Chik-Fil-A: The Facts
Saturday Oct. 5: Tiny article in back of Star Tribune announces Chik-Fil-A opening. Concludes with, “The first 100 customers will receive a years worth of free meals. “
I sleep on it.
Sunday Oct. 6: I announce to Dan that I wil be camping out in the parking lot of Chik-Fil-A from 6 a.m. Wednesday until grand opening at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Dan replies that I am not going unless he and the children can go to. (I will love him forever for that, but research reveals that you must be 18 to qualify, disqualifying the children and with them Dan.)
Monday Oct 7: I begin amassing supplies, working out rides, childcare, etc.
Wedesday Oct 9: 5 a.m. I depart for Chik-Fil-A
It is dark. I am the first female participant on the scene. All others look distinctly duck-dynastyish. As light dawns and the parking lot begins to fill up, I am relieved to be joined by a pack of female law students. We band together.
I can’t decide if the rest of the day reminded me more of a cruise ship or a women’s prison. We each were assigned a number. I am #28. We recline in our lawn chairs, enjoying the sun and free food, but just when you start to let your guard down “Mama Sue” calls out “Line check!” And you run to your number and stand on it, lest you be found guilty of leaving the parking lot and disqualified from a years worth of meals. As Mama Sue moves down the line she checks your number, your photo i.d. (lest anyone tried to recruit a body double), and distributes chicken biscuits much to the delight of #28.
After the last line check before bed, we were mysteriously ordered to march past the drive-in window, where we were handed an icecream cup and freshly baked cookie. # 28 may have squealed.
We were invited to participate in games many of which involved “without using your hands”. # 28 won a strawberry milkshake.
We were allowed visitors. They handed off needed supplies and encouraged us to press on, much like marathon supporters handing cups of water to the runners.
As night fell, #28 crawled into her tent with her friends for a night of blissful child-free parking lot slumber. We were awakened abruptly by Mama Sue at 5 a.m. and instructed to don t-shirts and Chik-Fil-A chef caps and line up for the distribution of prizes. This was a heart-stopping moment for #28 when she realized that unlike the other 99 men and women, her head was too big for the little chefs hat, but she realized that by pretending to scratch her head she could keep it perched aloft.
With 52 meal vouchers, burning a hole in my pocket #28 headed to Chik-Fil-A the very next day. And the next. On my fourth day in a row, owner/operator Nancy Christenson asked, “Will we see you again, Lucy? Just Kidding!”