CUT TO: Twenty Years Later…

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CUT TO: Twenty Years Later…

Twenty years ago yesterday, a 14 year old boy went on his first date with a girl. They went to see Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner then they walked to the local mall and ate at Hardee’s. Seven years later, that boy and girl would get married. And thirteen years after that, that boy would decide to write a blog post about it. My wife and I decided to relive our first date as best we could while balancing schedules and kids. First up was a trip to Hardee’s. Then later in the evening, we decided to watch Robin Hood for the first time in 20 years.


I grew up enjoying Hardee’s. In fact, I recently referenced getting a few novelty cups from there. When I talk about enjoying Hardee’s, I’m talking the old Hardee’s with the orange and brown color scheme. I liked their burgers, including the specialty ones they offered. And I enjoyed their breakfast and thought it superior to McDonald’s fast food breakfast. By the early 90s, they seemed to begin straying from what I liked about them by offering fried chicken. Then, it all went downhill when Carl’s Jr. came along and bought them out.

On paper, Hardee’s seems like a place I should like. The commercials, promotional photos, and offerings seem right up my alley. Big, thick hamburgers including a “Monster Burger” with 8 strips of bacon. But of all fast food places, Hardee’s may be the biggest offender of showing you this awesome picture and then delivering disappointment on a bun. My one experience with a Monster Burger is a testament to that. There were barely four strips of bacon on what they slapped together. I’m willing to overlook single experiences at one location, but since the conversion, every time I have gone, I would have been better served going to Barth’s Burgery. (Yes, you heard that.)

Six years ago, my wife and I had a particularly bad experience that caused us to enact a personal boycott of Hardee’s that we held true to until last night. For nostalgia (although not really since this isn’t the Hardee’s that we remember), we lifted the ban and took a trip to Hardee’s. We replicated what we remembered our order to be 20 years ago. My wife got a hot ham and cheese and I ordered a burger. We paid nearly twice the price we paid 20 years ago and got food that I would say was only half as good. A ham and cheese sandwich that looked to be piled high with ham in the menu picture cost $3.50 and when it came out on the tray, it was like a bad joke.

Add to that a horrible, squeaking grinding noise coming from the back that never stopped the entire time we were there, we felt fine reenacting our ban on Hardee’s and let this blog be a testament to never toying with the idea of lifting it again. If we’re going to spend that much money on fast food, we’d be better off going to Chick-fil-A or Whataburger.

Robin Hood

I hadn’t watched this movie in 20 years. I remember it being hugely popular in 1991, but remembered little else. This is a weak telling of the Robin Hood story. It makes an attempt to be an epic telling of the origin, but lacks the grandness needed. I admire their attempt to begin well before the interesting action started, but in showing how Robin Hood got where he did, they failed to deliver on the true heart of the story. They would have been better served to begin in the middle and try to establish a few things with expository dialogue or flashbacks. The story didn’t always progress in a believable way and things sometimes happened simply because they needed to happen.

The direction was weak. Shots they chose were trite and uninspired. The fight scenes lacked the flair that Robin Hood deserved. The cast had some good actors, but no one was given exceptional dialogue. Alan Rickman forced a decent performance, but even he seemed to be overacting. The best actor they had might have been Brian Blessed who was criminally underused in the story. Kevin Costner himself seemed to have gotten acting lessons from a high school thespian. Maybe 1991 couldn’t have delivered a better Robin Hood movie than this, but I had hoped for better.

Maybe in another 20 years…

Maybe it seems silly to celebrate this milestone anniversary with a lousy meal and a mediocre movie. Or maybe it’s oddly appropriate. Throughout life, we’re presented with situations we don’t necessarily like. I know that in the past 20 years, we’ve had our share of them and will continue to. And sure, I’ve complained about things and wondered why certain things had to happen the way they did. But through it all, for 20 years, I’ve had someone by my side that has made it all worth living and helped me get through it. It really doesn’t matter where we went, it matters that we went together and what we made of it.

Okay…now no one share this blog post with my daughter. She doesn’t need to know her parents dated so young.

By | 2017-03-17T00:52:51+00:00 July 28th, 2011|Categories: Article|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host


  1. Janay February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Well, this is probably my favorite Nerd Lunch blog post ever, but I suppose that's to be expected. 🙂

    Thanks for asking me to go to the movies with you 20 years ago – one of the best decisions I ever made. I'm glad we grew up together, and I love being your (nerd) wife. Maybe next time we find three hours to kill by ourselves, I'll finally watch Braveheart with you so we can wash the taste of the mediocre movie out of our mouths. And grab dinner elsewhere. I mean, come on, Hardee's didn't even have Mountain Dew!

  2. Jack February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Magnificent, my friend, on so many levels! First, the restaurant. My active (read "away from mommy") youth coincides with the rise of the drive-through fast food joint. My experience, even with my favorite, Jack in the Box, is that while the menus have gotten much more varied, and the food has gotten more elaborate and generally tastier, it never seems to match the pictures they offer of what two ordinary beef tacos, for example, would look like if they were prepared by a 5-star restaurant; but those pictures are what they ask you to pay for…

    Kevin Costner's Robin Hood was a completely forgettable experience for me. I vaguely recall laughing all the way through it; it had a "screenplay by John Cleese" feel to it. It related to Robin Hood the way Adam West's series related to Batman. The source material was easily recognizable, but the presentation was insulting. What I seem to recall is Robin Hood expressing himself in 1990 Gen-X slang. If ever a movie cried out for a reboot! And a Vulcan mind-wipe to go with…

    As to that date, what an investment! Sounds like you're well on the road to stability. I think a lot of people today, raised in our disposable society, tend to try to marry a person they see as a hot sex partner. This begs the question of, what do you do for the other 23 hours & 50 minutes every day? I know, let's get a divorce! I believe if you marry a friend, the friendship grows as you deal with the things life throws at you. Bonnie and I just celebrated our 35th, and the trials of daily living have forged us into an inseperable unit. She's had my back, taken my side, been in my corner right or wrong, rain or shine, and I've done the same for her, every day for the majority of our adult lives. When you have that kind of history, who or what is going to come between you? I've seen pairs in platonic relationships (I currently know one, in fact) who calmly state, as if it makes sense in some alternate bizzarro universe, that they don't want to become romantic, because they don't want to ruin the friendship! HELLO! Who do want to get romantic with, somebody you don't like???

    Sorry, these people drive me crazy. Anyway, from everything you've posted about your wife and offspring, it sounds like you guys are on the same path we are, and the only difference between us is time. I think you'll find that as your looks fade, and your hip-ness, tastes, and the culture you eloquently comment on today get left behind by "progress," you won't mind as much as you might think now, because you'll have a life-long bond with this wonderful person, who you can cozy up in your swing with, and just point and laugh. That's what I'd hope for you, anyway. It's great not having a lot of confusion to deal with as you age; gettin' old ain't for sissies!

    Well, let me step aside; you folks have a movie to talk about.

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