Anyone attending Megacon in Florida, please be sure to check out my friend Lauren’s booth. Her little franchise is Breakfast Bunch Homemade. You can see some of her works HERE.
It’s very cute.

Lauren’s also made a background cameo in one of the strips. We had advanced placement art together, so obviously this is where she belongs.

My daughter Lily turned seven this last weekend. I got invited to go with some relatives to Tennessee to see some attractions. One was something called Dixie Stampede. A business venture of Dolly Parton I believe. It was a very nice gesture on the part of her great grandparents. And every now and then I’m left with such an impression from a place, I go to Google and write a review. I never checked back to see if it stuck.. but this was what I submitted as my little stint as a trip adviser:

You will read the corniest, lamest people on the internet rave about this place. The only people who will be entertained by this outdated, hokey event are either under 12 years old or over 65. If you are between these ages, and asked to go, immediately break your own hand so you have an excuse to AVOID IT. For over $50 a head, nothing, and I mean NOTHING about this dinner theater was worth it to me. I only advise going if it’s 1) Grandma’s 80th birthday, or 2) Little Suzie really likes “horsies.” If you’re in town and want something to do, there are far better shows to attend at much less the cost. If you’re considering this for date-night, she will dump you on the way back to your car. I said to a family member I wouldn’t mind seeing the show as long as it’s not just a bunch of horses trottin’ around. Guess what…

Apparently, they’ve been doing this same exact show for 27 years. And it SHOWS. There is no interesting or new knowledge learned from this show. The premise is based on the civil war, but that’s where it ends. The rest is a hodge-podge of children chasing chickens, audience-participation of horseshoe throwing (with toilet seats no less,) pig races, and light-up sequined jackets. It’s very vanilla, and very generic. They need to seriously update this show. Not to make it cutting edge, but simply to hold the attention of anyone who got past middle school. The songs are uninspired, lyrically childish, and kind of show-tuney. It is like a broadway circus. The opening is a floor projection of the Dixie Stampede logo bouncing around the auditorium floor like a Window’s screen saver. And that runs for 3 or 4 minutes like no one’s ever seen such technology before (even though it’s been used in the last 3 Olympics.) The music playing during this is literally like an old time radio bumper of four people going “Stampede, Dixie.. Dixie,, Stampeeeede.. Dixie..” I’m just waiting for my local radio station’s call signs with Joe and Marty in the morning.

The rest of the show features songs sung with dramatically dated 1950’s flair, hand movements and over-expressive acting. Whoever is being payed to coordinate this entertainment must have died two decades ago and no one noticed he’s missing.They eventually break their own 4th wall with “Skeeter” the back stage hand who commandeers the second half of the show with Steve Urkel-like antics and lame jokes. The humor is cringe-worthy. I think one of the jokes was about “Shoulda put a ring on it.” Isn’t this 2014?? When did that song come out? 8 years ago? Then there’s the chicken dance segment. I think that’s about 15 years old or older. This is when the North-vs-South concept the show is based on falls apart into just a complete mess. There’s no real story, or message. Just a string of goofy events with no real direction. Songs and riding just seem to “happen.” There is no war-story or recount of historical events. There’s no drama, characters or intriguing dialogue. It’s either slap-stick buffoonery or watching horses run figure 8’s. Is this worth $50 a person to you?

The food was lackluster (I only ate the roll and the dessert) but the serving staff was very pleasant. There is no silverware, so get ready to eat an entire uncut rotisserie chicken with your bare hands and slurp the soup right from the bowl. That is, if you’re able to move. This is shoulder-to-shoulder style eating. You’re seated in a giant, continuous booth that stretches about 50 people, with no exit unless you climb over the back of your seat (somehow.) I sat next to a lady of some girth, and I was crammed into my child the entire show so I wasn’t touching some complete stranger. Who would want to eat like that? Who wants to touch someone they don’t know for 2 hours? You will be pressed against whoever is next to you. This is guaranteed. I just wanted to leave, but I didn’t want to upset the rest of my family that went.

At one point our server asked if I wanted to be “in the show.” Yes! Out of all the people there, I was selected to participate. I blurted out “ME PERSONALLY?” Her smiling “Uh-huh!” Me: “OH GOD NO!” She then looked someone hurt by this, which made me feel bad, but I was already incredibly annoyed, and increasingly uncomfortable. I wanted to be anywhere but there.

Finally, when you leave, please be sure to not get trampled. As I said, the booths are 50 people long, and no way to get around the slow-mos. You have to go back up the stairs to get out (which is also like a maze to find where they are,) and the exit is only located in one section of this entire arena. Three little doors, right next to each other in the top left section. Why only one exit? If there were a fire, God forbid, 75% of the audience would die. There would be such a great loss of life it’s insane. This exit is one regular door, right next to a double set of doors. The double set has a bar in the middle to divide these two doors. So be prepared to not notice and have your shoulder severed off while being pushed. So, a 1000 people, everyone leaving at once, wading through a infinite booth, up the maze of stairs, following the herd of people to small exit without getting crushed… then, what better thing to have than… going DOWN stairs!! Steep stairs, So you can’t even see in front of you, you’ve probably lost your kids, and your spouse has been kidnapped. Now you have the luxury of nearly falling down stairs in a crowd of pushing people. What better to have facing you above these stairs than a huge portrait of Dolly and her massive boobs! This all leads to the Gift Shop. The only exit is through the tiny, cramped gift shop. So not only would you kill someone to escape this place, now you have people stopping infront of you to shop. Ugh. Took over 20 minutes to find the rest of my group in the parking lot. Still wanna go?