LOUISVILLE, KY—According to sources at the corporate headquarters of fast food giant KFC, a young boy believed to be the third reincarnation of the chain's regional manager for eastern Georgia was discovered in Chatfield, MN Tuesday following an exhaustive five-year search.

The Chosen One

The Chosen One, kindergartner Brian Thorson, was located by a special council of seven High Branch Managers selected from the most profitable KFC restaurants nationwide. In accordance with tradition, the boy will henceforth be known as Roger Purcell, the ceremonial title given to all who have previously overseen operations in eastern Georgia.

His Eminence Dan Orman, who supervises the Wilshire Boulevard franchise in downtown Los Angeles, told reporters the search for the reborn manager began Jan. 23, 2005, when the previous Roger Purcell died of a massive heart attack.

"We watched carefully to see which direction the winds would take the smoke billowing forth from the fryer exhaust fan at the Waycross, GA location," said Orman, whose council set out on a long Midwestern journey after receiving the sign. "We interviewed hundreds of boys born that Jan. 23, but only Brian possessed a preternatural knowledge of the average monthly napkin orders generally needed for the six restaurants he will soon oversee."

The Chosen One's most exalted and glorious predecessor.

"Rejoice, for before us is he who is destined to give guidance and impart wisdom to all who work at KFC locations east of Macon!" Orman added.

Several High Branch Mangers confirmed the child was subjected to a battery of tests to determine if he was in fact the reincarnated supervisor of restaurants 234 through 239. As with all candidates, Brian was seated at a table and asked to choose from a wide array of objects, including a stapler, a stained necktie, a spork, and various other personal effects.

Orman told reporters the young boy's hand moved immediately to a spray can of Right Guard, the sole item before him that had in fact belonged to the last Roger Purcell.

"Brian also picked up the rubber stamp used to approve payroll as if he had been handling it his entire life," Orman said. "After he recited without hesitation each of the 11 herbs and spices in the colonel's secret recipe, there could not be any doubt left in my mind."

According to sacred interoffice memos, the first earthly embodiment of Roger Purcell was born Jim Stephens in 1957. The son of a simple insurance salesman, Stephens was discovered by emissaries traveling east on behalf of company founder Colonel Harland Sanders, who in 1960 had a dream-vision of a glimmering red-and-white Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise by the sea.

When the young Stephens was found on the Georgia shore selling buckets of biscuits for a nickel, Sanders ordered the prophesied restaurant be built on the spot and soon added biscuits as a menu item.

Like the incarnations before him, the new Roger Purcell has been taken from his family and sequestered in a regional training facility to receive instruction on how to implement revised conduct codes and limited-time-only promotions handed down from corporate. While there, KFC officials confirmed, he will be adorned in the traditional vestments of Dockers slacks and poly-cotton blend short-sleeved dress shirts that he will wear for the rest of his life.

The boy has reportedly already made his pilgrimage to a local Supercuts and received the customary hairstyle of his order: the $14 shampoo-and-trim special.

"It will not be an easy path for him," company spokesperson Rachel Klein said. "He will face many tests of high employee turnover as well as cus-tomer accusations of missing side orders. And only by intuition will he know when to order the changing of the oil in the deep fryers; that is something that cannot be taught."

Despite the new manager's youth and inexperience, followers have already gathered at KFC's eastern Georgia offices to seek his advice.

"I have traveled more than 15 miles to find answers to some very difficult questions," said Tim Cleary, night manager of a franchise in Statesboro. "I hope the new Roger Purcell can help me to become enlightened concerning many things I have often wondered about."

"Like why I have to get approval for time-sheet changes from [day manager] Beth [Reardon]," Cleary added.