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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

Yes, This Actually Happened by Cami M. '23

wwydfcfa - what would you do for chick fil a

This past weekend was a 3 day weekend because of President’s Day!

Being from southern California, I’ve been pretty dissatisfied with Boston’s food opportunities. There are some great places I’ve come to find (Courthouse Seafood, Cafe Luna, Mainely Burgers, Boston Burger Co, that one ramen place in Porter Square), but also I’ve left behind a lot of good food places I really enjoyed (Umami Burger, that one tteokbokki place in Cerritos, Baekjeong, and some really good sushi places).

One thing that I’ve missed above all, however, is Chick Fil A. There are no Chick Fil A’s in Boston. The closest one is in a town called Dedham, MA.

My craving for Chick Fil A had built up to the point where, when I awoke on that fateful Monday morning and stomped upstairs to Loop kitchen, I announced, “I want Chick Fil A. Let’s just go. Let’s go RIGHT now.”

Raymond said sure why the fuck not.

Aiden looked pretty unconvinced, claiming it was his work day.

And Mariia? Mariia, my beloved, sweet, green-haired vegetarian roommate, said, “Yes! It’s the once a year time that I can break my streak01 Her vegetarian streak. .”

I was shook to my core. I knew that this was the chance of a lifetime, that there would never be another opportunity like this for the rest of the year where Mariia would come out with us to Consume the Meat. “This would be my second time having Chick Fil A.”

After some convincing (“Aiden, Aiden…the mac and cheese. The mac and cheese.”), Aiden finally caved and agreed to come along with us. Within two minutes, we were bustling out the door and hopping into a Lyft, embarking on our 40 minute journey to this mysterious Dedham, MA.

The forty minute Lyft ride was actually really peaceful, despite being crushed against the car door and Raymond’s obnoxious manspread.  He wasn’t actually manspreading, but he’s just very broad. Regardless, it was very cozy in the Lyft. I stared outside the window, watching concrete buildings and and city lights transform into sparsely spaced cottage homes, lakes, and hillsides dotted with trees. The ride made me really appreciate just how beautiful Massachusetts is, having only seen small bits and pieces of it.

“Have you heard of that car game, where every time you see a cow you say cow and it adds to your farm but every time you see a graveyard, all your cows die?” Mariia asked.

“Oh yeah! That’s pretty weird. I don’t know if we’ll see any graveyards or cows, though,” I replied.

Oh how wrong I was.

About 35 minutes into the car ride, we noticed something…strange. There was a graveyard. “Huh, that’s pretty coincidental. Isn’t it funny how Mariia mentioned that cow graveyard game like ten minutes ago and now we’re running into one?”

But then after that graveyard, there came another graveyard. And another one.

And another one.

In Dedham, Massachusetts, there are apparently five to seven graveyards all within two minute walking distance of each other for no apparent reason.

“God, this feels like a fucking horror film. Four idiot teenagers go out on some stupid quest for chicken nuggets and end up in some apocalyptic town where they just have this mass need for graveyards.”

By the time the app said we were two minutes away from the Chick Fil A, I realized that we were somewhere off a pretty empty highway in the middle of nowhere.

“You wanna get dropped off…here?” our Lyft driver had asked unsurely. Yep, that’s exactly how I felt.

“Uh…uh,” I had stuttered, looking around trying to find any sign of that Chick Fil A. I remember awkwardly scouring around until I saw the red letters in the distance.

“Oh yeah, just pull up there.”

Our Lyft driver pulled up to the CFA and we eagerly got out of the car only to be struck by another “Holy shit we’re literally in a horror movie” moment because guess what?

There’s a fucking graveyard behind the Chick Fil A. The parking lot is completely empty, save for a few cars scattered in front of a large store we had never seen before called “Ocean State Job Lots.”

We had been so spooked and disheveled by this strange surrounding atmosphere that we almost even get run over by a car, going at FULL SPEED through the CFA drive thru. This does not bode well.

Perhaps we should’ve taken this as the first sign that Dedham, Massachusetts did not want us inside of it, but our want for chicken outweighed our common sense.

