Kern’s Corner: Islam and chips

I went into KFC the other day with one of my oldest friends who happens to be
mixed race. He’s got about four different ethnic backgrounds so I guess has a
complexion that could be described as “otherly” if viewed through the lense of
white Britishness.

And there was a young lad behind the counter – a young British asian lad – and
he completely ignored me and looked straight at my friend and said, “Mate, are
you a Muslim”

Now my friend – he’s not a Muslim – he’s an atheist.

And of course Islam is nothing to do with skin colour or race – it’s just a set of
ideas.

So my friend said “No.”

And the guy behind the counter shook his head and said, “That’s a shame, cos if
you was a Muslim every time you come in here? I’d give you free chips…”

“Seriously bruv – free chips…”

Now there were two things that struck me about this interaction:

One – it made me realise how ambiguous my friend’s face was that people could
project whatever they wanted onto it.

Two – here was a guy working in KFC whose faith in the fundamental teachings of his own prophet was so low that he believed the only way he could win someone over and get them to embrace one of the world’s great monotheistic religions – was with the offer of some free chips. The offer of salvation is not enough – but some free KFC chips will tip the balance.

Anyway, we both converted to Islam and we’ve been getting free chips.

Up until a couple of weeks ago when a little Sikh guy took over.

LEE KERN
Lee is a writer and comedian.

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Read last week’s column about the issue of a female Doctor Who.

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