Friday, April 8, 2011

Nate Eats a Bucket of KFC!

The chicken does not look like this
I knew I was in trouble the minute I walked through the door of West Lafayette's local KFC.  I'm not sure what I was expecting--maybe the furious snap and spatter of scalding oil?  Just-prepped chicken turning golden brown?  A focused, flour-dusted workforce tossing fresh bird in that secret and most hallowed of recipes?  That's the stuff of fabulous romance and forgotten times.  In this corporate den of unhappiness, chicken sat lifeless and flaccid on stainless steel shelves while workers drifted here and there in the minimum-wage march of the damned.  In the sparsely populated dining area, world-weary patrons made their way through double downs and forked ersatz mashed potatoes and gravy into their gobs. You could take this snapshot anywhere, anytime, in almost any city in America.

I wanted in on the action, and it so happened that I had a coupon, 10-piece mixed bucket for $11.99, which I presented to a semi-conscious cashier.

That comes in a bucket, right?  For some reason, the bucket was really important.

She deflected my question with one of her own: Where did you get this coupon? I get that in a bucket, right?

After eying the coupon for ten minutes and ultimately getting an 'OK' from what looked to be a 13-year-old supervisor, she filled my bucket with ten pieces of the world's most famous fried chicken.

Eating in the prefab confines of the restaurant was out of the question, so I hopped into the McBonemobile and took my bucket back to McBone Manor.  Peeling back the lid revealed ten of the most desolate-looking pieces of chicken you could imagine.  Meat both white and dark huddled at the bottom of the sweaty container as if shrinking from natural light. 

Iconic bucket with lid.
Iconic bucket without lid
I'm a dark meat kind of guy, so I picked out a drumstick and went to work on my lukewarmish supper.

The Colonel's special blend of 11 herbs and spices is part of American lore, but any semblance to the chicken that Harland Sanders cooked up in Corbin, Kentucky has by now been evacuated by home office cost cutters.  All this palate could detect was:  

Low-density lipoprotein
Growth hormones

I tore into a breast next--dry, chewy and utterly undelicious.  A soggy, room-temperature thigh revealed that not all of the pieces in this bucket had been fried within the same hour.

After gobbling a few pieces of this awful, awful food, I waited for what would surely be a grim aftermath.  The wait was not a long one. Within minutes, my happiness and sense of self worth were gone.  Optimism was displaced by crippling depression.  Hope gave way to fear.  My libido plummeted to an all-time low.  Sperm perished en masse.

Then things got bad.  As my heart began racing, I was gripped by images of a world on fire.  Earthquakes.  War.  Poverty.  In a last-ditch move, I tuned into Fox News, but not even this sudden break from reality could rescue me from a deep-fried melancholy.  All I could do was pray, pray for sweet death to take me.

Why do I do this to myself?  Why patronize one of the ubiquitous purveyors of nonfood that are not so slowly ruining the collective health of our nation (and that of the world)?  Why undermine my personal quest to eliminate megachains, hellbent on removing any trace of variety from our culinary landscape, from my diet forever?  I do it for you, McBoners, that you may circumnavigate the KFC en route to real chicken eateries like this one.

Has Kentucky Fried Chicken won a place in my heart?  Sadly, yes.  Has it won a place on the McBone List of Boycotted Substances?  You bet.  Will I ever eat there again?  Not a chance.

Besides, I prefer my chicken flame-broiled.



Steven Lincoln said...

Someone's gonna sue you for figuring out the 11 herbs and spices.

Kathy T. said...

So this is how you entertain yourself when Alex is out of town?!!

Anonymous said...

This proves but one important thing... that you are not a Roody-Poo

SESMAN said...

I found your KFC blog searching for images of the KFC logo. I thought it was just me that felt this way about KFC. Months ago I was viewing old original Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials staring the Colonel himself, and all I could think was Colonel Sanders would be a sad sad man if he could see what his chicken has become. It is definitely no longer "finger licking good."

BillBow Baggins said...

Thanks, SESMAN, for reading!