Chick Fil-A Is Totally Cool With You Stealing Its Topiary Cow

This is the time of year when high school seniors around the country celebrate the end to a dozen years of education by pulling pranks. Usually, at least in the 1960s sitcom world in which I live, this results in a lot of grumbled “kids today”s and a spike in the general level of fist-shaking from local business owners. But a Chick Fil-A in Virginia seems intent on breaking that cycle, by embracing the theft of its topiary bovine by local teens.

According to what we can tell from the few e-mails we’ve received from some residents of Loudon County, VA, a handful of seniors at Loudon County High School thought it would be hilarious to swipe the cow-shaped plant from outside the Chick Fil-A and place it outside of the school.

But rather than freak out about it and start calling for curfews and ankle bracelets on everything under 25 years of age, the restaurant posted a photo of the prank on its Facebook page along with the note:

Those silly seniors! We’ll get them for this…they’ll be eating a chicken sandwich 3 times a day every day for the rest of their life!!!

And seeing an opportunity to turn the prank into positive PR, the Chick Fil-A in Leesburg sent out someone in cow costume to hug it out with the pranksters in front of the school.

The very cynical voice in the back of our heads — the one that smokes behind the gym during lunch and always has to be told to take off his sunglasses in class — is whispering that this could all be a publicity stunt cooked up well in advance of the prank. But we’re going to ignore him for right now.

Thanks to Shelagh, Robert and everyone else who sent in this tip!

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  1. Marlin says:

    Hope none of them are gay, Chickfila and its winshape gives millions to anti-gay nut ball groups.

    • gman863 says:

      Somebody needs to check to see if a glory hole was drilled in the cow statuue.

    • rlmiller007 says:

      So..then don’t eat there. They did the right thing in this case. Seems the story doesn’t mention any gay bashing. Stick to the topic we don’t need to see the gay agenda/ anti-gay agenda in everything.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        There’s that freedom of speech thing again, always rearing it’s ugly head when it supports something you don’t like. I don’t like your anti-pressing charges against thieving teenagers agenda, how about that?

        For the record, I no longer eat there, even though their original chicken is fucking delicious.

      • MMD says:

        Your refusal to see the big picture is part of the problem, and *exactly* why this angle needs to be brought up.

      • TacoDave says:

        I agree. If someone posted “I refuse to eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream because they are gay!” (which is something I’ve heard in real life) everyone would call them a bigot. You are free to dislike Chick-Fil-A because of the owners’ beliefs, but it actually makes you a bigot too. Lucky!

    • MutantMonkey says:

      Always worth mentioning in a Chickfila story. More people need to be aware of their bigotry.

      • alstein says:

        At least they don’t mistreat their workers- companies that go both ways instead of being hypocrites- I can tolerate that.

        That said, given their policies I’d rather eat at Zaxby’s.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Yeah. Annoying enough that they flap their religion around so much that they refuse to have their restaurants open on Sundays. That takes care of it for me right there.

      • Nasty Dan was a Nasty Man says:

        so the usps is flapping its religion around by being closed on sundays, too? sensitive much?

      • rmorin says:

        This is the dumbest argument I’ve heard against Chick-Fil-A. Out of all the stuff you could get on them about HOW DARE THEY NOT BE OPEN WHEN YOU WANT.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Actually it’s not that I *want* them to be open on Sundays. It’s that I *won*t do business with anyone so obviously lost in any given religion. It’s a matter of ethics…I’m always going to choose the lesser of available evils, based on whatever available information I have – and the deeper you are into religion, the lower you are on that totem pole.

          • rmorin says:

            So they would be more tolerant and less “lost in their religion” in your mind if they were open on Sundays?

            And by the way heaven forbid that fast food workers, that work whenever-I-tell-you-to hours be able to count on having a specific day off each week.

            • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

              There’s nothing sacred or holy about saturday and sunday that makes them an all-or-nothing. If you’re working in an industry that people expect to be available during normal meal times, then expect to be open and working on the weekends. They can still get their two days off, just make it Tu/We or Th/Fr or any other combination of two days.

              • TacoDave says:

                They are closed on Sunday to allow their staff members to attend church. It’s a nice sentiment.

      • Necoras says:

        They’re a privately owned business, and it’s their right to be influenced by religion. You’re welcome to disagree with their views/actions.

        However, I doubt you’d be angry with them if they were giving away free food to local food banks based on religious convictions.

