How to Eat at Chick-fil-A, Guilt Free

On clinic days at work, when patients don’t show up, we’ve been saying “that’s what happens in the dog days of summer.” Nobody feels much like doing anything. Even for our geriatric patient population, for which going to the doctor is both a social event and an adventure, laziness has prevailed. I think that’s applied to blogging, too. We’ve been busy and there’s much to write about, but somehow the summer has been flying by and my blog has been abandoned.

There’s a lot going on down here in Atlanta this summer. For one, we’ve had some controversy about fried chicken sandwiches. As an Atlantan – or Atlien, if you will – I must admit that I love Chick-fil-A’s food. Until recently, I experienced a little surge of pride every time I remembered that the chain got its start here, and not just for sentimental reasons. Chicken-loving Georgians have an extra-special treat in the Atlanta area. It’s called Dwarf House and it’s basically a Chick-fil-A with a sit-down restaurant attached. If you arrive in time for breakfast, there’s a buffet. It’s really delicious, and you can only try it down here. I remember how excited I was to stumble upon a Dwarf House.

(Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that ‘dwarf’ is offensive. This makes my photo souvenir of that trip so much less entertaining).

This enthusiasm for Chick-fil-A is more poignant if you know that I am not the biggest fan of fast food. By “not the biggest fan,” I mean, “I avoid it like the plague.” However, Chick-fil-A has always been the exception to that rule because it’s so damn good. The waffle fries are beyond amazing, the chicken otherworldly. Whether you eat yours in the form of a tender, a nugget, or part of their sandwich, you just can’t beat it.

Unfortunately, Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, decided to run his mouth and make some very hateful comments. I don’t like to mix politics with fried chicken, and you shouldn’t, either. But the fact is, Cathy’s public statements brought to light some very important realizations. Primarily: Chick-fil-A donates lots of money to organizations that work towards preventing all people from having equal rights.

I love those chicken sandwiches, but it makes me sad that the money Chick-fil-A makes off of my lunch is financing a lifetime as a second-class citizen for people all over our “free” country.

That doesn’t have to be a factor.

A Chick-fil-A sandwich costs somewhere around $3.50, depending on your location.

Want one? Of course you do. Feel guilty buying it? You don’t have to. All you need to do is love ketchup.

Here’s what you should do. Find your local Chick-fil-A, head on inside, and order a sandwich to go. You can add fries if you’d like, but don’t get anything to drink. The idea here is to order items are relatively expensive for Chick-fil-A to prepare. Soda is the cheapest thing for them to get, but the markup is ridiculously profitable. So avoid it. Get your drink somewhere else.

When you order, be sure to ask for extra sauce on the side. When the cashier asks what kind of sauce, name a few – Polynesian, buffalo, BBQ, roasted honey mustard BBQ. Don’t be shy. Overdo it. Smile bashfully as you explain how much you love this stuff.

Then, obtain as much ketchup as you can. Remember, you love ketchup. You cannot get enough.

My dad works in the packaging business. I emailed him a few photos of Chick-fil-A’s expensive new ketchup packets, the ones you can dip or squeeze. He estimated that they each cost Chick-fil-A less than five cents. We’ll call it four cents. Now let’s conservatively estimate that a chicken sandwich costs Chick-fil-A about $2 when you factor in the meat, the labor wages of the staff who cooked it, etc. That means Chick-fil-A is making about $1.50 of pure gay-hating profit, some of which will be donated to organizations dedicated to “protecting traditional marriage.”

That being said, this is the point where you take $1.50 worth of Heinz ketchup packets, or rather, approximately 38 of them. Just slide a few handfuls on top of the chicken sandwich in your empty bag. It’s free for patrons. And you love – I mean, LOVE – ketchup on your chicken sandwich, or rather, chicken in your ketchup.

If you bought fries, help yourself to twice as much ketchup. You really, really, really love Heinz.

Next, take your sack of ketchup and chicken and find a peaceful, happy place to eat. Your love for ketchup has allowed you to eat a guilt-free chicken sandwich.

(This suggestion should be taken with a grain of salt. My math skills aren’t the best and my cost analysis of the chicken sandwich is obviously from the perspective of someone who doesn’t quite know what she’s talking about. All in good fun, friends).

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