It was the Superbowl a few weeks ago. Ravens against the 49ers. A seminal American experience. In years gone by I have been invited to UK Superbowl parties, running through the night, fuelled mainly by beer and popcorn. I never went to any of these, valuing my sleep, my job, and my digestive system too much. And besides, I’ve never really ‘got’ American Football.
But I’ve been living in the American South for nearly five months then, and been exposed to ‘football’ on TV screens wherever I go. And I was in the same timezone, and had an offer to watch the Superbowl with Brett Ratliff, who’s a top bloke and an actual NFL quarterback.
But it didn’t happen. Here’s what happened. I was sitting in Krispy Kreme, in the middle of losing another board game with my good friends Ryan, Katie and Charlene, and the ‘HOT NOW’ sign came on. We were sitting at the table right beside the sign, and were immediately bathed in bright orange light. The bright light did something to my brain, and I got up and bought a doughnut and coffee. Not the action of a rationally-thinking man. I had already put away a Krispy Kreme “doughnut shake” (think puréed doughnut).
What was that about valuing my digestive system?
As I understand it, Krispy Kreme have just opened up their first Scottish outlet, in Edinburgh, this week. And there was a mile-long queue in the snow for the drive-thru. I can only imagine the travel chaos caused by the combination of snow and a Krispy Kreme opening.
For those still to sample Krispy Kreme’s undoubted delights, can I suggest steering clear of the doughnut shakes. In combination with an actual doughnut and a “coffee”, I was unable to move for another hour, and missed the Superbowl.
But back to valuing my digestive system. Readers in the UK will be unfamiliar with the fast food chain/cultural icon/house of worship that is Chick-Fil-A. Think KFC, but good. Really good. I have become increasingly familiar with Chick-Fil-A. And so, when Ryan and Katie suggested camping out for 24 hours in their parking lot in freezing temperatures, it seemed like a great idea.
And so it came to pass that we drove 1.5 hours to Tullahoma, TN, put up a tent in a concrete parking lot along with 97 other people of questionable sanity, and waited. Played games, shivered, ate breakfast (chicken “biscuit”), napped, ate lunch (chicken strips), shivered, played games, ate dinner (chicken sandwich), played party games, danced (a little), had a cookie, went to bed, shivered, got up, collected a year’s supply of free meal vouchers. Boom!
Thirty-six hours after returning to Nashville, having thawed out, caught up on sleep, got most of the chicken out of my system (details can be supplied on request), I read the vouchers.
Redeemable at Chick-Fil-A Tullahoma.
I was mildly upset.
Mercifully a quick text to Ryan confirmed that their policy is to honour the vouchers at any Chick-Fil-A. So I now have 52 vouchers to use, and three months left in the USA. That’s three per week.