"I can't get happy": Tennessee man sues Popeyes for ... running out of new chicken sandwich

The company put him up to this, right? It’s a perfect PR stunt to build on the already insane amount of buzz for the product. “It’s so good we might owe you damages if we can’t sell it to you.”

Next week some undercover PR flack will hold up a Popeyes at gunpoint and demand that he be provided with 50 chicken sandwiches immediately or he’ll start executing one hostage every hour on the hour.

Since we’re on the subject of Popeyes and lawsuits, let this post serve as formal notice that I intend to sue everyone for fraud once I inevitably try this thing and it’s 10 percent as good as it was cracked up to be.

Craig Barr’s suit accuses the company of false advertising, deceptive business practices and causing him to waste “countless time driving” to and from local chains to find the sandwich.

Barr, of East Ridge, also claims he was hustled out of $25 by a man who posted a Craigslist ad claiming he could get sandwiches a restaurant was hiding in the back, suffered rim and tire damage while driving from location to location, and was humiliated when his friends laughed at him.

“I can’t get happy; I have this sandwich on my mind. I can’t think straight,” he told the Times Free Press on Thursday. “It just consumes you.”…

“It’s totally deceptive. Who runs out of chicken? It’s a big fiasco. Someone has to stand up to big corporate,” said an agitated Barr. “Everyone is captivated by these sandwiches. They’ve got everyone gassed up on them.”

Godspeed in your lonely fight against Big Chicken, Mr. Barr. Legal eagles, how much might he conceivably recover from Popeyes once news of his suit spreads and suddenly everyone is laughing at him, not just his friends?

What makes the Popeyes chicken slop better than the other chicken slop out there? The Journal tried to explain in a new story about the “chicken sandwich war” that’s erupted among Popeyes, KFC, Wendy’s, and Chick-fil-A:

Chefs in its Miami test kitchen developed a new buttermilk batter. They tracked down special flour to create its crunchy texture, according to Popeyes. The same buttery topping used for biscuits was applied to its bun.

The company had barrel-cured pickles cut thicker than those in many other chicken sandwiches, Popeyes said.

Then they stirred an aggressive social-media campaign into the mix, tweeting back at posts from Chick-fil-A. The result was diners lining up for blocks at some Popeye’s restaurants.

There’s some sort of spicy spread on there too, I believe. Supposedly it took two years to perfect the recipe; while Popeyes was busy with that, KFC was busy working on, ah, meatless chicken, in case there’s any doubt who’s going to end up winning this war.

The hype, replete with videos on YouTube of people literally fighting over the sandwich in Popeyes chains, has reportedly been worth $65 million in media value to the company. Normally you don’t see outsized buzz for a mediocre product on that scale outside of a new “Star Wars” movie. Anyone who tried it before it sold out is welcome to try to convince me in the comments that it’s worth waiting on line for. I won’t believe you, but don’t let that stop you from making the effort.

Here’s my favorite moment of the craze to date. What if the sandwich is the key to racial reconciliation in America?