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My Fifteen Minutes of Flame

This story took place in May 2009.

After a late evening out with the family, I got famished. We decided to stop by a local KFC / Pizza Hut. Things started off fine as I ordered the grilled chicken – all dark meat and my wife ordered mini pizzas for her and the kids. Now keep in mind that I had to wait 15 minutes for the grilled chicken to cook (you ever wonder how the grilled chicken is prepared without a grill?). The cashier rang up the order; we paid and waited for the chicken along with the pizzas.

What happened next was a bit of a spectacle.

The business began to pick up, so the manager decided to help out and provide leadership to the team. As other customers got their orders taken, I heard the manager call out order 4490 and then hand a bag of chicken to a customer who had come in after us. I don’t know what was in the bag, but I do know that order 4490 was my order.

I watched the manager question the cashier about order 4490, which gave the impression that he was making the situation her fault. She clearly told him that we had been waiting a while for our chicken. I was getting a little upset and walked to the counter, flashed my receipt, saying, “I’m 4490.” The manager apologized and began filling my order of chicken and the pizzas. I watched intensely. I noticed that one employee thought it was a good idea to wash the floors as the chicken was cooked and served. I mean literally taking a hose and spraying the floor with water splattering.

After another 10 minutes (on top of the 15 plus minutes we had already waited), the manager decided to call an audible at the line of scrimmage. He told me that he didn’t have enough dark meat and gave me a chicken breast and chicken wing, saying, “they’re just as good.” Now I’m no expert, but when did white meat and dark meat become suitable substitutes or interchangeable parts? I flat out told him that I didn’t pay for that and I wasn’t eating that. He apologized and gave me the rest of the dark meat chicken to complete my order. He packaged the pizzas in a bag and handed it to my wife.

And we lived happily ever after well, no, not really.

My wife reminded the manager that we were supposed to get breadsticks with the pizzas. With his infinite wisdom, the manager told my wife that the breadsticks were not fresh and that he could give them to her but could not guarantee if they would still be good to eat. My wife stood there, resisting the urge to tell him what he could do with his stale breadsticks, said to him that we paid for breadsticks, and we wanted our breadsticks. He said that he could have fresh breadsticks for us in 7 1/2 minutes. Go figure. We waited, not because we really wanted the breadsticks but due to the principle of the matter. This actually took another 11 minutes.

I swear by the time they were done, the sun was coming up. I could have bought a raw chicken, seasoned it, and cooked it with a cigarette lighter while ordering pizza delivery from Venice, Italy.

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