If the average American had his way, every item that he encountered on a day-to-day basis—cars, household appliances, furniture, children—would be breaded, fried, and then cut into "chip" size for purposes of snacking convenience. Also, all of the aforementioned things would be made of chicken. The great folks in the fast food industry are doing everything in their power to make this "American Dream" come true.

"Sure," says the average American, "fried chicken tastes great. But when I purchase my daily bucket of drive-thru fried chicken to gnaw upon as I pilot my sports utility vehicle through the far-flung arteries of urban sprawl that compose this great nation, it's difficult for me to dip my chicken into oily sauce without either eating a chicken bone, crashing my car into a roadside telephone pole, or both."

Fear not, average American!

The "ip'ns" and other fast-food finger foods are the next step in the larger trend of creating items that are easier to eat in the car and on the go. Restaurants that promise quick, inexpensive meals are introducing dishes like bite-sized fried chicken in containers that fit in a car's cup holder and tightly rolled sandwiches that are easy to hold and dip in sauce.

Popeyes began selling Dip'n Chick'n last year after market research revealed people were very interested in a fried, boneless chicken snack that could be eaten "just like chips and dip,"

Now if the average American can only develop the muscular strength necessary to lift a bite-size portion of fried chicken to his mouth without mechanical assistance, we can close the book on the history of food.