Every Monday at work I go on my weekly drive to pick up farebox cash and various driver forms and vehicle maintenance documentation as part of one of the many tasks under my belt. Since Lent has ended, my self imposed abstinence on fast food had also come to a close, which means a quick breakfast can now return to me. On my way to the outer counties I pass by the busiest and most popular of fast food chains in the country, that of Chick-Fil-A. So pardon me if I indulge myself on a little breakfast sandwich with a cup of black coffee every now and then. So I park the car, and walk on in.
Chick-Fil-A has an odd sort of reputation when it comes to the culture war. Closed on Sundays with a strange Christian veneer, whose company leadership had donated to anti gay-marriage groups in the past. I can’t say much for it being a cultural artifact the right likes to use these days, especially when the franchise decided to supplicate and get on board with the messaging that came in the “Most Peaceful” Riots during 2020’s Racial Reckoning. Nevertheless, libs cry about it, and the right online doubles down. Although this meme down below I think has a slightly exaggerated truth to the matter. Even I’ve occasionally tweeted in a joking fashion, “Thou Shalt Not Besmirch the Lord’s Chicken.”
Yet I go in, not through to the drive-thru, because I enjoy the human interaction. It’s good to chat and socialize, even if you’re making pleasantries whilst giving your order. I’m also a fan of seeing how people interact, and this army of entirely young people, either community college aged or younger, work the entire restaurant. There was probably not anyone in there over the age of 23, but then again given how everyone looks so much younger than they actually are (insert every meme about seed oils, diets, microplastics, falling t levels, etc.,) I couldn’t really be an accurate gauge to tell. After all, if it weren’t for the mustache I have on my face odds are I’d look a lot like them as well. I’m self aware of our current self-imposed bottleneck, genetically speaking.
So I ordered, a number 7, sausage breakfast sandwich, hashbrowns, and one black coffee. (I like to think I’ll be the parent who does the one black coffee schtick, but I may never know.) Given the drive-thru line I was told that there would be a bit of a wait, not that I minded, after all, it was Monday, the rural roads always have a livestock problem, traffic, or some slow livestock trailer keeping us in an elephant race while I make conversation with the cows in the back.
Yet as I’m leaning against a nearby table waiting, I can’t help but notice that there is only one young man in this entire crew of like 12 or something, working. Every woman is taller than him, weighs more than him, and clearly is fatter than he is. A scrawny manlet, no taller than five foot five, working and making sure things are packaged and sent to their respective space, whilst being ordered around. Sort of a brutal wake up call to the things I had observed growing up, but this was dialed up to 11, as if some kind of reverse sexual dimorphism was happening before me. Wherein the mammal was now like the amphibian, the female now this larger creature over the male. Snu Snu has been birthed from a memetic humorous joke about mountains to climb and Amazonians to tame to now an odd example of biological reality. Of course, I’m observing how it is in this tiny rural town’s biggest fast food attraction (besides Braums,) and not necessarily the wider world.
There are of course men who tower, train, and tone themselves. If anything, I am writing in the face of RWBB and Ray Peat fans. But I can imagine, in a country that is devouring itself on poison only to take more poison to live, whilst its middle and lower classes live off the trough of the worst foods imaginable as it goes to work so it can barely afford to go to work…well, of course the body is going to change. Not to engage in that late millennial narcissism, and perhaps my memory navel gazing is the only one a few hermeneutical tools I have to interpret the world events and what I’ve seen so far, at least in these few cultural regards. I myself have always been thin, one of those ectomorphic body type people, the “runner’s body.” Yet I can remember in high school, both when it was overseas with other military brats of in that weird Hispanic Ethnostate of El Paso, that it was increasingly really skinny dudes with really thick or overweight women. And here this little dude was working, probably only taller than the overweight hispanic chick working the drinks.
But back to the Chick-Fil-A.
Perhaps I was reading too much into it. I mean, Manlets are a dime a dozen these days, myself saying that with a self-referential chuckle as I stand at only five foot ten, but height doesn’t make the man, and if there’s something to be said for Stalin, Zelensky, Putin, Rogan, Napoleon, Chuchill and others, there is a manlet theory of history. This kid was working away, scurrying almost, just to get his shift over with and to take on the next task. I fucking felt for the guy, although my longhouse was more of a geriatric one, wherein everyone is at least twice my age, almost every middling position a man seems to work in has that similar feminine feel. BAP is certainly vindicated that a free man is a man who controls his own space. I know this dude, and to some extent myself until very recently, was also in captivity.
Was I projecting myself on to this situation? Most likely. Lord knows if you’ve seen my face or have met me in person I am probably just as much a product of the modern world I inherited, made even worse now in the cocktail of anti rejection medications, blood thinners and blood pressure pills as well. My hair is beginning to thin a few places, it’s harder to train and run the weight off, and the greys are beginning to show themselves on the sides, sort of like what you’d see for a middle age man in a cartoon. Yet in all of this, there’s this sense of youth that’s in us all. Wandering this modern earth, half man, half infantilized, afraid of what men used to be while still staring in awe at what could be accomplished by even the most regular fellow, striking it out in the middle of nowhere only to build a home and put a sign on the door that said “WIFE WANTED.”
We are no such men, at least not all of us. Many of us, no matter how many memes we like, or how many group chats you might be in saying “based” or “Inshallah” it doesn’t seem to escape from the fact that many of you will be, or are currently like that young man in the Chick-Fil-A.
But if you’re reading this, you already know it doesn’t have to be this way.