Eat Your Fried Chicken, ‘Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge’


Are we having fun yet? A few of us are.

As I write this, the CDC has just issued a new recommendation that the wearing of two masks will help protect against the more contagious variants of the coronavirus. So if you’re keeping score at home, this gives us one more item to add to our Official List of Twos: two shots (or “jabs” if you’re reading this in the UK), two impeachments, two stimulus checks, and now two masks. My mother’s constant scold about not being greedy is getting a severe testing right now.

Actually, my mother has been on my mind quite a bit since the weekend. I watched those street celebrations in Tampa after the Super Bowl and couldn’t help but think back to her unusual views on fried chicken eating. I know, I know: I’m writing crazy drivel again. Just please stay with me for a moment or two. Besides, other than going outside and wearing two masks, what else have you got going on at the moment?

Let’s go back in time for a bit.

I can still vividly remember those buckets of chicken being brought into our home like it was yesterday. My family didn’t really do takeout food very much in the sixties. It was pizza and that was pretty much it (Chinese food mostly didn’t make regular appearances until the following decade). But those buckets with the Colonel’s face? That was something extraordinary.

My mother’s approach to it was rather extraordinary too. Killjoy is also an appropriate word. Instead of just allowing us to dig in and rapturously enjoy this delicacy, Mom’s inner domestic guilt kicked into high gear. A semi-observant Jewish mother to her core, she instinctively knew this was setting a bad precedent. What next, barbecued ribs? Well yes actually. Her later post-menopausal years exposed the larder door wide open to foods forbidden by rabbinic councils. But with that first appearances of the Colonel Sanders bucket, Mom decided to play offense in the dirtiest of sneaky maneuvers.

“Try eating it by removing the crunchy outer coating. It’s much healthier.”

I remember just staring at her for a moment. Was she serious? Dad just brought in this amazing delicacy into the house, something for which I would sing the commercial jingle on the way to school in the mornings, and she’s suggesting we REMOVE the absolute best part of it? Does she realize that would ruin the whole ‘finger lickin’ good’ vibe? Is she officially nuts? And why is she sweating?

I pondered this for a few seconds. You never knew if there was a freshly baked cake or pie hidden that could be offered as a reward for good behavior. But no, I was having none of it. My best defensive move was to emulate Alex Karras, my own gridiron hero on the lowly Detroit Lions. I ate like a pig. There was no way I was going to follow some dietary health protocol with that bucket of fried chicken sitting on the table. Sorry, Ma, but no.

Alex Karras. Source: National Herald

Which finally brings me back to those celebrants on the streets of Tampa last weekend. (See? That wasn’t so hard.)

I watched all of them with great interest. It appeared to my own eyes that some of those people are a bit agnostic in following safety protocols. With masks limply draped over many a chin, these were the folks to be christened the “good” revelers, bless their hearts. I suspect such chin drapers are people who will fully don a mask when visiting supermarkets or office waiting rooms. They just feel it unnecessary in moments of caution-tossed exhilaration.

We won’t even bother discussing the “bad” revelers here; we’re all as tired of them as they are of us.

But I really can’t blame any of those happy Buccaneer fans, “good” or “bad.” I just can’t. The decision to hold a Super Bowl was made by awfully Smart People in the NFL, the state of Florida, and the city of Tampa. For those who live and breathe the excitement professional football, it must come across as a bit of a false choice that one can watch the game but not properly revel in its outcome, especially if your favorite team wins. They wanted their finger lickin’ feel-good moment, and I honestly cannot blame them.

I’m really not surprised that Tampa football fans for the most part ignored public pleas from local health officials to follow covid protocols. You want me to eat better? Please don’t tempt me with fried food on my own kitchen table. Likewise, you want your city streets populated with socially distanced, mask-wearing people? Don’t hold a Super Bowl in your town. Or maybe anywhere until next year. Michelle Norris in the Washington Post put it best with her own coining of Covid-schmovid.

And what did your humble blogger do and eat on this past Super Bowl Sunday? I ignored the game. We had on the Puppy Bowl during the afternoon (disclosure: I think I only glanced at it once) and later binged on Scott & Bailey episodes all night. We had pizza and beer. Gorgeous named me MVP and I went to bed. Maskless.

Until next time…

Source: eBay

46 thoughts on “Eat Your Fried Chicken, ‘Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge’

    1. We’re long-lost siblings, Alisa! 🙂 Yes, maternal guilt did manifest in disappointing ways for kids. Ah, but now we have memories as blog fodder, eh? Sorry to hear your hubby passed on Scott & Bailey; I definitely wouldn’t consider it a “chick drama” at all. There’s quite a bit of action in that show. Very riveting.


