Remind me to never, ever try to go out to dinner in Augusta on a Saturday night.
Construction of the Great Wall of China, hammering out peace in the Middle East or finishing any Georgia Department of Transportation road project would be less time-consuming and convoluted.
My wife and I had a little more than two hours before the movie started, plenty of time -- we thought -- to grab a bite to eat. How wrong we almost were.
First stop was Red Lobster. Estimated waiting time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Next up, Olive Garden. One hour.
Then came Kuramas, Logans and Chilis -- all had lines longer than an hour.
As my father often says, "Doesn't anyone stay at home and cook anymore?"
Those of you who know me -- and my wife -- understand the irony of that question.
Miriam has never claimed to be a cook. She has actually set off a smoke alarm while cooking spaghetti. But even that doesn't compare to the brutality she inflicted on a poor, defenseless remote control a few years ago.
I've never understood exactly how it happened, but I came home to the smell of plastic wafting through the house. It seems my wife had dropped the VCR remote into the oven as she went to grab a baking pizza.
Now, don't ask why she had taken the remote into the kitchen or why she had it in the same hand she used to grab the pizza sheet. I still don't have answers to either of those questions. What I did have was a mutilated remote, its ends curled up, a few of its buttons melted. But it worked. You had to point it to the right of the VCR to hit the sensor, but it worked. In fact, the remote outlasted that VCR.
And the more I think about it, it may not have been an accident at all. My wife may have been trying a new dish: baked remote with frozen pizza garnish.
I guess I should be honored she tried. You know, an hour may not be too long to wait for a table after all.
In one of the funnier side stories from last week's ice storm, someone pointed out that local Georgia Power guy Ron Shipman -- whose utility belt for the week had more gadgets than a cell phone store -- never lost his power amid the falling branches and tumbling trees. His response? "At the power company, there's also something called luck." Well, my parents had that luck and so did I. I lost power for less than an hour during the entire ice show and my parents lost it for only a couple of hours Monday.
My grandmother-in-law was a different story. Granny lost power early Monday and finally got it back late Wednesday -- just in time to watch Wheel of Fortune.
But look at the bright side: at least she didn't have to try to figure out a side dish to compliment baked remote.