Try Again

Back in the early 1990s, when we were living in Zambia, there was an eatery in the nearby “boma” that called itself the “Try Again Restaurant.” We were all curious about it. Eventually, some of the younger and more adventurous missionaries went to eat there and came back with a report.

“We know where the name came from,” they said. “No matter what you order from the menu, they’ll say, ‘Sorry, we are fresh out of that. Try again.’” It seems that all they actually served was nshima (cornmeal mush) and a vegetable sauce.

I thought of the Try Again Restaurant tonight as I tried to get supper in the pouring rain. Thanks to a misjudgment on my part, I didn’t have everything I needed to make the supper I had intended, so I offered to get pizza for the family. I myself planned to get some chicken since I can’t eat pizza.

I picked up the pizza quickly and then headed to the chicken place. When I placed my order, the cashier warned me that they had no chicken ready and it would be a 15 minute wait. Really? In the middle of supper time they were out of chicken at a fried chicken place? Still, I thought I could wait 15 minutes and still get home before Walter and Spencer returned from work, so I went ahead and placed my order. The line in front of me had evaporated once everyone learned about the wait.

I pulled up to the window and paid. My meal came with a drink, so I had ordered a Dr. Pepper for my husband since I can’t have soft drinks. The cashier apologized, but they were out of Dr. Pepper. In Texas? How can this be? I switched my order to root beer, which my husband also enjoys.

Then I waited. And waited. And waited. Longer than 15 minutes. Lucy thought I’d been killed in an accident. I was a hostage of that place because I had already paid! The cashier returned and offered me a free apple pie to appease me for having to wait so long. Then she came back and asked me what pieces of chicken I wanted. It was almost done, apparently. One more time she returned with bad news. “My manager says to tell you she is very sorry, but we are out of coleslaw.” (One of the two sides I had ordered with my meal.) By then I’d waited half an hour!

I ask you, what kind of Southern fried chicken joint runs out of chicken, Dr. Pepper, and coleslaw at the same time in the middle of the supper rush? I won’t be in a hurry to go back! At least Walter got a free apple pie out of the deal.

Today Jasper went back to help at the Harvest Festival concession stand, since they were shorthanded. I got some things done but mostly I tried to stay awake. It has been a very exhausting week. After picking Jasper up, I was able to get some “de-glosser” for the doorframes in the living room since they really need paint too.

Now I have a pounding headache from the de-glossing fumes but the door frames are looking great thanks to my husband. And Lucy has created a great decorative pattern on the newly-painted cornice.

It’s still raining. It’s supposed to rain all weekend. We need the rain, but it would have been nice to get it in smaller doses!


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