We give the Popeye’s chicken sandwich at the Pentagon two knife hands up

A chicken sandwich is seen at a Popeyes as guests wait in line, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Kyle, Texas. (Associated Press/Eric Gay)

POPEYES, The Pentagon — The darkness that descended on this world when Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen announced they were sold out of their new, beloved chicken sandwich is comparable to biblical times.

It was nothing short of a miracle when Popeyes announced that the sandwich would be back on Nov. 3 — a Sunday no less, when their chicken competitor Chik-fil-A is closed. An absolutely brutal play on their part.

So on Monday, I shouldn't have been surprised as I stood at Starbucks and looked to my right to find a crowd — nay, a horde of Pentagon employees, standing at the Popeyes at the end of the food court.

It was 10:30am.

"Fools!" I chuckled to myself, paying over $5 for coffee. "So desperate for an average chicken sandwich that they'd get in line this early. Couldn't they wait until lunch?"

But reader, they couldn't — a fact that they knew to be true, and that I so obtusely overlooked. At some point the Pentagon's Popeyes ran dry of the coveted chicken sandwich, and though they restocked in the afternoon, by the time I was there an hour later they had already sold out once again.

I will never forgive the man I saw ahead of me leave with four sandwiches.

I should not have been surprised, as my colleague Jeff Schogol chronicled the first wave of Popeyes Mayhem at the Pentagon in August, when within days sandwiches were harder to find than morale. This crushing defeat was mine and mine alone to own.

So today when another Pentagon reporter remarked that he had just secured the sandwich apparently so good that a man in Maryland was fatally stabbed while fighting over one, I grabbed a friend as equally dedicated to the cause and we rushed downstairs like Black Friday shoppers trying to get to the last plasma screen TV, praying that we were not about to be turned away for the second time.

There were several people milling about; I wasn't sure if this meant they were waiting for their own meals, or that they were in the beginning stages of a coup. The area seemed relatively calm, but I didn't trust it. For all I knew, a storm was brewing.

As we walked to the cash register, another customer was handed a sack full of what had to have been at least 15 sandwiches. I wanted to ask what senior leader's office that bag was heading for, but time was of the essence.

I reached the register and hesitantly asked, "Do you still have the sandwich?"

"Yes," the woman replied wearily, seemingly unaware of the significance of the word she'd just spoken. I couldn't help but wonder what shit she'd seen since the entire country lost their ever-loving minds in the name of fast-food chicken.

And so within minutes, my colleague and I returned to the safety of the press bullpen with a spicy chicken sandwich and fries (lest we forget the superiority of Popeyes' fries, some of the best in the business).

Reader, I don't often admit that people online were right. Mostly because they aren't, if we're being honest. But here I am admitting it — you were all right. This sandwich is extremely good. This sandwich was worth the hullabaloo.

I want to make one thing very, very clear: it does not compare to the Whataburger Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich, which holds flavor not of this world. But the Popeyes sandwich is very good.

As my friend Jack Detsch from Al-Monitor put it: "I don't know what I enjoyed more, the crispy chicken or the buttery bun."

Who's to say? Every aspect of this sandwich was incredible. Let's not box ourselves in by choosing just one favorite part. It's nothing like the Chik-fil-A sandwich, which — and I hesitate to say this because Chik-fil-A is one of the great loves of my life — I've found to be...a little flat. But this sandwich stands tall, and the crunch made my heart skip a beat.

It may also make my heart skip a beat or 10 later as my arteries begin slamming shut, but these are risks I'm willing to take.

On one level it pains me to write this because you, dear readers who are stationed outside the U.S., do not yet have this sandwich within your reach. And for that, I weep. But it brings me joy to know that this sandwich, with its generously-sized, perfectly-breaded chicken breast; thick, firm pickles; and soft, elegant bun eagerly awaits your return.

As for me, I may or may not go back again later this week. But that's none of your business.

In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.

The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.

Read More Show Less

An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.

This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.

Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".

In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"

Read More Show Less

It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.

But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.

Read More Show Less

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.

A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.

Read More Show Less