On Saturday

There's a restaurant in Cary I've read about a couple of dozen times, easily. The Independent, the local free weekly, always lists it in its restaurant issue. It's called “Abbey Road” and, to judge by a menu I'd seen in a magazine at some point in the past, it's a Beatles-themed restaurant.

So, that's where we went.

It's a hamburger place. You can tell, just from looking at the building, that it used to be a gas station. There's a fueling island attached directly to the restaurant, and though the gas pumps are gone the area is now the parking area for Abbey Road.

It's a little bit of a dive. There was a smoky feel to the place, an odd odor I couldn't place. It was dark, the walls decorated with a melange of pop culture icons, from Big Bird and Winnie-the-Pooh to the Beatles and Sonny and Cher. And Yoda. Can't forget Yoda. And a really disturbing image that I know was John Wayne but actually looked more like Mel Gibson.

I may not like Yoko Ono, but she makes a good hamburger. Yes, the items on the menu were all Beatle-themed. Well, at least the hamburgers. Salad platters — they had normal names.

(The Yoko Ono, by the way, was grilled onions and American cheese. The Paul McCartney, as I recall, had blue cheese crumblies. The Ringo Starr was just like the Yoko Ono, but with grilled mushrooms as well. That exhausts my memory of the menu.)

We talked for, what was it? Three hours? Yes, that does sound right. Three hours.

Her vocabulary was occasionally shocking. Only occasionally. Raw, and shocking!

The hamburger was fine. I've had better hamburgers — I think Five Guys makes better burgers — though I've had worse, too. It wasn't a fast-food burger, I'll give it that.

It wasn't a date. Just dinner. I dropped her off, went to Total Wine, bought some beer. Tasgall Ale from Highland Brewing. No idea what it is, but it's got a cool name, and the label says something about Norse mythology. It didn't come in a six-pack, just a 22 ounce bottle, and so I also picked up the St. George brewery's Porter. I occasionally like a porter instead of a stout. As I told my dinner companion last night I wouldn't have made it through one of my history courses in college without the fortification of a porter before class.

And then, a game of Age of Empires III. And it was brutal. Not brutal for me. Brutal for my opponents as I demolished their colonies. Take that, Suleiman the Magnificent!

At midnight my neighbors decided to shoot of fireworks. So they did.

And then, they started tearing up and down the street, honking horns, squeeling brakes.

And then, around three, car alarms started to blare.

And then, around four-thirty, more fireworks.

My sleep was disrupted. My neighbors are insane.

That was Saturday. And early Sunday.

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