  1. Any post with ‘fried chicken’ in the title has my undivided attention, Marty. A bucket of chicken was a constant at my grandparent’s home. Almost one form of showing their love, since getting take out was a rare treat for them. You brought me right there, with you, Marty, and your vivid description. I can (almost) smell this finger lickin’ chicken. Ahhh, I get it now…’finger lickin’ feel-good moment.’ You are a rebel, Marty. Maskless to bed? Covid-schmovid! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lol You can’t be too careful anywhere, Erica! The earliest Kentucky Fried Chicken was probably the better one, before it became “KFC” and was cooked/fried according to some mass-marketing recipe. I don’t think I’ve had it in over 30 years. I’ll stick to the memories instead. Glad I touched a good one for you with your grandparents.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hah! Yes, absolutely nuts to think anyone would throw away the best part!!! I remember watching Roseanne in the 90s, and Dan (I think it was Dan) said something to the effect of throwing away the chicken and just getting a bucket of skin. He only said what we all have thought at one point. LOL!
    I didn’t watch the Superbowl. I don’t have cable TV. So thanks for the update. I thought it was probably going to be a super-spreader in the making.


    Liked by 3 people

  3. I didn’t even know who was playing in the bowl…and couldn’t have cared less. BUT…somebody wanted KFC. Are you kidding me? I haven’t eaten a piece of chicken since 1999 (despite being a former fried chicken fixin’ Southerner).
    After a loud resounding NO, I caved. I said, “okay. We’ll have chicken. You can eat the chicken and I’ll eat the crust.” Pizza it was. 😬

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My favorite is pot roast with vegetables and Yorkshire pudding! I don’t make big meals anymore. The closet I get is making 15 bean soup in the crock pot. I still end up throwing almost half of them into the compost bin. (:
        (I don’t have that many readers either…a few followers, but not too many readers.)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Some things for some people are just too darn tempting. That will still be the case even when the pandemic is history. As for me, I do like fried chicken but can pass on the pigskin.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lol Perfectly put, Betty! I watched football for years, and in normal years still watch the Super Bowl (if nothing else for the commercials — is like reading Playboy for the articles?). But nearly all professional sports turn me off now, so my interest wanes the older I get. Lots of solidarity here with you. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I smiled all the way through this post, Marty (okay, except when I was cringing at the Covid-Schmovid super spreaders!) But what also caught my attention was the credit given to eBay for the vintage Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket. Please don’t tell me that an old, used, paper fast food container is for sale for megabucks. Seriously, who buys stuff like this…and why? 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, I should have known that only a crack blogger like yourself would have caught my shortcut in the photo credit on that one, Donna. Indeed I did find it on eBay (via a Google images search), and it was exactly what I was looking for because I wanted a bucket from that earliest of eras. A relic! But I’m slightly embarrased because I take photo and image credits seriously and try never to take shortcuts. But in this case, I knew since it’s an eBay listing that it would have a short life on that site, and I didn’t want a URL link that would die on the vine with time. So I cheated slightly. 🙂 The cost of that authentic relic? It’s yours for $125 + 12 shipping. Can you imagine????

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Two masks and two pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken, please! Alex Karras was a great player. Another Detroit Lion that I liked to watch was the 1969 Heisman Trophy winner #36 Steve Owens. I just have one nagging question…original or extra crispy?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joe, you mention a long-forgotten great in Steve Owens. The first Lion to rush for over a thousand yards in a season. The man could run! On a better team he would have been on a Super Bowl winner himself.

      Good lord, I completely forgot that distinction on the KFC menu. That’s probably the time I stopped going, but I suppose I’d have had to be an Original man (pun intended). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We caved and had healthy rotisserie chicken. At least I think it’s healthy and if it isn’t, don’t tell me. My husband fell asleep before half time and I read a book. That was our super bowl! I missed the puppy bowl though. I enjoy that.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This post came through last night, but I left it for this morning with coffee in hand. I wanted to savor it. 🙂 Two masks? I heard that this morning and decided it was a good thing I don’t go out much because my glasses fog up with one mask so that I can barely keep from tripping. I haven’t had KFC is a long, long time maybe I need some. I wasn’t aware of that series so thanks for the tip. Stay well, and I’m still aghast that you go to bed without a mask. You, rebel, you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the LOL moments in your post, Marty. I’ll be the intellectual here and point out that your noticing of the (terrible?) twos was enlightening – I’ll add (here’s the intellectual part) that until the ‘rule of three’ kicks in, those twos are merely the warm-up!
    BTW: never been much of a chicken (especially of the fried variety) fan…sorry! So you can kick that bucket to the curb in my name!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I tried to fry chicken once. KFC deserves all the credit they get! Your allegory between eating the skin and celebrating a Super Bowl win is brilliant! Meanwhile, my husband is headed out to do errands and just asked if I still had that stash of disposable masks so that he could wear two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I left out is that my mom once actually did make fried chicken. As I recall it was quite good, but I think the effort involved — and most likely the mess — turned her off. To her credit she really tried to eat healthy, and later in life I begin to finally appreciate that.

