplices in the death of innocent chickens.

A reactionary campaign by chicken at fast food establishments that serve hamburgers would be no better, if not impractical. I don’t know the spelling abilities of chickens in relation to cows, let alone the logistical concerns of how they would be able to paint. Thinking about it now, cows have hooves, and isn’t that hard to paint with? Either way, there are ethical merits to a proportional response on behalf of the chickens against the cows, but this would only increase the bloodshed on both sides.

The optimal approach would be a non-violent, respectful response, one that would win public opinion in their favor and against the antagonistic strategy of the cows, who, quite frankly, started it.

Oh, thank God, my sandwich is here. Now to decide my desired variety of sauces. I’m thinking Buffalo and Honey Mustard. You’d think that they wouldn’t mix well together, but you’d be surprised.

Oh, fuck. I forgot to vote.

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How will I ever get over it?

Colin Raunig graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2007 and was a Naval Officer for eight years. He is currently a MFA student of fiction at Colorado State University. You can read more of his writing at www.colinraunig.com

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published with permission of the author

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