Friday, August 3, 2012

Chick-fil-A dips its wings into culture war

First, I must tell you that I don’t particularly like chicken.

I mean it’s not that I won’t ever eat it, but it seems to be everywhere lately because I believe it doesn’t offend those who’d rather not eat meat but who will tolerate a little chicken now and again because few men at the table are vegetarians and would never willingly accept a meatless meal.

I recently attended a luncheon where chicken swimming in some mayonnaise concoction was served in one of those healthy thin-as-a-pancake wheat bread rollups.

Those are the kind of sandwiches that skinny women like initially but grow increasingly dissatisfied after a few bites and start pulling out the insides with their forks, spewing the ingredients onto their plates. Then they hunt for the tiny pieces of chicken in the mess before finally pushing the plate to the side.

It would have been a better lunch – and probably cheaper -- if the caterer had gone to a Chick-fil-A restaurant and purchased a slew of its famous chicken sandwiches. Apparently the chicken is marinated in pickle juice, which gives it a unique flavor. I’ll bet.

(Full disclosure: I have never had a Chick-fil-A sandwich because I don’t like chicken and have not been forced into stopping at a Chick-fill-A restaurant while on the road. I’d much prefer stopping at a Skyline Chili restaurant but because no one in the family is enamored with that place either, that probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Besides, isn’t McDonald’s America’s restroom stop? Well, isn’t it?)

By now, you’ve probably heard that the CEO of Chick-fil-A – Dan Cathy – recently made some very strong comments in favor of traditional marriage and against gay marriage. The company, which does not open its restaurants on Sundays, has made significant donations to conservative family organizations, which also happen to be organizations that don’t acknowledge gay marriage as an acceptable institution.

Cathy has caused something of a firestorm with his comments even though most people could have figured out his theological and ideological thinking had they actually thought about it.
His restaurants aren’t open on Sundays, remember?

The Onion, the irreverent online anti-news magazine has lampooned the issue, writing in jest that Wendy’s has announced it has disapproved of interracial marriage.

Here’s my prediction: Chick-fil-A will weather the storm. Most Americans don’t give a darn about whether a restaurant owner believes in traditional families or gay marriage as long as the food is good and the place is clean -- especially the restrooms.

Feed the masses chicken smothered in green mayonnaise inside of some thin pancake wheat bread and I’ll show you an upset population.

Let the talking heads on Fox News and MSNBC rant and rave about moral issues. The rest of us can discuss with civility how to solve the real issues facing this country such as health care, unemployment, funding education and, well, you know. Let’s tune out the noise.

How’s that for fair and balanced?

A longtime golf friend of mine, Richard J. “Richie” Berichon, 80, of New Philadelphia died two weeks ago.

An engineer, Richie relocated to Tuscarawas County after moving from General Electric’s Euclid plant to Dover. I gave him a pass on his allegiance to the Pittsburgh Steelers because it was based on Browns owner Art Modell’s treatment of coach Paul Brown, who was fired by Modell after he bought the team. My father felt the same way.

Richie fondly called me “Paper Dick” to distinguish me from others with the same first name in our league. I liked that. And he often fired off an email to agree or disagree with something I wrote. I liked that, too.

You might have run into Richie at Zoar Village Golf Course, or the Tuscarawas County Senior Center, or the New Philadelphia Elks Lodge.

As is so often the case today, Richie authored his own obituary and left instructions for loved ones.

Richie noted in the obituary that he “enjoyed playing golf as well as having a beer or three with his many friends.”

What Richie failed to mention in his obituary is that he helped scores of senior citizens every year fill out their federal and state income tax returns.

I’m told he never charged a penny for the work.

Now you know.

Sorry, Richie.

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