The commercials for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen are all basically the same. The woman pictured above, the Popeyes Lady, introduces a problem or folksy story, explains the values of good old-fashioned Louisiana home cooking, then introduces her new product. Sometimes she introduces familiar products in a new box. There are slight variations. The constants here are delicious Popeyes food products and Popeyes Lady referring to all the products as “hers,” usually while wearing an apron, all of which seems to imply that she’s out there cooking all that chicken.
Well, I’ve got news for you: There’s no way the Popeyes Lady is cooking all that chicken.
Think about it. When would she even have the time? According to Popeyes’ own figures, there are more than 2,000 locations around the world right now, most of them open from 10:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. That’s something like 23,000 hours of chicken cooking every day. She’d be exhausted! And that doesn’t even factor in the travel time from restaurant to restaurant. No, there’s no way she’s showing up at each individual franchise and cooking all that chicken. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s just no way she could do it. I’ve done the math and the most she could handle is about 750 restaurants, tops.
Now, I hear you. You’re saying, “Sure, of course she doesn’t travel all over the world preparing each order face-to-face with the customers. Of course not. That’s just insane. But couldn’t she be operating out of some empty airplane hangar on the bayou that has industrial machinery that allows her to season and fry 200,000 chickens at a time and then rush them onto a fleet of heated private Concordes emblazoned with her smiling face, which will release the packages over each franchise via air drop with parachute?”
Certainly a fair point, and a reasonable suggestion, if not for one small fact: The Concorde was retired in 2003, meaning they’d probably have to settle for 747s, which travel only 560 mph to the Concorde’s 1,350 mph. The chicken will get cold at those glacial speeds. Impossible.
But, again, I hear you. Now you’re saying, “Fine, so no mass-production fried chicken hangar with a steady stream of supersonic jets taxiing in front of it. Fine. But what if there’s, like, more than one Popeye’s Lady? What if there are thousands of clones stationed around the world? Or what if it’s like that Jet Li movie The One where the evil Jet Li has traveled through all the alternate dimensions to kill the other Jet Lis with the goal of acquiring all their power, only to be thwarted by the good Jet Li in our universe — who has also acquired the superhuman abilities, as each progressive deceased Jet Lis’ life force has been split up through the surviving ones — who saves the world and Carla Gugino in a dramatic martial arts battle in an industrial plant? What if she did that, defeated all the other Popeyes Ladies to consolidate their power? Then she could do it, right?”
Again, a fair and reasonable thought. But, addressing your suggestions in turn: One: If there were thousands of Popeyes Ladies all over the world, you would have probably seen one by now. Have you seen a Popeyes Lady cooking in a Popeyes? I bet you haven’t. Plus, if the Michael Keaton documentary Multiplicity has taught us anything, it’s that clones lose functionality the further along you get in the process. Too risky with that much hot oil around.
And two, yes, perhaps a superhuman Popeyes Lady who acquired the skills and power of her multidimensional counterparts by traveling to their dimensions and murdering them could service 2,000 restaurants a day, but I feel like it would be news once someone realizes that the Popeyes Lady is an all-powerful mutant capable of superhuman speed and feats of otherwordly strength. Like, TMZ would have footage of it from some dude’s cellphone. We’d know, is my point.
No, the only explanation I’m willing to entertain here is that she possesses Santa-like abilities to stop time while traveling the world. Santa visits hundreds of millions of homes in one night every year. If he can do that, cooking some chicken at 2,000 fast food restaurants should be a snap. And it would explain why no one ever sees her. It all seems so possible… until you realize that Santa only has to do it one night a year, and the Popeyes Lady would have to do it every single day for the rest of her life. That’s no way to live. I refuse to believe she’d do that to herself.
And so, I repeat: There’s no way the Popeyes Lady is cooking all that chicken.