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Gazette-Mail editorial: Popeyes: This is America

A lawsuit, a gun and a chicken sandwich. This is a tale of America.

A tidal wave of frenzy and near panic sprung forth nationwide last month. Not because of mass shootings. Not because the president “declared” all American businesses should suddenly stop doing business with China. It didn’t even have anything to do with Kayne West.

No, the nation lost its mind because popular chain chicken joint Popeyes released a sandwich. Apparently, it’s pretty good. We have to disqualify ourselves here, because there are only three Popeyes restaurants in West Virginia, and they’re all a fair piece from Charleston. But we’ll take most of the country losing its mind trying to get one as a strong endorsement of the deliciousness of the sandwich. A social media war with Chick-fil-a, the Ned Flanders of chicken restaurants, probably added a dash of hype.

Popeyes apparently didn’t plan on this latest menu offering causing such demand, and, subsequently, locations started to run out of sandwiches. Hysteria. Chaos. Cats and dogs living together.

So far, this has produced at least two very American reactions to a problem. In Tennessee, a man who could not get his hands on one of these delectable sandwiches has sued the restaurant chain for false advertising. As abuses of the U.S. judicial system go, suing over a chicken sandwich isn’t the worst thing we’ve ever seen. After getting scalded because coffee is hot started bringing in large settlements, the floodgates were open. So, this is typical. This is America.

Then, on Monday night, when a group of early 20-somethings rolled up on a Popeyes in Houston and were told there were no sandwiches to be had, one of the customers pulled a gun and demanded the sandwiches be turned over. This is, again and unfortunately, rather typical. When this produced no result, however, something rather unusual happened. No one got shot. The person brandishing the firearm actually lowered it and the group ran off.

It was almost as if they realized shooting someone for a chicken sandwich they didn’t have wasn’t worth it. Still, the formula is a little worrying and all too easy to believe. Problem: man wants chicken sandwich, plus problem: restaurant has no chicken sandwich, equals solution: draw a gun.

We can’t figure out how to keep people from going bankrupt because of health care costs, and there’s a high probability that hostile powers are tinkering with our elections. That’s produced very little in the way of problem-solving. No chicken sandwich? Better lawyer up or buy yourself some Kevlar.

This is America.

Funerals for Friday, September 20, 2019

Barton, Richard - 3 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Birthisel, Avis - 11 a.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Call, Denver - Noon, Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Dearien, Tommie - Noon, Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.

Fletcher, Joanna - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Keeney, Steven - 2 p.m., Keith Full Gospel Church, Keith.

May, Rosa - 2 p.m., Bartlett - Nichols Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Morris, Linda - 1 p.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Parsons, Harry - 11 a.m., Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville.

Pauley, Clarence - 10 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Pino, Patricia - 11 a.m., Bradley FreeWill Baptist Church.

Rogers, Marilyn - 11 a.m., Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, South Charleston.

Satterfield, Kenneth - 5 p.m., Satterfield residence, 1161 Daniels Run Road, Millstone.