Bucket Love

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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  1. It’s the little things that stand out…

    • And I STILL crave Chicken Littles, 20 years after KFC stopped selling them!

      • I go to KFC about twice a year. I guess because it takes me about 6 months to forget how bad it was the last times…
        Yes, I have scraped up and eaten some of the foam container the mashed potatoes were in and not realized it, except from the texture…

      • The best part about KFC is Taco Hell.

  2. Nothing says ‘I Love You’ quite like deep fried poultry.

    Very clever story!

    • “Nothing says ‘I Love You’ quite like deep fried poultry.”

      That is the greatest VD card I’ve ever not seen on the shelves, Alex. Bravo!

  3. morezennow said:

    Happy Artery Clogged Heart Day, Brian! I’m off to snog under the salad bar…xoxo!

    • Just don’t snart while you’re down there!

  4. Alex @ Raw Recovery said:

    Cute story. I guess everyone is celebrating today differently. For me it’s single’s awareness day but also a milestone in my recovery. Love is just funny sometimes, even in fiction. Have a good one!

    • Live it out loud, Alex!

  5. Great story and image. Made me smile as I spooned Haagen-Daaz into my mouth and wondered why I am even alive. I detest this date. So many thanks for the smile.
    ~Hiding in the Darkness with Chocolate and the cat.
    addendum: hmmm this doesn’t bode well. I will NOT be the crazy cat lady…taking the occasional excursions for artery clogging fried chicken. -stomps foot-

    Many thanks for the V Day grin

    • As Lucy Van Pelt would say of Valentine’s Day, it’s run by a big Eastern syndicate, you know…

      Enjoy your VD, crazy cat lady.

  6. You have a gift. I love the image. So original.
    Enjoy your Valentine’s day!

    • Thanks so much! I’m so glad you stopped in!

  7. Did the image inspire the story? So completely unique – love those little slice of life stories.

    • Definitely image first on this one. 😉

  8. Is that picture for real??!! Hilarious!!!!

    • Crazy, right?! Click through to the photographer’s site. His specialty is abandoned stores and malls. Haunting stuff.

  9. Fine work as usual. Love the image and imagery too. I suffer from KFC amnesia meaning that I always forget how violently ill it makes me until its too late. The KFC in Ecuador, for some reason, is amazing though.

    • Everything’s better in Ecuador…

      • It’s true including hummingbirds and cocaine.

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