One morning last week I found myself mysteriously perched in a hospital waiting room deep in the heart of the medical center … impatiently waiting … and reflecting on how life can turn on a dime. After a sudden fall, my dad was having some pretty serious back surgery. But since it’s mighty difficult to laugh about somethin’ like that, I’ll focus on a conversation I had with my delightful niece and nephew. Fortunately for me, when I got to the hospital, I took the open chair right next to Gail. I’m not sure when it happened, but somehow in the past couple of years, Gail, and her brother, John, had grown up. Both were in college … and working. One thing led to another and they both handed me their business cards … and also promised to add me as their Facebook friend. “Oh Aunt Dixie, let me give you one of these cards also,” John said. Expecting the tall young man was holding down two jobs, I was prepared to be more impressed than I already was. At first glance, the card was the exact same size as a business card … but something was different. On the front was a picture of one of those black and white Chick-fil-A cows holding a sign that read “EAT MOR CHIKIN.” Now unless you live under a moist mushroom in your front yard, you’ve probably seen the picture of the cow standing upright holding the sign either on a billboard, television commercial or print ad. I’ve always liked how the cow’s bad spelling makes me concentrate on the message. That’s some great marketing. With lines like “PUNT THE BURGER, PASS THE CHIKEN” and “SKIP BEEF NOT BREKFAST,” it turns out if you take a peek at their clever Web site, the Holstein has been saving his brothers and sisters in ads since 1995. My personal favorite is the cow dressed up like a hippy from the ‘60s with the crown of daisies over a long blond wig. To make it even funnier, the hippy cow is also flashing the peace sign with its right front hoof. The bovine’s sign reads “GIVE CHIKIN A CHANCE.” But wait … did I mention there was stuff on the back of the card? The top line read, “BE OUR GUEST.” At least the cow got the spelling of that line correct. It was some sort of promotion courtesy of a Chick-fil-A out of League City. Yep, the card was actually a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A meal … sandwich, waffle fries and a drink. “I know there is a story somewhere in this little card guys,” I said to the pair raising my eyebrows. Gail and John proceeded to tell me how a few years ago Chick-fil-A started a clever promotion whenever a new store was opened. Did you know that CFA’s only open a new store on a Thursday … like around six in the morning? Yeah, and exactly 24 hours before the grand opening, a line forms in front of the new CFA. Yeah, and the first 100 registered super dedicated chicken fans, 18 years and older, have to stay in line until the new store opens the next morning. John, along with a herd of dedicated friends, has been to seven Chick-fil-A store openings in Texas. Gail has hit three. “There was one that was going to open in San Antonio recently. One of my friends was on the scouting party and called to let me know that all 100 spots were taken by 10 in the morning. Saved me from a long drive for nothing,” said John. Now you might ask what the heck would make 100 chicken fans camp out all night in front of a Chick-fil-A in all kinds of weather. That was the first question I asked. Are you ready? How about 52, that would be one for each week of the year, free CFA meals? “Think about it, a family of four can come away with 208 free meals,” said John, adding that some of the stores throw in some good clean fun like limbo and hula hoop contests. It was a cinch, I had a lot more to learn from Gail and John. Hopefully, I wasn’t going to have to learn it from a hospital waiting room. Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 12 years. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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