I waited in line at the nearest Popeyes for ten minutes before I realized that they didn’t even have the sandwich. THEY DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE DAMN SANDWICH.
I’m still not entirely sure how I found myself in line for a social media fad food. Just the other day, I was smugly congratulating myself for my resistance to the seasonal stunt foods personified by pumpkin spice. Do it for the ‘gram? Not me! And after a decade in New York City, I’m willing to wait in line under only the most specific circumstances, which usually involve some sort of legal obligation or security measure. I even routinely pass a Popeye’s with a drive-through window on my monthly trip to Costco. I could have just waited another month until the paper towels ran out again!
But the pictures on the Takeout’s post just looked so good, and then I was subjected to an absolute barrage of spicy chicken sandwich talk on Twitter, as Chick Fil A and Popeyes and Shake Shack all got into it about their various sandwiches. I could not escape the sandwich. The sandwich followed me everywhere. I had to have the sandwich. I had to have the sandwich IMMEDIATELY. The weekend wasn’t soon enough. Around 11:50 I got up from my desk, unable to wait another minute, and walked down to 40th and Broadway—where, as of mere minutes after the clock struck noon, the line was bumping up against the door. By the time I alerted the Jezebel Slack room about my situation, the line had burst the bounds of the door and was stretching outside.
Halfway to the front, the business guys behind me noticed the handwritten signs on the cash registers, announcing that there were no sandwiches today. NO SANDWICHES? NO SANDWICHES! This didn’t even really surprise me, since half the damn thing with this whole deal is that the sandwiches are perpetually selling out, and yet, I was outraged. Who is buying all these sandwiches before noon? Where are the sandwiches? Who has them???? Am I truly going to have to go to the rest-stop Popeyes on the New York State Freeway in Yonkers to get one of these things? Dammit!
Of course neither I nor the business guys left. What were we gonna do, go to Shake Shack? Yeah, right. I got chicken tenders and mashed potatoes with gravy instead (obviously, I was already there and they’re good) but I didn’t like it. Leaving with my disappointing bag of still-delicious food, I heard a woman in a sundress yelp: “WHAT?” She didn’t leave, either. You win this round, Popeyes.