A Moment of Patriotism

America is the greatest country in the world:

Abdul Haye, the self-styled Colonel Sanders of New York's Afghan community, has declared a fried chicken war. He has armed himself with an unwritten secret recipe that he claims allows him to fry the best bird in town. His main weapon, he says, is ownership of the trademark for the Kennedy Fried Chicken brand, which has spawned hundreds of imitators as far south as Georgia, and has become to oily drumsticks what the ubiquitous Ray's name once was to New York pizza. 

That Kennedy, named after the former president, was itself a deliberate imitation of Kentucky Fried Chicken, down to those familiar initials -- and that it had its own trademark battle a generation ago -- seems to make little difference to Mr. Haye, 38. A wired and wiry resident of Whitestone, Queens, he began working as a chicken fryer when he was 17, soon after he immigrated in 1989, and describes his rivals with ire similar to that he reserves for the Taliban.

"I'm declaring war against all the Afghans in New York who have stolen my name and my idea," Mr. Haye said the other day at one of his five chicken outlets, showing off the trademark certificate that the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington had awarded him in 2005. 

He waved a thick stack of some of the 300 registered letters he began to mail last week to Kennedy outlets across the country, insisting that they pay him a monthly franchise fee, or face legal action. "Their poor-quality chicken is going to kill my reputation," Mr. Haye complained. "I am the only real Kennedy!"

Afghans warring over the right to put an Irish name on their fried chicken. "I am real Kennedy!" In the words of Jane Austen, that is capital.

Being from Baltimore, I'm partial to Hip-Hop Fish and Chicken. Though truth be told, nobody's effing with Harold's.