Sanity was restored when an OAP who got a £100 fine for spending too long at a post-Covid KFC catch up with mates finally saw his ticket cancelled after much public outcry.
Tony Long, 77, and wife Pauline spent a couple of hours with mates Roy and Lillian "for the first time in months", they told BirminghamLive.
But the September 10 trip to the Princess Alice Retail Park near Sutton Coldfield proved pricey as Tony was slapped with a £100 fine, having exceeded the strict one-hour parking limit by three-quarters of an hour.
Yet the car park was empty when they arrived at 12.30pm and not much busier when they left around 2.15pm, they said.
And the pensioner couple did spend almost £13 on two two-piece chicken meals with fries, beans and Cokes, the couple hastened to add.
Thankfully KFC has seen sense and cancelled the fine, promising to make things better with aggrieved Tony and Pauline.
A spokesperson for the fast food giant said they were honoured Tony and Pauline chose their restaurant to catch up with Roy and Lillian.
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They said: "To keep our car parks running smoothly, many of them do have limits in place – which is usually okay, as our fans don't tend to stay with us quite as long as Anthony did.
"Nonetheless, we're really flattered that he chose us for his reunion with friends, so we've cancelled the ticket and our Care Squad are getting in touch to make things right."
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Tony had lambasted KFC for punishing much-needed social interaction after a long global pandemic in which elderly people have suffered so much.
He explained: “After this pandemic where everybody has been shut up and then you get stung with a £100 fine."
"We had been catching up after Covid and we have always been very close the four of us.
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“We were the only people in the restaurant and the car park was empty. We hadn’t seen them for four months."
Outraged online comments threatened a KFC boycott, possibly encouraging the fried chicken specialists to U-turn.
User Drinky wrote: "I will not be using that car park or the shops if they don’t know how to treat their customers and the time to do things they need".
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