      • axhandler1 says:

        Lol, all businesses except grocery stores are closed on Sunday in my town. Blue laws are so stupid.

    • JennQPublic says:

      Chow down at Chik-fil-A, even if you’re gay…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sO-msplukrw

    • dush says:

      So you actually hope people aren’t gay?

    • Bsamm09 says:

      i don’t care if they support Nazi baby seal clubbers, I love their food and crave it non stop. Damn…now I’m craving some Chik-fil-a sauce.

    • DragonThermo says:

      I think Marlin needs counseling if the first thought in their head is “hope none of them are gay” and then goes on an intolerant rant.

  2. gman863 says:

    Cute.

    My high school was notorious for swiping hundreds of Realtor “For Sale” signs and placing them in the front of the high school (it was a private high school and – since many of the top Realtor’s kids attended the school and often participated in the senior prank – the criminal aspect of it was ignored).

    As for Chick-Fil-A stanging this in advance, who knows? I’d place the odds at about 50/50. Either way, it was a classy way of handling the prank and likely generated hundreds of new Chick-Fil-A fans for life.

  3. rlmiller007 says:

    Finally someone with their head out of their ass. Unlike the bozos that suspended the kids for wallpapering the school with post its. If I lived there I’d go eat right now at their place!

  4. SBR249 says:

    damn it…now I want chick-fil-a…

    • milk says:

      At least it’s not Sunday. I always seem to want it on Sundays.

      • nugatory says:

        Thats how it works for me. Thai place is closed on Tuesdays. I always want Thai on Tuesdays. Greek is closed on Mondays, guess when I want greek food the most…..

        • One-Eyed Jack says:

          Our local drive-in burger joint was closed on Tuesdays. Always craved a burger on Tuesdays!!

      • webweazel says:

        Agreed.

        “Hmmm, A Chick-fil-A and a lemonade sure sounds good right about now.” –pull in–why is this place so empty? Ohhhhhhh….damn.

        Did you ever notice that it is the only place on the planet that the lemonade goes great with the chocolate brownie? Chocolate and lemonade does NOT get along whatsoever taste-wise, it could actually cause your lips to fall off, but there it just works for some reason. Weird.

    • keen314 says:

      damn it… now I want gay people to be legally married.

  5. crispyduck13 says:

    The jokes really just write themselves here.

    “But a Chick Fil-A in Virginia seems intent on breaking that cycle, by embracing the theft of its topiary bovine by local teens.”

    As long as said teens were straight.

    “Those silly seniors! We’ll get them for this…they’ll be eating a chicken sandwich 3 times a day every day for the rest of their life!!!”

    Which won’t be very long with a diet like that.

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    “And seeing an opportunity to turn the prank into positive PR, the Chick Fil-A in Leesburg sent out someone in cow costume to hug it out with the pranksters in front of the school.”

    After the photo shoot, the students were promptly arrested.

  7. tz says:

    Textured vegetable protein (and other matter). On sabbatical.

  8. Cacao says:
  9. webweazel says:

    I had a friend who worked at a Little Caesars Pizza place a long long time ago. Some kids came into the store and ripped the huge pizzapizza guy right off the wall. I guess they took him around to keggers or something, but the store eventually got him back in perfect condition. Then they rammed in some nice long wood screws to stick him back onto the wall. That musta hurt.

  10. Hungry Dog says:

    I wonder how long that shrubbery will maintain its cow form before the school lets it turn into a plain old shrubbery.

  11. framitz says:

    “Those silly seniors! We’ll get them for this…they’ll be eating a chicken sandwich 3 times a day every day for the rest of their life!!!
    ””
    The punishment is inhumane I tell ya.

  12. Rachacha says:

    This was a better reaction than the story my wife has of her senior prank. For her senior prank, several girls got together and purchased a bunch of flowers, went on to the school grounds at night and planted the flowers in an unused garden in the shape of the graduation year. When they came in the next morning the custodial staff had ripped out the flowers and left them unplanted in the garden. Luckily the principal recognized that the “prank” did not cause any one harm, and did not damage school property, and was an expression of class spirit, so he went to the garden center himself to purchase new flowers and had them replanted.

  13. Not Given says:

    During a bus tour of Boston, we were told that a giant teddy bear statue was bolted to the sidewalk to keep the MIT students from stealing it.

