Inching along on Saturday night

It wasn’t my idea of fun-filled Saturday night. But there we were. Jenny and I found ourselves slowly nudging our way up North Gloster Street in Tupelo, with what must have been a couple thousand other cars.

It all started when Jenny was putting some things away in a drawer in our bathroom vanity here in New Albany.
“Oh, no!” she exclaimed.
I rushed in thinking she had hurt herself or the faucet had fallen apart or something. There she was holding her eyeglasses. The problem was the glasses were in one hand and one of the pieces that goes over the ear was in the other. A screw had fallen out of the hinge. What are the chances of us finding the screw? I thought. Not great, although better for me than Jenny. She can’t see how many fingers you are holding in front of her face without her glasses.
I got down on my hands and knees. At first I didn’t see anything on the tan ceramic tile, but then I noticed something that looked like a speck of dirt. Bingo. It was the little bronze-colored screw.
Problem solved. I knew we had one of those miniscule little screwdrivers that comes in a glasses-repair kit. This was going to be easy, or so I thought.
Because our son Joe has smaller fingers, I asked him to help. We put the pieces on the kitchen table and he went to work. Ten minutes later, he had the screw positioned in the hole, but had been unable to get it to tighten.
“It doesn’t align quite right; I think the hinge might be bent,” Joe said.
“Nonsense. Just let me do it; I’ve got a steadier hand,” I said.
A few minutes later, my superior tone had dissolved. I couldn’t do it either.
Jenny called Lenscrafters in Tupelo to make sure they were still open.
“We’ll just run down there and get them fixed. It will only take a few minutes,” I said.
Wrong. Thirty minutes later we were sitting in a traffic snarl on North Gloster. We couldn’t believe it. License tags from Lee County, Union County, Lafayette, Tippah, Prentiss, Fulton, Pontotoc – even Tennessee.
As we inched along, we found that the  backup was caused by cars trying to turn into overflowing restaurant parking lots.
“Golly,” I thought, “Doesn’t anybody cook?”
We finally got into the mall parking lot. Lenscrafters was deserted. The sole clerk in the place tried to tighten the screw. No luck. He took her glasses to the back. Within two minutes, he was back and her glasses were fixed.
“The hinge was bent; we had to re-align the holes,” he said apologetically.
We crawled back through the traffic to the highway. When we got home, Joe asked what they had found wrong with the glasses.
“The hinge was bent; you were right and Wayne was wrong,” she replied.
I hate it when that happens.
We ate carry-out pizza, thankful we weren’t waiting for a table in a Tupelo restaurant.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached at 662-534-6321 or  at