Saturday, December 01, 2007
The Triumphant Return
About a year ago, a tragic thing happened. One day, all of the Wendy's in our area were just...abandoned. From the outside, they looked normal. But when you would get up to the door, you'd realize it was locked, the furniture inside was topsy-turvy, and there was no one in sight. It was such a mystery. Some of the restaurants had handwritten signs posted in the windows informing confused customers that the store had closed, but most didn't even have that. Adding to the mystery was the fact that the commercials continued to air often in our area. It was cruel along the lines of rubbing salt in an open wound.
For a while, I was worried that this strange and sad occurence was going to sweep the whole country, but when we would drive to Chicago we would see plenty of stores that were most assuredly open all along the way. In fact, Lincoln became a favorite stop the last few trips just because of its cozy and convenient Wendy's.
In St. Louis, word trickled out that the franchise group that owned 50 Wendy's stores in our area had gone bankrupt. In fact, even their payroll checks had bounced. Over time, I resigned myself to the fact that Wendy's, like Chick-Fil-A (at least until recently) and Dunkin' Donuts, was destined to be a road trip treat only for me. That is, until today.
Wendy's is back. The store closest to our mall has reopened. For dinner tonight, I had a spicy chicken sandwich, fries, Coke, and frosty. (Cholesteral, schmolesteral.) Word has gotten out. The drive-thru line stretched almost into the street and the line inside was just as long. But no one was complaining. The attitude of the customers in the store seemed to be a very contented, "That's okay. I'll wait. I've waited this long, another 10 minutes won't matter." And you know what, it was worth it. That spicy chicken was just as good as I remembered. It had not been inflated in my memory in the slightest. It's a good day in The Lou.