    • Rachacha says:

      Not sure what good that would do. I am sure that MIT engineering students would be able to figure out how to loosen a few bolts.

  14. brch2 says:

    I’ll admit, my first thought, before getting to the line at the end of the story sharing my suspicion, is ‘prearranged publicity stunt’. If so, then kudos to Chick-Fil-A for the idea.

    But, another part of me believes this is real. Seniors pull publicity stunts every year… I’d like to think that the group wouldn’t cheapen a prank by working it out with the people ‘affected’ by it. And this seems like something ‘good’ seniors would do, take something from somewhere that will surprise people when it’s done, but that doesn’t harm anyone and can easily be returned without costing anyone anything. And assuming this is a legit prank… major kudos to Chick-Fil-A for going along with the spirit of it. This is how a company SHOULD act towards something like this. They knew they weren’t harmed, and didn’t threaten to have anyone arrested or sue them. Instead, they saw this as a marketing opportunity… “Hey look at us, we’re cool, we are fully behind these Seniors going through a long standing ritual that didn’t harm us in any way”. This way, everyone won. So other companies out there… pay attention. Don’t attack the little guy if they do something harmless to you, and use things like this as a chance for positive (and extremely inexpensive) publicity.

  15. Gladeye says:

    They’ll embrace thieves but won’t tolerate homosexuals. Assholes.

  16. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Awesome! I still won’t buy so much as a lemonade from them though b/c of their anti-gay stance.

  17. cromartie says:

    The best high school prank of all time took place in Toledo, Ohio a number of years ago.

    A group of seniors kidnapped a Big Boy statue and sent the restaurant a ransom note. They claimed to be from a group called ‘Pimps for Pimpliness’, and they threatened to send Big Boy back piece by piece unless the Senior class got free french fries for the rest of their lives. They enclosed one of Big Boy’s feet in the package they sent to the restaurant manager.

    Unfortunately, the parents of the kids involved had to pay the restaurant for damage to the Big Boy statue. Still, my hat’s off to them.
    ***
    My hometown has a statue of General Custer. The annual class tradition for many years was to paint the testicles of the horse the school colors. That didn’t go over so well.

  18. Shouhdes says:

    The reason the chicken taste so good is because they only allow straight chickens to marry. Maintaining the sanctity of Chicken Marriage has resulted in happier chickens who each have offspring, because that is the point of marriage, so they food incentives given by the Chicken Farmers to the Married Chickens help them produce fatter, tastier, less gay chickens to feed to us Straight Customers.

    I don’t know how anyone could disagree with that.

    Unless they are gay. But god says gay people don’t get an opinion. It’s in the bible. Look it up.

    • The Cosmic Avenger says:

      Actually, the chickens are much less happy, but they are holy and blessed chickens.

    • theblackdog says:

      In the rare event that a married chicken couple produces gay offspring, all are slaughtered and turned into the grilled chicken that only goes on salads or in wraps. After all, God told S. Truett Cathy that only straight chickens could be fried in the sacred peanut oil, and only gay people buy and eat veggies on their chicken.

      The real red-blooded Patriotic God Fearing American way to eat chicken is deep fried in peanut oil and on a buttered bun with some pickles, YEE HAW GOD BLESS STRAIGHT AMERICA Y’ALL!

  19. Schildkrote says:

    If their anti-gay stance didn’t put me off, the fact that the food Chick Fil A serves is fast food and is therefore blatantly and disgustingly unhealthy would.

  20. lemortede says:

    You must bring us a Shrubbery!

  21. sumocat says:

    Nothing says fun like rich white kids planting corporate advertising in front of their school. BTW, it’s Loudoun County.

    • VintageLydia says:

      I wanted to say something similar. Most kids at that school are from extremely well off families. In another school, same prank, same Chick-Fil-A, the consequences would’ve been much different.

  22. suez says:

    They have the right to exercise their religion, even if it means funding hate groups, and I have the right to never give them a penny of business.

  23. katastrophreak says:

    There’s actually a school very near to where this happened that is called “Cow (Pi) High”. Not surprising that this happened.

    Chick-fil-A also holds a lot of fundraisers for the local schools.

  24. DragonThermo says:

    I like the idea of putting GPS ankle bracelets on everyone under 25.

    Heck, I’d settle for GPS ankle bracelets on every male under 25. We’d be able to keep track of street gangs easier.