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I have a confession to make: I'm cheating on my wife.

I look forward to the moment she leaves town so I can spend a little extra time with my Queen.

Dairy Queen.

My wife spent most of last weekend out of town - first overnight Friday at Hickory Knob State Park for this year's Leadership McDuffie kickoff, then Sunday night in Macon for a Monday business meeting.

Which meant I got to double date the Queen.

Among my many food weaknesses, Dairy Queen's Blizzard sits very near the top of the list. (Georgia Mud Fudge, minus the pecans. Sometimes I add M&Ms or Heath bar for good measure.)

It has become a tradition for me on "bachelor" weekends: I rent a stack of silly comedy movies, find some sort of fast food to eat and cap it off with a Blizzard or two (depending on the length of the stay). This past weekend the movies included Tropic Thunder and Step Brothers, while the Friday night food was a fried catfish from Neal's BBQ - a nice break from the usual chain fare.

And, of course, I threw all the evidence in the big green trash can before Miriam got home Saturday.

What she doesn't know won't hurt her.

After all, affairs of the stomach are best left unsaid.

Speaking of stomach-related issues, apparently I was one of the last people to participate in what is not a dead American tradition: free beer at Sea World.

Apparently, Anheuser-Busch - in hopes of creating a more family-friendly atmosphere - recently rubbed out the hospitality areas at SeaWorld's three locations and Busch Gardens' two locations.

For the uninitiated (or should that be un-inebriated?), there are special areas at each park where visitors can take a load off and sample Budweiser, Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch brands (including a citrus-flavored brew at Sea World San Diego).

"This was something that had pretty narrow appeal," Fred Jacobs, vice president of communications for Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, told USA Today. "We were looking to expand it into something that had broader appeal."


Now I am not advocating drinking, but I will say this: Apparently, the corporate suits at Anheuser-Busch have never been in the hospitality areas. Disney may be "the happiest place on earth" for kids, but as far as theme parks go, few place sbring more smiles to adult faces than the free beer line at Sea World.

And, for the record, they are not removing all beer from their parks, just the small cups of free stuff. The overpriced concession cold ones are still available. Typical.

Web posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009

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