Thursday, 5 March 2009

Forgive me Harland for I Have Sinned


As the large congregation finished the final hymn, California Soul by Marlena Shaw we began moving forward ready to take the Eucharist. As I reached the head of the queue I struggled to look Father Doyle in the eye. I knew that in about 20 minutes time he'd be hearing my confession.

As I opened my mouth he placed a succulent piece of Popcorn Chicken on my tongue which I washed down with a sip of Gravy from the Prayer Bucket. For a few glorious seconds my soul was clean as the recipe coursed through my veins. Then I was back in the middle of a Sunday service at the 5th Chickentarian Church of Stone. It was a traditional church with the spire representing the Chicken's neck and head and the two wings representing, well, the wings. It often amazed my how much of our religious lexicon had pervaded everyday language but it was uplifting to be reminded of the Colonel during everyday conversations. For example, a bucket now was a common word for a rigid bag. A colonel is a very high military rank, and the list could go on.

My sense of dread came back to me as we genuflected for the lords prayer:

Our Harland Who Art In Heaven
Shallow Fried Be Thy Name
Thy Chicken Come
It Will Be Eaten
On Earth As It Is In Heaven
Give Us This Day Our Daily Zing
And Forgive Us Our Subways
As We Forgive Those Who Visit burger king
And Lead Us Not Into mc donald's
But Deliver Us Some Chicken
For Thine Is The Recipe With 11 Secret Herbs & Spices For Ever & Ever

Chick-en

Following the service there were about 10 of us loitering near the confessional. I thought again about the sermon which had had an Easter theme. Father Doyle explained why symbolically we ate chocolate eggs at easter as they represented the Chicken we all love so dearly. It should be broken into a symbolic nine pieces to represent the nine different cuts that Harland had decreed should come from the bird.

I moved forward as a lady left the confessional in floods of tears but I was still a few places from the front. By now my mind was swimming and I began to think about all the stories I had learnt in Sunday School 20 years ago. I learnt about how Harland had perfected the recipe in 7 days and the feeding of the 5000 from only one Bucket of Chicken. In another story Harland had thrown all the imitation Fried Chicken vendors from the malls in disgust.

By now I had moved up a couple of places and had begun remembering the more sinister stories we had been told as we got older.

Harland had lost his only son in an automobile wreck so that we could enjoy the recipe and that later on he was betrayed by his disciple Tim. I always thought that the most exciting times were the Chicken wars that had taken place in Eastern Europe. In Sunday School they'd told us that when they got the recipe over there it translated as "Kentucky Fried Poultry" two groups sprang up, those who thought it should be made using Chicken and those who thought Turkey. Many countries in the region had related names Turkey and Turkmenistan fervently believed the recipe should be made using Turkey. Greece and Cro(w)atia believed Chicken whilst Hungary and Eg(g)ypt often changed allegience.

The saddest tales had been of prohibition, imagine four whole years without KFC? People during this time would mix up illegal batches of spices in their bathtubs, some of which proved to be lethal. Ruthless gangsters such as Al Caponthebone ran eateasies ,but thankfully, finally the world came to its senses and the industry rapidly sprang back to life using the one good thing to come from this period. To hide the rancid taste of many recipe attempts Chicken cocktails were invented and Zing was born, it has been a favourite ever since.

By now it was my turn to enter the confessional. I silently repeated the Hail Harland:

Hail Harland
Full Of Taste
The Lord Eats With Thee
Blessed Are Thou Amongst Poultry
And Blessed Is The Food
Of Thy Dining Room
Father Of The Recipe
Pray For Us Eaters Now
And At The Hour Of Our Coronary

Chick-en

"Forgive me father for I have sinned. I have forsaken the Zinger Tower on a number of occasions now and had the Blazin' Boxmaster instead"

"And why have you done this my child?"

"Well Father, it's the Blazin'. I had to try it once like you told us so that we can understand all of Harlands good work, but the Blazin' Father, it's just so good."

"Tell me about this Blaze" he said emphasising the word blaze with obvious contempt for it.

"Well father, the Zing is still there but the Jalapeno Mayo that makes the Blazin' is just so spicy and good."

"Jalapeno Mayo?" he said desperately before he seemed to have an epiphany "Oh my Harland, I was wrong, forgive me. Only now has the prophecy been fulfilled. Don't you see? Harland said 'I will give you the spice of life', it is in the scriptures. I always thought he meant Zing."

"Father are you OK?"

"Don't you see. . . . . The Spice Of Life! Jalapeno is the spice and the mayo made with eggs is the life, eggs, dont you see? The prophecy has been fulfilled." Suddenly he fled the confessional and his words trailed off. All I heard as he ran from the building was "Do not worry child you have not sinned, I must go to Kentucky to see the Popultry. . . . . "

And with that he was gone.

3 comments:

paulbot said...

amazing

obad said...

Dg was last seen wandering the streets, chicken in hand, smiting the unbelievers with deliciousness.

ALbad said...

He can often be found at busy junctions on Oxford St in London, professing the Colonel's good name using a megaphone