Winner, winner, chicken dinner

    Midday, we paused in packing for another road trip when I asked my husband, “Are you going to get the chicken special today?” Any day of the week, my guy chooses chicken over steak, especially when it is a bargain.

    “No. I lost weight when I had Covid. I want to keep it off, and tomorrow we start traveling.” He sighed. He really likes his chicken.

    “Good idea. Let’s both try to come home weighing the same or less,” I challenged him. The open road of the Interstate can erode any healthy habits resolve. I prepped carrots and celery for the trip. Not exactly chicken, but it would hold off the five pounds we usually gain when traveling. I added apples, granola bars and low-calorie drinks.

    For a couple days, we shared meals and took modest servings of my daughter-in-law’s delightful cooking. As we left our youngest son’s house, he offered us a breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. “No, we really ate too much last night. It was so good, but we need to trim back a bit today.” We did take a couple bananas and oranges for breakfast.

    We ate a healthy lunch because the hostess at the restaurant greeted us saying, “It will be a while before you can come in.” We went into a nearby grocery store instead and bought a couple of salads and a vegetable tray. Dear hubby dutifully ate the salad and opened the small tray of vegetables. He crunched down on celery sticks, carrots and tomatoes as I fell asleep.

    When I woke up, all that remained were the broccoli florets. I finished those off. We definitely were eating healthy until about for o’clock that afternoon when we stopped at a roadside rest with a food court. I stared at the offerings inside the doughnut shop. He drooled over the Asian food counter.

    “Do you want an egg roll?” he asked.

    I wanted doughnuts. I didn’t need anything.

    He asked again.

    “Okay, get two.”

    He returned to the car with egg rolls, spring rolls and crab rangoons. I returned with six doughnut bites. We split our purchases. I felt stuffed.

    We arrived at the next older son’s home and suddenly it was an hour later and we had missed supper. “We are okay,” I thought. “We have had enough.”

    Hubby asked, “What about a burrito?”

    “Not me, I had supper.” Sonny said. “Too bad, we passed the burrito place.”

    “What about chicken? We could go there and get a piece of chicken,” my guy persisted.

    “It is late. You really don’t need one,” I said.

    He looked pathetically disappointed.

    “Oh, go get a piece of chicken.”

    He knew exactly where to go. He drove up to the squawk box. “I want a piece of chicken.”

    “We are closed.” said a voice inside the brightly lit restaurant.

    “I just want one dried up piece of chicken.”

    Silence and then, “I could give you a bargain.”

    “Like what?”

    “Eight pieces for half of the usual price.”

    “I’ll take it.”

    “Now you have eight pieces of dried up chicken,” I said.

    “I have chicken.”

    He drove to the window, paid, opened the bag and gloated over his eight pieces of bargain chicken. He pulled out a leg and tore into it. It smelled delicious, but I really had eaten enough.

    He carried his ‘end of the day chicken’ into the hotel room, ate another piece and put the rest away. Our son declined even one piece before my husband drove him back to his house. While he was gone, I slipped over to the tiny fridge and pulled out a piece of chicken. It was still warm, delicious and not one bit dried up. We’re still traveling. We’ll see if we can stick to our “don’t gain any weight” resolve. Those chicken specials get us every time. 

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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