It’s gotten a little crazy, hasn’t it, folks?

The Popeyes chicken sandwich has become a thing, and by “a thing,” I mean — it’s a thing. People are fighting over it. Killing each other over it. Even worse — waiting in line for an hour for it.

The sandwich — launched earlier this year and returning last week after a brief hiatus — has been declared the best thing the fast food industry has to offer.

And with Sanford set to get a Popeyes in the not-so-distant future (despite rumors, we have no tangible evidence to believe this news has changed), we felt it was our obligation as Sanford citizens and warm-blooded Americans to venture out and try this sandwich ourselves and report on our findings.

Is it really the best fast food sandwich out there? Does it really blow Chick-fil-A out of the water? Is it worth waiting in line? Is it worth losing your life over?

The short answer is: Yes. Except for the death part … that’s certainly debatable.

I was — as I am with many things — skeptical when I pulled up to the Popeye’s on Old Stage Road in southern Wake County at 10 a.m. recently. Despite it being nowhere near lunch time, I was still fifth in line at the drive-through. Still, I ordered my sandwich with zero hassle and nary a broken bone.

And I unwrapped it already with the mindset that I was going to be disappointed.

But then I took a bite. The disappointment grew wings and flew far away. It was replaced by golden flaky goodness, a chicken breast so juicy I didn’t need a drink, warm bread that served its purpose but didn’t get in the way and the perfect pickle/mayonnaise ratio that I only assume took three years to develop.

It was fantastic. The idea that I was going to take notes and tear this thing apart was replaced by animal instinct, and I ate the thing in about three minutes. The previous paragraph is about all I could remember from the experience.

So, yes. It’s a damned good sandwich, as far as fast food chicken sandwiches go (and I’m a fan of many of those). PDQ does a great chicken sandwich. Chick-fil-A can, at times, make a great chicken sandwich. Neither are on this level.

And at $6 for a combo, it’s not a bad deal either.

I’m sure the long lines and the fighting will eventually fade, but Popeyes has just about made the perfect fast food chicken sandwich (understand, “fast food” is a necessary qualifier here … there are better chicken sandwiches out there, I’m sure).

So go early and get one. Or wait until Sanford joins the party (if it does), and get one then.

GRADE: 🐔🐔🐔🐔🐔🐔 (out of 5)

— By Billy Liggett