Free Food vs. Dignity (Why You’ll Never Catch Me In a Cow Suit)

To mark its self-appointed Cow Appreciation Day, Chick-fil-A is giving away a free chicken sandwich to customers who come in dressed as a cow on July 8, 2011.

As cute as this sounds, I am here to say that I do not appreciate cows – or free chikin – enough to don a costume with an udder bag and go out in public.

It’s not that I don’t have a sense of fun, but I have my limits on what I will do for free food. Ironically, I learned this lesson during a previous Chick-fil-A promotion marking the beginning of football season.

 We walked into Chick-fil-A and discovered that anyone wearing an SEC team logo would receive a free sandwich.  I was the only one who wasn’t already plastered in team colors, so although we are a house divided, my spouse helpfully offered to let me wear his team cap so that I could get a free sandwich.

Against my better judgment, I figured it was just a brief moment of disloyalty, so what was the harm? No sooner had I put on the cap and stepped up to the counter for my free chikin than darling husband pulled out his cell phone camera and, voila, an awkward photo of me in rival colors became the wallpaper for his phone. What was I thinking to have made such a Faustian bargain? 

I have never lived it down – even the kids love that photo- and I feel I owe a personal apology to my alumni association for selling out. And for what? A (crow) sandwich.

If you happen to have a cow costume and have been waiting for an excuse to wear it, July 8th is your lucky day. By all means, get yourself a sandwich. Just remember there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and a moment’s indignity can last long after the thrill of “free” is gone.