I believe I underestimated the sheer insanity that erupted in the Fox Valley during the construction of two fried chicken restaurants.
And to think the fun is just now beginning.
A couple hundred people gathered outside the new Grand Chute Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday evening showing an enthusiasm that rarely accompanies poultry products. They held tickets and high hopes during a drawing for the honor of camping out in the parking lot. Those among the lucky 100 campers who make it through the night will receive one sandwich meal per week for the year as part of Thursday’s grand opening.
Tents went up. News teams had the cameras rolling. A drone took aerial footage.
Damani Baptiste of Appleton made the cut and he wasn’t even planning on going. It was a last-minute thing, and as such, he wasn’t prepared with so much as a blanket.
“But for one year of free food? Please. There’s no turning that down,” he said.
He glanced down at the landscaping.
“I’ll sleep on some rocks,” he said. “No problem.”
The big day will go beyond the big winners.
Grand Chute police posted no parking signs along the frontage road in preparation for the hungry hordes that are bound to snarl up the area on Thursday and perhaps for weeks to come.
After all, Popeyes has been open for more than a week — and they still have an employee donning an orange vest serving in a traffic enforcement role.
It’s difficult to think of a time of such sustained excitement for anything in the Fox Valley.
Facebook posts questioned where those long lines had been on Election Day. At Valley Review, we’re not going to moralize.
Instead, we’re going to turn it around and explore some of the virtues on display in these wild fried chicken times.
We’ve shown we’re a community that seeks out the simple joys.
We’ve shown we’re diligent people willing to put forth some sacrifice to acquire our rewards.
We’re patient people with a deep understanding of the age-old axiom: good things indeed come to those who wait.
We’re a focused lot; able to move past the hunger pangs and keep the eyes on the prize in spite of temptations to pull into the empty Taco Bell drive-thru next door.
Nah. You’re all crazy.