      We went out earlier with two masks; one the prescribed surgical mask underneath along with a cloth one over it. I couldn’t breathe! When hubby comes home, you might need to check that all airways are clear. 😉 Stay safe, Tracey!


  11. I can’t imagine cutting off all that greasy goodness. But, that’s why I don’t eat KFC anymore… too tempting. Florida’s response to the Corona virus had been a head scratcher from the start, so I’m not at all surprised that the crowds went wild in celebration. Next year, I understand the SB will be in California. Hopefully things will be under control by then.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This takes me back to my early years. We didn’t have Kentucky Fried Chicken in our town but my grandparents did so it was a real treat for us when we visited. I don’t remember fried chicken being as taboo back then. In fact, we made it ourselves. I hadn’t had KFC for years until Tim and I got together. It seems it’s a Halloween tradition. So, we have it once a year. And I eat all the crunchy parts. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I grew up with parents who disliked the concept of fast food. Therefore I didn’t have my first taste of Kentucky Fried Chicken until I was in my 20s. Can’t stand the stuff, having come to it later in life. As for the Super Bowl and its aftermath, whatever says I. Not like it was a surprise, any of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ally. For me it was the documentary “Supersize Me.” After I saw that, I pretty much stayed away from all fast food. I’ll only do so now out of extreme convenience (i.e. low blood sugar attack and need an immediate easy solution). But I always find fast food a wonderful source blog folder when i’m desperate. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Not a fan of fast food here either Marty, but I do remember home made fried chicken. It was a real chore to make but it was soooooo tasty. It’s been years since a morsel has passed my lips though…

    I was brought up with a father who loved US sports, so in my early years I knew more about quarterbacks & linebackers than I did about fly-halfs & props (from my current favoured sporting world rugby union). At the moment, the English rugby team is in the dog house, having had their rears handed to them on a place by the old enemy (Scotland). I shouted at the screen a whole lot last weekend. On his way to the supermarket, Himself just asked if it would be safe to bring me Italian beer for the game tomorrow when they play Italy. It probably won’t, but I’ll not pass up on my occasional beer 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You gotta hand it to Himself for having quite a bit of both marital and international diplomacy, Deb! My Grand Rapids-raised and now Los Angeles-residing nephew has turned into this HUGE fan of Liverpool soccer. Prior to the pandemic he was taking two, three, even four visits there during the year to attend matches in person. No one in our family could understand where this interest of his originated, but he did mention on more than one occasion his love of the chip shops there. So while I have no doubt he loves his English football, I’m thinking it might be equally the fast food. 🙂 Very interesting about your father, btw. Did that interest of his extend to American baseball too?

      Try as I have over the years, I don’t think I’ll ever understand rugby. Cricket is much easier for me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marty, interesting about your nephew. Chip shops are a very British thing & often feature in the enjoyment of live sport. Being a rugby fan, I’ve only been to 2 soccer games myself – both involved Manchester United, as much like Liverpool, their fan base isn’t widespread rather than local.

        My father loved pretty much all sports – both UK & US – the only one I don’t remember him displaying much interest in was ice hockey. When I was a child, he regularly played water polo and softball with American friends, so baseball was certainly a keen interest. As most of my childhood years was spent in third world countries, my grandfather gifted him an annual subscription to Sports Illustrated, which he pored in the absence of TV coverage.

        I take my hat off to you for understanding cricket! I understand it, but find it perfect for dozing off too. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  15. PS: my Mum would say exactly the same thing about removing the skin. She’s a tartar for fat of any sort, except for that which goes into making the biscuits she now consumes by the shed load! She’s old, so I try not to tease her too much (I may fail!)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I too have a long history with the Colonel and his Kentucky Fried Chicken. I don’t remember any jingle, though I do remember that a boxed lunch of the stuff was the standard pregame fare for the University of Southern California Marching Band when I was a member in the mid-70s. Many of us called it Kentucky Fried Rat but most scarfed it down, along with the mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw and biscuits that came in the box with it. I don’t know that I’d call the chicken finger-lickin good, but it was and is certainly greasy enough to make that the quickest and easiest way to degrease one’s digits. Personally, and even to this day, I could make a meal out of the cole slaw alone and have extra desserts composed of nothing but the biscuits.

    Liked by 1 person

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