I was reading Drew Magary’s Deadspin Funbag today and was delighted to see this featured email from fan of Drew’s who detailed a rather odd moment of his life at a Philadelphia Chick-Fil-A.
Here is his email. You can also read Drew’s entire Funbag article here:
The year was 2008. I was living in Philadelphia, and would sometimes frequent the Chik Fil-A near my apartment. One day I’m in line, and as I step up to order, the manager, a little squirrely fellow, steps out from the kitchen and starts asking me questions and making weird exclamations like “You guys think you’re ready this season?”, and “Westbrook is looking sharp!”. I gathered he was talking about the Eagles, so I just sort of shrugged and mumbled “yeah” a few times, as I’m not one for small talk. Then he asks me if I’M ready for the opener against the Rams next week. I give him a quizzical look, and he COMPS MY MEAL, telling me he’s a big fan.
I’m super confused, but don’t say anything and take my chicken club, eight piece nuggets and diet Dr. Pepper to a table to eat my solitary meal. At this point I’m sure this guy thinks I play for the eagles. I’m a pretty big guy, (6’4’’, 300lbs) so I guess it’s a semi reasonable mistake to make. At no point did he call me a specific name, or directly acknowledge I was a pro. So I figure, I’ll take this meal and lay low for a while on the Chick Fil-A.
Then, as I’m finishing my meal, the manger comes over with this serious look on his face. I thought he came to his senses and I was busted. My heart was in my chest and ready to shoot out of my mouth. He sits next to me, and says very softly, how sorry he is to make a scene, and that he shouldn’t have done that, and he is sure that I didn’t appreciate all the extra attention he brought me. I tell him it’s not a big deal, and that he’s the first person to recognize me, and I appreciate the meal. A smile breaks across his face and he takes my soda and says “how about a refill on that Dr. Pepper??” and bounds back to the kitchen. I get up to follow him a few moments later and as he hands me back my cup, the whole kitchen joins in on the E-A-G-L-E-S chant as I walk out. What I felt that moment was a curious mixture of shame, embarrassment, humor, and confusion.
I returned several times to that specific Chick Fil-A, and the manager would always come out to shake my hand, and ask if I wanted a milkshake. Which of course I did. Am I a horrible person?
That may be the finest story I’ve ever read. Pardon me while I wipe a tear away from my eye and thank heavens that such GOOD can exist in the world. I can assure you Jason, without a doubt, that you are not a horrible person. You are the world’s greatest hero.
Someone once said I looked like Zach Galifianakis but I didn’t get any free Chick-Fil-A out of it.
It’s a wonderful story, but damnit I needed answers. How many times did this happen? What does Jason look like? I reached out to Drew, who graciously sent Jason an email on my behalf.
Jason and I had an email conversation about his experience and who he thought the befuddled manager mistook him for.