Last night, I did it again.
I was number 64 at the grand opening of a Chick Fil A restaurant an hour from my house. Which means, of course, a year's supply of Chick Fil A! 52 coupons that can be used for Chick Fil A sandwich, chicken nugget, or chicken strip value meals over the course of the next year.
I sat outside on a lawn chair from midnight till 6:00 am, guarding my place in line. Wearing only my boxer shorts, long johns, a tee shirt, a fleece top, two winter coats, khaki pants, ski pants, two heavy-duty pairs of socks, tennis shoes, gloves (with hand warmers), a winter hat (toboggan?), and ear warmers, and draped with two blankets (one electric--but not plugged in), I toughed it out with 99 fellow CFA groupies of all ages, shapes, and sizes awaiting our treasure at the end of the rainbow. Those who arrived after the hundredth person were relegated to the side, in hopes of a drop-out in the first 100 (there was only one).
Mad props and shout outs to my CFA cohorts--Ben, Scott, Leanne, and Michelle... and shame to those who feared the elements or made going to work alert a priority... I won't drop those names here, but you know who you are.
Through the night we were treated to such luxuries as ice cream parties (in sub 20-degree weather), hourly role calls, tours of the kitchen (a highly valued warming opportunity and veritable fast-food preparation informational smorgasbord), free stuffed cows thrown from the roof (at the last one I attended, they threw CFA mugs from the roof... this made a lasting impression on the less dexterous among us).
As the hour of the opening neared, we were corralled like sheep (or chicken) to the slaughter and "asked" (required) to put on the promotional t-shirts describing the event. So, on went my sixth layer of torso-protection.
Finally, the moment came, the ribbon was cut, and the doors were opened. We marched in, receiving our neatly wrapped boxes of value meal coupons. The atmosphere was jubilant. Employees banged pots and pans in celebration. "Congratulations, congratulations!" Everyone kept showering us with kudos and adulation, as though we had just accomplished something. And, indeed we had. For we had achieved the American dream. We did nothing and got someone richer than ourselves to give us something for nothing. Makes me proud.
At $5 per value meal and 52 value meal coupons per guest, that's a $260 value. I waited in line for six hours. Which means I just made nearly forty-five bucks an hour. It'll be a long time till I'll see that kind of income again... probably not until March, when the next one opens at the mall.
Originally Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2007
(Then) Curent Mood: exhausted, yet jubilant