The moment we enter the Chick Fil A, we forget about all the creepiness and strangeness of the town entirely and instead embrace the sweet, sweet comfort of Chick Fil A’s interior, with its colored cups and red chairs and employees that seem to embody home.

We excitedly get in line and order. I ordered medium waffle fries with eight count chicken nuggets with Chick Fil A sauce, mac and cheese, and a cookies and cream milkshake. Raymond orders two deluxe chicken sandwiches. Aiden also orders a sandwich, fries, and a cookies and cream milkshake. Mariia orders chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and a strawberry milkshake.

And for about five minutes, we’re all completely silent as we engorge on this Chick Fil A, save for a few “Oh my god I missed this” and “Holy fuck it’s so good.”

I swear I’m not sponsored by CFA; I just really missed it. Like, I think about waffle fries and Chick Fil A sauce a lot. That’s such a good combination. Holy shit.

Once we finished our meal, we realized we had nothing to do except explore this unholy town. So we made our way through the parking lot to Ocean State Job Lots, which basically was just a giant store with pretty cheap prices and sold virtually everything.

But as we exited the heaven that was Chick Fil A and entered the strange purgatory-like reality that is Ocean State Job Lots and, more specifically, Dedham, MA, I realized that this town really, really did not want us in here. As we walked through the store, I noticed something strange. Customers would actively stop and watch us when we walked by.  It’s like in video games where you have to blend in and pretend to be an NPC because people are trying to figure out who the real players are versus NPCs, and those people could definitely tell we were not NPCs.

We just weren’t quite from…Here.

The store itself is also pretty cursed, but also pretty cool. It’s almost haphazardly arranged, but organized enough so that you know it’s intentional. For example, one shelf switches from selling winter gear like coats and jackets to bras and underwear to selling shovels and digging equipment. It was bizarre.

Occasionally there would be announcements over the intercom where everyone would then respond by stopping whatever they were doing and exclaiming a great “HURRAY!” before continuing on as if nothing happened.

We ended up wandering over to the pet section to buy something for Loop kitchen-side cat, Zella, and a lighter for Loop kitchen.

Once we purchased our items, I told everyone that the map said there should be a mall around here so we set off on our way towards the mall.

On our way there, we passed by some very strange occurrences. There were other restaurants and stores in the vicinity such as a Chipotle, Five Guys, Uno’s, and grocery store. Firstly, the grocery store was extremely cheap. That wasn’t exactly spooky, it was just really bewildering to know that Cambridge and Boston was charging us at a near criminal rate. Awful. But, every single other restaurant we passed by, excluding Chick Fil A, was empty. No customers, no employees, nothing. Zero sign of life. It was as if the life force of this town was Chick Fil A alone. It was absolutely bizarre.

“The only thing that would really make this funnier is if we saw some like really offpace shit like an abandoned creepy hospital or something,” one of us had commented earlier in the day when we started to notice how strange Dedham was.

Well, we kept walking and lo and behold there was this pretty unfortunate prison-like hospital next to what seemed like an abandoned factory that was gated off. Go figure.

We took some pictures and was just utterly amazed by how everything seemed to perfectly mimic this horror movie scenario, before continuing to walk to the mall.

Except we never found a true mall.

Dedham’s definition of a mall is a Lowe’s, DSW, GameStop, and Old Navy all placed next to each other. Spoiler alert: this is not a mall. After futzing around and browsing Old Navy, we ultimately decided it’d be best to go to a real mall, so we Lyfted back to Cambridgeside Mall and did some shopping in H&M before heading home. As soon as I got back to Random I ran to Kita and Caela’s DT practice (yes!!! I’m in a dance group WOWOOAHOHWOAHOW!!!!)

So yes, this was my much needed day off. Am I horribly behind on work? Yes. Do I regret this excursion? Absolutely not.

We’ve now sworn it to be our President’s Day tradition – a nice outing to the forever cursed town that is Dedham, MA for some good, good chicken. Hopefully next time all of CRABMEATS can come!

Enjoy some photos from the day.

 

  1. Her vegetarian streak. back to text