This past Wednesday, my wife and I attended an opening night performance of The Lion King at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. We had seen promotions for the show on TV, and were eagerly anticipating the event. We reserved a room in a nice hotel for the evening, and arrived there many hours in advance of the 7:30 PM showtime. During the fifty-mile trip from Hendersonville to downtown Greenville, we had to pull over at least twice because of a nerve-wracking thunderstorm that made driving all but impossible. At the time, we didn’t think much of it. But we should have—because it was an omen.
Once in town, we had dinner at a local chain restaurant. Our waiter was quite pleasant, but we had to send our silverware back because it was covered in fingerprints. Then, I found a foreign object in my drinking water, and had to send that back for replacement. The food we ordered was late arriving. When we asked about the delay, we were told that normally they had some pre-cooked chicken ready, but that particular day they didn’t have any ready that particular night. Another bad sign.
We found a great spot in the parking garage, right near the theater, but on our way out, Becky tripped over a speed bump and took a vicious header onto the concrete. Luckily, she didn’t hit her face, but her one hand, elbow, and knee took quite a beating. Some very helpful people at the Peace Center were able to provide some much needed first aid in the form of alcohol prep and band aids, and we made it to our seats just in time for the opening curtain–bandages and all. We were much relieved, but had to admit that this definitely wasn’t turning out to be the fun time we had planned on. Are you beginning to see a pattern?
The curtain came up and we were treated to the very same scene and activity we had seen in the TV preview. Wow, I thought, this is going to be fantastic! But I was wrong. The rest was more like mediocre. The sets, special effects, and costumes were world class, but that’s where it ended. The dialogue, storyline, and acting were pedestrian at best, and there wasn’t one song that was even close to memorable. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like they just aren’t making musicals like they used to. By the time the final curtain came down, we were champing at the bit to leave. By then, Becky’s various cuts and bruises were really hurting, so we decided to find a Walmart where we could purchase additional medical supplies. Big mistake.
Using my cell phone, I Googled the nearest superstore and set the phone’s GPS to navigate us to the location. I don’t like driving at night, let alone on strange roads, which made the drive nothing short of a nightmare. It seemed like each road we traveled was under construction, or had police vehicles with flashing lights adorning the shoulder. Eventually, we arrived at the mega store and I found everything we needed—including a four-pack of wine coolers, some cupcakes, chips, and other snacks. Things were looking up.
Back at the hotel, we got Becky re-bandaged, drank the wine coolers, and devoured our snacks. A half hour of watching TV put us in the mood to sleep, and just past one, we turned out the lights and were off to la la land. Tomorrow, we had decided, we’d do a little shopping at the Haywood Mall (way better than the malls near us) and we slept like tops.
The next day, at the mall, Becky found a dress that was “just perfect,” and, before we knew it, it was time for lunch. Trust me, never use your phone’s GPS to guide you to a Chick-Fil-A when you’re walking. It’s just not worth it. After three more hours had passed, trying on shoes, it was time to leave. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know east from west. Which leads me to the final straw. When we had arrived at the mall, we parked our car by the east entrance to Macy’s. When we returned, the car was gone. Okay, it wasn’t gone. We were lost. Well, we weren’t really lost, but we were definitely not where we thought we were. Apparently, there are three entrances to Macy’s: two into the mall, on the ground level, and one (the one we had used) on the second level—facing east.
After “finding” our car, it was time to head for home. Suffice it to say that our GPS experience within the mall paled in comparison to our directionally-challenged adventure on the way out of town. But, eventually, thanks to my memory and a little luck, we found our way to State Highway 25 North, and mercifully made it home without incident.
So, you’re wondering, what does all this have to do with the title of this blog? Oh, I take it you’ve never seen Blazing Saddles. Well, check out the classic Mel Brooks movie, and pay special attention during the opening few scenes. Then, I’m certain that you’ll understand why I chose the quote that I did.
And that’s all I’ve got.