With all of the recent news surrounding the Chick-fil-A gay marriage fiasco, we thought it might be a good time to introduce one of our fictional synesthetes. Like many subjects, SM came to our site after Googling about synesthesia research. SM recently become aware she is a synesthete when she started talking with others about Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage. It was during a conversation with her friend that SM realized she is a sandwich-to-sexuality synesthete. That is, she associates a particular sexual lifestyle with each type of Chick-fil-A sandwich. Since SM is a projector, she actually sees the sandwiches practicing their lifestyles out in space. For SM, the Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich is a lonely housewife who’s always regretted not letting her relationship blossom with her college roommate. The Chick-fil-A Deluxe Chicken Sandwich, the most popular among men ages 18-35, is a lipstick lesbian, while the Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich is just a plain bisexual. But perhaps the most interesting of all associations is that the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich and the Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich are both gay and happily married. “I just can’t shake this image from my mind. They seem so normal and happy. That’s how I knew my synesthetic experience wasn’t veridical. Chick-fil-A would never make a sandwich like that.” SM says the sandwiches can’t help their sexuality—they were just created that way. And each sandwich is interesting. What would a menu be like with only one sandwich? SM associates sexuality not only with sandwiches, but also with a few other menu items. For example, the Chick-fil-A Nuggets do not yet have a sexual orientation but the bigger Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips seem to. For them, the associations sometimes change. The only monogamous straight individual on the menu is the Chargrilled & Fruit Salad. SM speculates as to why the salad is the straight one, “Salads think that because they’re mixtures of vegetables, they’re the healthy ones, but we all know that is often untrue. They’re always looking for something more. Once you add a little meat here, a little dressing there, salads can be just as unhealthy as sandwiches.” And don’t turn your back on the fries—they are the polyamorous ones, “I’ve never understood why the most popular item on every menu is always categorized as a ‘side’, says SM.” Some researchers believe that synesthesia is the brain’s way of dealing with difficult cognitive tasks. For example, grapheme-color synesthesia might be the brain’s way of learning written language. We believe the case is similar with SM. The Chick-fil-A menu is much like the alphabet—just like there are many letters that allow for the generation of tens of thousands of words, there are many possible combinations of menu items...Read More
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