The last few days have seemed like a blur. I have driven or ridden over 2000 miles since Sunday. Along the way there have been sad moments but also funny moments. I will recount one of the funnier moments now. I am trying not to focus on the sad.
On Sunday #3 and I drove from Atlanta to Virginia. We stopped outside Greenville, SC to get gas and lunch we could eat while driving so that we could get to my parents house before too late. After we got gas I asked #3 if she wanted chicken tenders and she said yes so I asked if she wanted Hardee’s or Bojangles Fried Chicken for the tenders. She chose Bojangles which made me happy because I also love Bojangles tenders and their biscuits.
I decided to go in because I also needed to use the bathroom. It was about 3 or 4 on Sunday afternoon and there was hardly anyone in the dining room. #3 waited in the car. I walked up to the register and the first thing the girl behind the counter says is “I hope you don’t want no fried chicken do ya?” (with a very southern drawl). I said “Well, this is a fried chicken place but surprisingly I don’t. I want chicken tenders.”
Girl: Well, good cuz we ain’t got no fried chicken!
Me: Excuse me? You don’t have fried chicken?
Girl: Nope, and we ain’t gon’ have none for about 2 hours.
Me: That’s fine because I just want tenders. You do have tenders, don’t you?
Girl: Yep, we just don’t got no bone in chicken.
About that time another couple (older) came in and before she could finish taking my order she yells out to him “You don’t want no fried chicken do ya?” He said “This is a fried chicken restaurant but no, I just want a steak biscuit.”
Girl: Good cuz we ain’t got no fried chicken!
Man: Well, then I guess we should call the news crews shouldn’t we? I mean a fried chicken place with no fried chicken might be news worthy. (I don’t think she got the fact that he was being slightly sarcastic).
Then she turned back to me and asked me for my order and I told her I wanted two chicken tenders meals with sweet tea to go. She asked whether I wanted ranch, honey mustard or barbecue sauce and I said yes. She looked at me like I was crazy and I just smiled and said I didn’t know which one my daughter wanted so I wanted all three. She gave me kind of a crazy look and then noticed another man coming in the door. She yells out to him “You don’t want no fried chicken do ya?”
Man #2: Well, yes, I do. That’s why I got off the interstate.
Girl: Well, we ain’t got none.
Man #2: You’re shitting me, right? Is this some kind of candid camera thing?
Girl: No, we just ain’t got none. Well, we got some but it ain’t cooked cuz theys cleaning the fryer.
He storms out the door.
Me: Isn’t that what they are supposed to do either after you’re closed or before you are open? Why would they wait until the middle of a Sunday afternoon to clean the fryer?
Girl: I don’t know but it will be about 2 hours ‘fore we have any fried chicken.
Me: But you fry tenders and fries and you have those, right?
Girl: Yep, we got those. (About this time someone pulls up to the drive through, which she is also running and she says to them) I hope yall don’t want no fried chicken cuz it’s gonna be about an hour!
They drive off.
Me: Just for curiosities sake…. How come you told us it would be about 2 hours before you have fried chicken but you told the people in the drive through it would be an hour?
Girl: Cuz I didn’t think they’d wait in the drive through for an hour! Besides, it’s already been an hour and they keep telling us to tell everyone who comes in that it will be two hours.
They are getting my order together and I notice the manager on duty standing by the drive through and a young kitchen worker comes up from the back. I missed the first part of what he says but then he says “Well, I hope you didn’t want none cuz I just burned ‘em.” The manager literally slaps his hand against his own forehead and walks out the back door. The girl starts putting our boxes in a bag to go and I ask her if she’s put any ketchup packets in the bag or box and she said “No, did you want some?”
Me: Yes, or I would not have asked. Don’t you automatically put ketchup in a to go order if they order French Fries?
Girl: Nope, we ain’t allowed to unless you ask. We get in trouble if we put ketchup in the bag without you asking.
I just shook my head and went over to get the drinks. The man behind us said “you know this place is usually very good. I don’t know what happened today.” We stopped back at the same exit on the way back home on Tuesday and they did have bone IN fried chicken. I made a mention of it to the manager (a different one). I think I said something like “Oh, it’s good to see you actually have fried chicken today.” He said “You didn’t come in here the other day did you?” I told him I had indeed and he said “I’m so sorry. I can guarantee you that’s NOT going to happen again.” I then asked him how they could have fried chicken tenders and French fries but NOT bone in chicken and he explained that there were two different types of fryers which made sense. Now I feel obliged to stop and eat there because he seemed so upset about it.
It did make for an amusing afternoon. “Welcome to Bojangles Fried Chicken…. I hope you don’t want no fried chicken!” Kinda has a nice ring to it….don’t you think?