Image Source: Brian Ulrich
The autopsy reports never made it into the paper, so nobody knew exactly how a 5 ½ ft. tall, insanely heavy bucket of KFC came to rest on a weed-strewn sidewalk far from its sign pole. But since there weren’t any jobs in or under the bucket, nobody cared much, either. It was a curiosity for a while; something to speculate about while walking quickly to somewhere else. After a while it became a non-sequitur part of the landscape: Pop-art without the art, or the pop.
For Judd and Sonia, it was a place to make out on their way to or from drinking until her parents got home from work. And on the Valentine’s Day of their junior year, it became the spot where they officially became a couple.
Judd was a nervous wreck all day as he held the promise ring he swiped from Spencer’s in his sweaty palm. He knew everything would go well, but he just wanted to get the romance out of the way so they could get back to messing around, as a for-real couple. He practiced his lines internally all day during class. Finally school let out.
Judd and Sonia met up and started along the path to her house. When they got to the bucket, he pulled them over.
“Um…uh, Sonia?” Judd said. “Uh…there’s something I’ve wa..wanted to ask you.”
Sonia gasped, feeling the air rush out of her stomach. Judd got down on his right knee and pulled out the ring.
“I was wondering if…if you’d….y’know…go out with m-me?” Judd said, sliding the ring on with his shaking, boiling hand.
“Of course!” Sonia said. She pulled Judd up off the sidewalk, shoved him against the old rotating chicken bucket and planted a kiss on her new man that shook rust flakes off the lid. After she let Judd surface for air, Sonia gave Judd her class ring, which he put on his necklace. He then pulled out a slightly melted Hershey’s Kiss and gave it to his new girl. Formalities out of the way, they continued to her house, stopping off at Durgin’s Market first to swipe a few 40s.
Romantic? Not really. But romance is what you make of it, and the KFC bucket proved to be just romantic enough. It was not in the city plan, and it wasn’t around long enough to be a permanent installment. But for a few weeks one winter, a fallen piece of fast food advertising became a landmark along the path to young love.
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