With 40 Rotisserie Chickens, He Becomes a Philly Legend

Alexander Tominsky wanted to bring joy to others, and 40 rotisserie chickens did exactly that
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2022 1:28 PM CST

As pro sports go, Philadelphia had a rough weekend, with teams on Saturday losing both the World Series and the Major League Soccer Cup within a few hours of each other. But the city caught a taste of redemption Sunday afternoon, when a crowd gathered to watch Alexander Tominsky—described by the New York Times as “a bearded man in a white sleeveless shirt” who sat “at a makeshift table” on an abandoned pier—eat a rotisserie chicken. After a countdown from the crowd, Tominsky dove in, devouring every bite down to the bone, just as he had for 39 consecutive days since late September.

As Tominsky completed his meal, the crowd at the livestreamed event could be heard chanting “Chicken Man! Chicken Man!” It’s an appropriate moniker for Tominsky, a 31-year-old waiter who told the Times he entered the self-imposed challenge—to consume 40 rotisserie chickens in 40 days—in order to make folks smile. “Sounds weird,” he said. “But I just felt like I was doing this for a very important reason.” He explained that the challenge became more grueling as it progressed, most likely due to the chicken’s high sodium content, which brought cramping and bloating. But he saw it as "just a little bit of an inconvenience and a sacrifice for the joy that it seems to be bringing people.”

Tominsky documented his odyssey on social media, where each day he posted a photo of himself grimacing with his meal. Per ABC 6, Tominsky publicized the event with homemade flyers, which read in all caps, “The chicken will be consumed on that abandoned pier near Walmart,” and, “This is not a party.” A photo of the flyer was retweeted over 10,000 times. Per Billy Penn, the event definitely had a party vibe, and at least one witness saw it as an antidote to an American society that “has turned into a kind of dystopian, capitalist, meaningless, soulless hellscape. … And something like this—that’s not done with a profit motive, or really any meaning at all—is refreshing.” (More Philadelphia stories.)

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