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Points between

Time to air a little personal laundry here.

It's hard to admit this and will probably surprise a lot of people, so bear with me. I love food. Lots of food. I know it's shocking, and I'll give you a minute to catch your breath.

In the meantime, I'll just daydream about the impending opening of Zaxby's and Ming Wah.

I've long been a fan of Zaxby's. In fact, I spent a lot of time (and money) at their Augusta locations two of which were just minutes from my Columbia County offi ce and the other was just down the road from Augusta State University, my collegiate alma mater.

Aside from many, many filling meals, Zaxby's also provided me and my stomach a much-needed respite from spicy foods.

It was one day in college that I fi rst ventured into Zaxby's and ordered a dozen wings.

I was with Miriam and still in the mode of trying to impress her so I ordered the wings drenched in the chain's "Nuclear" sauce. The server looked at me with sympathetic eyes and said, "Are you sure you want Nuclear? It is really hot."

"No problem," I said. "I can handle it."

She shook her head, entered them into the computer system, and a few minutes later I had a plate full of orangesauce- covered wings. They certainly looked radioactive. The fi rst thing I noticed was the smell.

My nostrils burned as I walked back to the table. But hey, I'm a man, and men can feast on all things hot. I sat down, extra large Mountain Dew at the ready, and took my first bite.

A little warm, I thought, but hey, I'm a real man, and real men can feast on all things hot.

Seconds later, the heat hit me. "Hit" is not strong enough. Slammed. Shredded. Impaled.

Then the spigot turned on and the sweat rolled off my head and other parts of my body. The heat was so bad my teeth hurt.

French fries would not quench it. The gallon of Mountain Dew didn't come close. A piece of Texas Toast didn't even think about it.

To make matters worse, the heat from one wing fried my appetite for the day. (Just the day, mind you. I've been back many times since.)

Finally, after several failed attempts to satiate the heat, the crying started.

I had to shy away from other customers as tears streamed down my face. And they continued for a while, even after I'd gotten in the car to leave. Yep, I'm a real man, and real men cry.

Now, excuse me if I get a little misty-eyed at the mere mention of Zaxby's.

There's a burning in my body for that "real chicken" restaurant.



Web posted on Sunday, July 25, 2004


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