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OPINION | TED TALLEY: Car clutter caused by cooked clucker customers confounding

Why did the chicken drive-through line cross the road? by Ted Talley | March 10, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

"Pet peeve" is an odd little term. It comes from Latin meaning "perverse." In my dotage, I find little perversities in daily life are quite peeving. I offer but a few.

• Chick-fil-A -- Put aside the pretentious practice of closing on Sundays or that chief corporate rooster Dan Cathy makes donations to anti-LGBTQ political initiatives. If commerce and industry billionaires want to fund their pet projects, then so be it. No reason to sputter and fume if that bugs you. Simply head on down the boulevard to Zaxby's or KFC.

But that's easier said than done. Because to actually get to another chicken place, or anywhere for that matter, you have to suffer the peril of Chick-fil-A drive-through traffic backed up into your thoroughfare. These franchises are a threat to public safety. I've seen the scenario not only on Walton Boulevard but all over in various travels. Near my former apartment in Austin it is a travesty, with Chick-fil-A customers often obstructing traffic at a busy freeway junction just south of a major hospital.

Zoning boards everywhere must create special rules for these chicken coops. Franchisees should plan deeper setbacks from city streets than those of McDonald's or Taco Bell. Make room especially for the Saturday rush before the Sabbath.

• XNA and Southwest Airlines -- I'm not peeved at our ever-improving Northwest Arkansas National Airport. Nor do I have issue with Southwest. It appears that never the twain shall meet; that's merely free enterprise at work. What peeves me are annoying folks who feel bound to complain in comments on media platforms through which the folks at XNA herald any good news from Highfill. To certain complainers, our airport, with non-stops to almost every U.S. airline hub and beyond, isn't really an airport until Southwest lands here. Southwest has upbeat customer service, easy-boarding one-class planes and no baggage fees. But they are not always the cheapest alternative. They've come a long way from the cheap, upstart airline with the triangular route -- Dallas, Houston, San Antonio -- sketched on a napkin in the first meeting of its founders in a cocktail lounge. Get over it people. A study has been done. Tulsa is too close. An airline gains nothing by splitting passengers between two airports. In recent years I've found the other Big Three carriers just as competitive especially if you add in your time, tolls and gas cost to get to Tulsa International. Be thankful you have options, as in twice as many nonstops as Clinton National in Little Rock.

• Cries to reopen the Keystone Pipeline -- Yes, we dearly want immediate relief from high gas prices caused by President Biden and liberal Democrats closing it. So goes the uninformed hue and cry of those demanding a pipeline segment--Keystone XL -- be reopened. Problem: It never existed in the first place. Only 8 percent of the specific project was ever completed in the Obama-Trump-Biden off/on toggle. Meanwhile the original parts of Keystone were never shut off and continue to provide crude to terminals in Oklahoma and southern Illinois. These misinformed ones assume Keystone is as a faucet closed off by tree-huggers somewhere between Beaumont and Port Arthur when simply there is no such thing.

• Whiners over Walmart self-checkouts -- We've been banking with ATMs and pumping our own gas now for some 50 years. We routinely make hotel, airline and haircut reservations with no human intervention, on wireless phones no less. And yet mass merchant registers are supposed to be stuck in last century's rotary dial days. Unlike with petrol pumps, at least you can still find human assistance at the point of purchase if needed.

• Big pharma TV ads -- Here's a bit of trivia: The United States and New Zealand are the only countries that allow prescription drug television advertising. I don't know about regulators in Kiwiland, but I presume congressional lobbyists and drug companies doling out campaign dough have their sway here. There's little escape from bombardments of cures for ills you may never contract. Then there's the surreal backdrop of the spots themselves: Disneyesque villages where storefronts, street signs and citizens themselves are all clad in the brand's vibrant logo colors. Oh, for fast relief from these symptoms.

These little peeves are making me feel a bit off-kilter. I need a break, a curative trip, maybe an easy drive down to Northwest Louisiana for quaint scenery and famous meat pies via Interstate 49 south of Fort Smith. Never mind that the roadway segment exists only on some drafting board in Little Rock. I demand they reopen it!

Print Headline: A ‘peevish’ question (or two)


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