Saturday, May 17, 2008

Publicity - Helpful or Insane?

Sorry for the blog's hiatus. It's been a crazy few weeks.

Publicity can be a strange thing. Once it begins to snowball, people don't question things anymore. The cycle of attaining something becomes so all-important that we don't ask ourselves what we're doing along the way. An example? Parents who knock everyone down as they scavenge the aisles at Christmas. Another interesting example is below.

We had a brief stay in Savannah last weekend. This lovely historic town is one of my favorite spots in the world (hence why Book 3 is set there). On Sunday morning (Mother's Day) we had reservations for 10 people at Paula Deen's restaurant, Lady & Sons. For those who haven't heard of Paula Deen, she's a regular on the Food Channel. She also made a cameo film appearance in Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown playing Aunt Dora with great Southern authenticity.

Our reservation was for 10:30 am. We showed up at 10:20 am.

"Oh, the restaurant doesn't open until 11, but you're checked in."

"So you booked us a reservation for 10:30, but you don't open until 11?"


I paused. Was I the only one who thought this was odd? "So what do we do now?"

"Wait outside."

Only one problem. Several tornadoes and severe thunderstorms were passing through. So dozens of us huddled underneath awnings, trying to keep dry while we waited to enter this magical palace of Southern cooking we'd heard so much about. At one point, I questioned whether it was a restaurant or a maze for mice and Paula Deen was the ultimate scientist, laughing at our every move.

They shuffled us from the side awnings, to across the way, to the center of the street while we waited for our names to be called. My mother-n-law nailed it right on the head when she said, "I just love being treated like a sheep."

But then I remembered something. This restaurant always had a long line, and rumors of 2-3 hour waits. So the people who see the long lines become convinced they should go there. And the cycle perpetuates. But I must say, the woman is doing something right. The food was absolutely incredible. Other than feeling like a meandering stick of butter when I walked out (probably because that is what most of her food was made with), it was a great experience. I just find it strange that all the hubbub keeps perpetuating to the point of accepting reservations for a time when they aren't open.

More tomorrow!

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