#BringGravyBack

Eighteen months ago, I shared with you a secret of sorts that was so awesome that I felt guilty keeping it to myself. Since then, I have received tweet after text after email saying, “MAN! You were right about the chicken biscuit and gravy at Chick-fil-a! Outstanding!”

It is with great sadness that I report that the Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit and gravy is no more. Two people in the last week have told me that, when ordering the chicken biscuit and gravy at our local Chick-fil-a, the extremely friendly and polite person behind the counter explained that CFA no longer has sausage gravy so, therefore, making a gravy biscuit was impossible.

I wonder if this is a store decision, or a CFA corporate decision. I imagine stores are free to decide if they have little flower arrangements on each table and are free to decide where to get the little flowers, but food items are probably corporately sourced. I mean, you can’t have thousands of kitchens across the country set up the same but preparing different menu items. There has to be a process and space allocated in the kitchen for heating gravy, so it’s got to be a corporate decision, right?

It makes more sense that it would be a corporate decision because, as I wrote in May of 2016, I never, ever, not one single time received a proper chicken biscuit and gravy at an Atlanta area (which is to say, Georgia) Chick-fil-a. I always just received a regular chicken biscuit with a side of gravy. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that the CFA corporates never experienced a proper chicken biscuit and gravy and, therefore, didn’t understand the ramifications of removing sausage gravy from the food items available to its stores around the country. There’s a  lesson to franchisors and franchisees about the importance of consistency from location to locations here, and the loser is the customer.

Someone told me that CFA has introduced some type of hash brown breakfast skillet bowl, which sounds awful and like they’re trying to compete with KFC. I will not order it. I will not. Cannot. Quite honestly, this throws my whole CFA breakfast order in to disarray and, on Saturday morning – after 5 straight days of disarray – I don’t want the hassle of a breakfast order in disarray. I’ll just eat a frozen waffle and save the $25 it would have cost me to feed my family of four breakfast at CFA.

All that to say, keep ordering the chicken biscuit and gravy. Don’t let it be forgotten. Order it every time you go in for breakfast, at every location.

Maybe, just maybe, if we keep ordering it, a seed will be planted and that seed will become a tree. The tree will become a forest and, someday, the CFA corporates will see the forest and think, “hey, that’s a good spot for a CFA” and they’ll cut down more trees than necessary to built the building and parking lot and, when they do, in the heart of the tree, they’ll find gravy. And that will be their sign to #BringGravyBack.

Or, if we keep ordering it, maybe the franchisees can band together and tell the corporates that people ask for gravy all the time. We ask politely, and acknowledge that we know they don’t have gravy, but we will not let the chicken biscuit and gravy go quietly.

Interesting side note, at what became the original Chick-fil-a location in Hapeville, Georgia, you can still order items from the classic Chick-fil-a menu. Honest to goodness french fries, not waffled potatoes or whatever they’re called. Carrot-Raisin salad, the cole slaw, etc., etc. I don’t want to have to drive to Hapeville to get a chicken biscuit and gravy.

So go, have a great weekend. Order it anyway.

Go Far

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb

I’m sure that I’ve told you the story of my running days when I would go for four runs during the week then, usually, meet a friend for a long run on Saturday mornings.

During the week I would do a loop, starting at the office, running through what is now Regions Park, then up to Glen Iris, over to Southside, down Highland Avenue, right on Clairmont passed V. Richard’s and Silvertron, up and over to Avondale, and then back to the office on 2nd Avenue. Just me and my thoughts after another day of sitting in a chair staring at a computer. Usually the run was 12 miles, but I could cut off sections to make it shorter if necessary, or add a loop here and there to stretch it to 16 if needed. I enjoyed running fast down the downhills, pushing myself on the uphills, and trying to pass other runners whenever I could. At that pace and all alone, however, 16 miles is about as far as I could go.

Saturdays, though, Brandon and I would meet somewhere, usually Oak Mountain, and run. And run. And run. The red loop is 17 miles, but we usually added 3 to 5 miles on the road to get the mileage to 20 or more. From miles 2 through 16, we’d just talk. We’d talk about kids, Alabama, upcoming races, new shoes, whatever was on our mind that day. Conversations around mile 18 turned in to short bursts of encouragement. “Come on, three more miles.” “Breathe. Breathe.” Oxygen, she’s important. At the end of 20, or 22, or 24 miles, some even number it always seemed, we’d sit in parking lot at the trail head to cool down. We’d congratulate one another on the effort and improvement.

I know it’s not politically correct right now, but it’s okay to get better – to want to get better. It’s okay to improve. Your health, your relationships, your talents, your interests, your work. At whatever it is you’re doing, it’s okay to work hard and get better. You were made to work hard, and there are times to go alone and go fast, but there are also times that you need someone’s help to go further. Being stuck doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end.

Go, be kind. Have a great weekend.

I Don’t Know What We’re Protesting

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Mending Wall, Robert Frost

I sit at the keyboard this morning, thinking about the NFL protests that occur during the National Anthem, knowing that I’m not knowledgeable enough to write anything meaningful on the subject. Nothing more meaningful than words of Robert Frost, for certain. Mending Wall addresses a lot of society’s ills.

I actually like a little civil disobedience. College students blocking the entrance to buildings. Sit-ins. Marches. I like them. Shows a little life. A little spirit. I like a peaceful refusal to participate in the norm as a form of protest to show disagreement with some law or practice. Emphasis on peaceful. Civil disobedience should lead to civil discourse, in an ideal situation, to gain understanding of the various views. The stronger the disobedience, however, the greater the reluctance to engage in discourse. Alas, the NFL protest has created more confusion than it has illuminated an issue.

The NFL protest is not about the flag, or veterans, or really even the country. The timing of the protest makes that an easy, but non-existent, correlation. To be clear, had I been advising the protest, I would have encouraged the participants to avoid protesting during the National Anthem. The message of the protest is being lost in the manner of the protest, and that’s unfortunate. Additionally, no one is talking about what the protest is about. The message simply isn’t getting out to the masses, and that leaves the masses to come up with their own beliefs of why the protest is occurring – or to just accept whatever belief the President develops. Now we’ve got Jerry Jones linking arms with his team and taking a knee, and Aaron Rodgers talking about linking arms for “love and unity.”

What?

Rodgers, in an interview earlier this week, said that the Packers had a good meeting on the subject – the specifics of which he wasn’t going to discuss because it was a closed-door team meeting. And that’s the problem. No one is actually talking, and the message of the protest is being lost in the manner of the protest.

Disobedience has to lead to discourse.

Have a good weekend.