This morning, I took William and Madison, my young nephew and niece, to a late breakfast at that southern standby of Chicken-Based Fast Foods, Chick-Fil-A. It was a breakfast sufficiently late that breakfasty menu items were no longer available; accordingly, the youngsters had what could better be described as an early lunch.
We got more than we bargained for.
My suspicions were aroused when, as we were navigating the parking lot, we saw an entire family get out of their car, each one dressed in some sort of demented Cow Costume. And they were not the only ones. Once inside the restaurant, we saw that all of the staff were decked out in dopey paper Cow-Hats... and customers continued to stream in, many in some sort of Bovine Habiliment.
“Hey, kids - let’s act like Completely Normal People today! Except maybe for the ‘wearing a cow face’ part.”
Turns out we had stumbled upon a special occasion, concocted solely by, and for the benefit of, Chick-Fil-A: Cow Appreciation Day.
Chick-Fil-A, as my Esteemed Readers know, is well-known for its advertising campaign, which features cows engaging in all sorts of chicanery in order to get people to eat chicken in lieu of beef. This is, of course, complete bull (you should excuse the expression) shit. First of all, cows are not used primarily for their meat, but rather for their milk. And even if their attempt to throw chickens under the bus is driven by their desire to save others of their species - steers - it’s still difficult to imagine cows possessed of that level of self-awareness. Whither bovine placidity?
In any event, our morning repast featured entertainment in the form of a person of indeterminate sex wearing an oversized cow outfit, costumery that amused some children and terrified others. (It is, after all, no great intellectual leap to go from “Person Attired as Large Bovine” to “Scary Clown.”) The other entertainment consisted of that significant fraction of the clientele that chose to Cow Up - mainly for the free food they would receive for having done so. Advertising promotion, weird cultic observance - who can say?
“Today is the day we all dress as popular protein sources... Charlie got to be a hunk of cheese.”
As I told William, “I never know what I’m going to write about on any given day... but stories just seem to show up, don’t they?”