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WAKE UP, AMERICA. Russian takeover plot underfoot.

Russians trying to derail our political system from

inside the White House?

Who knows?

Russian's trying to derail every other aspect of American life?

We don't need an investigation for that one.

It's as clear as the cap on your head or the plastic shoes on your feet that there is presently a nefarious plot to undermine American life.

GQ magazine, a style bible for many fashion-conscious men, recently ran a story advising American men - sit down for this one, style guru Lloyd Boston - that it is now acceptable to wear baseball caps with suits.

No, it isn't, and Cary Grant is spinning in his grave - wearing, no doubt, an impeccably tailored, medium grey Glen check suit - at the mere suggestion. Only a commie conspiracy intent upon destroying the moral - not to mention sartorial - fabric of our nation would even suggest such an act of heresy.

Everyone is prone to fashion missteps: in 1975 I proudly wore a pair of Earth Shoes, and who can forget my disco-era lime-green, crushed velvet jumpsuit?

(I can't, despite trying.)

Equally indicative of a plot to throw our country into chaos are recent "news" stories saying that wearing Crocs is now a fashion statement.

What a crock. If anything, wearing Crocs is an admission both that you have neither fashion nor a statement to make. Not that there's anything wrong with that. One can wear Crocs and still be completely comfortable and heroically oblivious to fashion, but you can't wear Crocs and be fashionable.

Sure, Yahoo! Finance reported that Croc's stock value, driven by inexplicable demand from U.S. teens, is soaring, but some point out that's because the company shifted production to Vietnam, where the clogs are made, presumably, for a nickel.

Also, at a time when many restaurants are banishing plastic straws because of their deleterious impact on the environment, how can one justify wearing those earth-eating monstrosities?

Speaking of restaurants, perhaps the clearest evidence that the Russians are intent upon tanking our GDP is the news that KFC is now selling chicken & waffles.

Not to me, they aren't.

No one could ever call me a snob who thinks he's too good for KFC: I'm a longtime consumer and defender of its product, like the time my Atlanta Constitution colleagues were debating what to have for dinner and I - an award-winning obituary writer - chimed in "You can get nine pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken for $4.99," and a snobbish Phi Beta Kappa key-wearing reporter colleague retorted dismissively "Yeah, but you also get Kentucky Fried Chicken."

I don't think I ever spoke to him again.

The first time I stood in line to get into a restaurant was before there was an Internet, when some buddies and I in Los Angeles caught a cab to Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles. You can't go to Los Angeles without going to Roscoe's, everyone - I mean everyone - told me.

The last time I stood in line to get into a restaurant was - oh, months ago. That was to get into Dame's Chicken & Waffles when it was open in downtown Durham.

Tl,dr: I love chicken & waffles and can't countenance the idea of anyone's first encounter with that soul food classic being at KFC.

C'mon, Col. Stay in your lane.

How, you ask, can KFC offering chicken & waffles with syrup on the side be part of a commie plot to undermine our economy?

Here's how: Remember the last time you ate that fourth pancake for breakfast? You were pretty much waving the white flag and announcing to the world and to yourself that you weren't planning to get off the sofa that day.

It's the same way when you eat real chicken & waffles: productivity becomes problematic.

Who besides me senses Putin's hand in KFC's decision earlier this year to cease selling grilled chicken - which was about as tasty as an umbrella but at least was healthy - and replace it with chicken & waffles drenched in syrup?

Nikita Khrushchev said 62 years ago this month that Russia would destroy the U.S. from within. If American men buy into the notion that they can fashionably wear baseball caps with suits, wear Crocs in anything but an ironic manner - as in "look at me: I'm so cool I don't even have to try to be cool" - or that one can get good chicken & waffles at KFC, the Russkies have won and it's just a matter of time before we'll all be greeting each other with Dos vedanya, comrade."

And "Can I have another one of those little thingys of Mrs. Butterworth's?""




Meet Barry Saunders

For over 20 years, Barry was a columnist for The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. He also wrote for other publications, such as the Atlanta Constitution and the Richmond County Daily Journal. Often described as powerfully honest and illustratively funny, Barry's writing is both loved and hated by readers- sometimes simultaneously.  


Want more? Get your own copy of one of Barry's published books featuring reader favorites (and not so favorites) from his years writing columns for The News & Observer. Titled "Do Unto Others...And then Run" and "...And The Horse You Rode In On Saunders!", they're full of guaranteed entertainment. 


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