Steve’s columns will pop up on Muddy River News on Mondays and Thursdays and, of course, you’ll get your daily fix of his deep thoughts in Daily Dirt. Enjoy and please help us welcome Steve to the Muddy River News family. JRG
From now on, if I’m dining out, I’m dining in
by Steve Eighinger
I’ve had enough. As of today, I am finished waiting in drive-through lines at eating establishments that have not reopened their inside dining areas.
I want to sit down — in a booth, or with actual table and chairs — and eat my food, not try and balance a meal and drink while in my car. First of all, I completely understand the problems some businesses have had trying to figure out how to entice enough workers to fill various shifts. I get it, but we’ve all had to work our way through this pandemic, and many restaurants — fast-food and otherwise — have figured out how to open their doors. It’s time for the rest of them to follow suit.
I am tired of soiled clothing, the result of trying to manage a sandwich or whatever while sitting in the front seat of my vehicle, which was designed for driving and not dining.I’m also tired of continually receiving cold or lukewarm (at best) fries at one specific national fast-food chain. And yes, I’m also tired of bungled orders, which are next-to-impossible to have fixed unless you desire starting over and waiting in line for another 15 to 30 minutes.
From this day forward, I’m either dining in, or not I’m not dining out (OK, OK … I’m not ruling out an occasional drive-through — if the line is not excessively long — but I think you get the point).
What has arguably irritated me most have been two recent conversations with representatives of two local fast-food sites. I was told at one drive-through window there are no plans in the foreseeable future to reopen the indoor portions of the restaurant in question because the drive-through business is so strong. Another told me he estimates the restaurant in question was doing about 30 percent more business than it did prior to the pandemic, so why change?
I also understand the stimulus and unemployment checks have helped drain the workforce, but I also understand I don’t like ruining clothing, eating cold fries and dealing with botched orders. I’m the customer. I’m the guy these businesses should be doing everything in their power to please. For those businesses who have reopened your indoor dining areas, I applaud you. And you can count on my business. As for the other guys? Good luck serving those cold fries.
If I had my way …Five TV shows I would like to see resurrected:
1. “Gunsmoke”: In an ideal world, I would cast Brad Pitt as a modern-day Matt Dillon and Scarlet Johansson as Miss Kitty.
2. “Leave it to Beaver”: Actually, I’d like to see an adult version of this classic sitcom with Mark Wahlberg as the Beaver, Nicolas Cage as Wally, Bill Murray as Ward Cleaver and Meryl Streep as June Cleaver.
3. “Green Acres”: Possibly the most underrated comedy in TV history, I’d like to witness a remake that could feature Tom Hanks as Oliver Wendell Douglas and Jennifer Aniston as his wife, Lisa.
4. “Happy Days”: Just like “Leave it to Beaver,” I’d lean toward an adult version of this memorable program, too. The key would be who would play The Fonz. I think I’d choose Bruce Willis (yes, he’d probably need a toupee …), with Tim Allen as Richie Cunningham.
5. “Cheers”: I would cast Denzel Washington as Sam Malone, and incorporate his famous wink-o’-the-eye into as many scripts as possible. I’d also have Halle Berry play the role of Diane Chambers, plus either Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy portray “Coach.”
Here’s my pick for the five biggest movie releases in the second half of 2021, films we will actually be able to watch in theaters.
1. “No Time to Die” (Oct. 8): James Bond films arguably represent one of the top four movie franchises ever (add “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and “Batman” to the list). None of the other juggernauts, however, can yet hold a candle to Bond’s ongoing strength at the box office. The 007 movies have been around since 1963 and show no signs of weakening. The October release will be Daniel Craig’s swan song as the world’s favorite secret agent.
2. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Dec. 17): A perfect holiday release date for the latest adventures of Spidey, and in case you were wondering, another installment is already in the developmental stage.
3. “The Matrix 4” (Dec. 22): The latest from this cash cow of a franchise will again feature Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. It’s guaranteed to be boffo box office with its just-before-Christmas release.
4. “West Side Story” (Dec. 10): Steven Spielberg directs his first feature-length musical, which is one of the year’s most most anticipated arrivals, not to mention celebrated remakes.
5. “Top Gun: Maverick” (Nov. 19): Tom Cruise rides again. Ka-ching.
Sleeper: “The Addams Family” (Oct. 1), featuring Charlize Theron.
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