So Kurt and I decided to check out the grand opening of the Popeye’s Chicken at the Legends Mall in Sparks. The RGJ newspaper said that the Sparks Mayor, Bill Cosby, and some actor from CBS’s Cold Cases tv show was going to be at the opening ceremony! I can’t think of a more preposterous celebrity mix than that. Kurt picked me up at 3:30 and we hit the road.
We arrived to find the Popeye’s building surrounded by a swirling dust cloud, a drive-thru line of cars 1/2 mile long, and 30 or so people lined up outside the lobby to get inside to yet another ridiculously winding cattle call of a line. After about 10 minutes waiting outside and getting our cheap plastic Mardi Gras beads, Kurt decides he’s had enough. The sky kept getting darker and darker and the line never moved once, so I was on board with that decision.
Off to the left from where we were standing, there were these big white tents covering a slew of extra seats, totally devoid of people, except for a small group of black folks. They were all dressed in suits and an older woman was wearing a slinky sequined dress and feathers as if she was going to be in some Carnival parade. They all looked disappointed. I’m sure they came out here to this fried chicken Mecca, not hyperbole if you’ve ever had Popeye’s, for a little taste of “back east” and all they got was an hour and a half drive-thru line, a 45 minute wait in the store, and a dust devil blasting it’s way across the parking lot. Needless to say, Kurt and I were as crest fallen as those folks, but we didn’t let that stop us! We made a mad rush to the nearest Save Mart and got us some of the best grocery store fried chicken you can find in Reno. It wasn’t as Louisiana spicy as Popeye’s and there were no black beans and rice or mashed potatoes and gravy, but it’ll tide us over for a while.
I can’t help but think how pathetic this country has gotten when we make such a big deal about the opening of yet another chain restaurant. More mass produced delivery of sodium and saturated fats for us to cram into our already diseased and failing bodies. Granted, if you’re going to eat shit, you might as well enjoy the taste of it, and Popeye’s is the SHIT!