Don’t. Have. To live like an Evacuee!

If you’re like me, the last thing you want to read about is another story about the ice storm. But given the fact that we’re on day six of Ice Storm 2009, and I still don’t have power, it’s kind of hard to have any info about the usual pop-culture, geeky comic books and sports obsessions I usually “report” on.

In years past I would have gladly used this time to sit in the theater and check out some new flicks. But my wife and I have a one-year-old child in tow. Since we’re the good kind of parents who don’t bring their small kids into the movies and ruin it for everyone else, we’ve had to get creative in terms of entertainment for the past week. So, I thought I would relate to you the Top-5 Things You Can Do With a One Year Old When the Power is Off at Your House Besides Go to the Movies. And for the record, I would rather sit in the dark with no power or heat with a wild badger in my house than see He’s Just Not That Into You

Go to Target – As Arkansans we all know the mad, mad rush that takes place at (the) Walmart(s) before ice storms and during power outages. This is a place that should be avoided if possible, but it is business as usual at Target. My wife and I took a leisurely stroll, did some light shopping and later had lunch in the café. The lady behind the counter was nice enough to microwave our son’s Gerber® Graduates® Lil’ Entrees® and didn’t seem to care too much when he threw most of it on the floor (we did clean it up).

Hang out at Coffee Shops – Find a place that has Wi-Fi and soft cushy chairs and chill. My wife and I took turns surfing the Internet and entertaining the little guy. That makes for hours of entertainment. Just like home except the coffee is better. Many local coffee house options to choose from. We found Panera to be very accommodating and it’s closer to our house. In fact, if you’re reading this in Panera and see a short bald guy with a beard and glasses with a one-year-old, come over and say “hi” or “Viva La Flyer,” or “enough with the Fanboy stuff, geez.”

Fast Lanes – Wow! If you haven’t been to this place you should go immediately. Let’s just say arcade games, bowling, go-carts, laser tag and if that wasn’t enough – BEER! They also have harder drinks too, very impressive. It’s sort of frowned upon if you bring your one-year-old to a sports bar and drink all day (that’s what they tell me anyway), but if you take them to Fast Lanes and relax with a cold one, they call it quality family time. Whatev, it works for me. The only drawback is that you can drop some massive coin at this place, but trust me when I say you will have fun doing it.

Spring for a Hotel – Yeah, I know this one isn’t cheap. But when you’ve been relying on the kindness of your friends for days you probably need a break from couch surfing. (They probably need a break from you too). As more people get their juice turned back on, hotel rooms are easier to come by. Get one with an indoor pool and a bar and you have yourself a mini vacation.

Clean up your Yard – We saw some great weather this weekend and next weekend looks good too. (Jeez I hope we have power by next weekend.) It’s a great time to take the kid out in the old exersaucer and let him watch daddy pick up sticks. And t’s never too early to teach your children about chainsaw safety. When you’re done with your yard, help a neighbor out. You’re the one who will have to look at their yard anyway.

In related news:
I’ll echo the sentiments of frequent FF poster and resident bastard, Total Bastard. Bradford pear trees are the SUCK. North Fayetteville is the land of the Bradford pear and they have all split like bananas. I have two I have to deal with in my front yard. I don’t recommend them.

If you’re like me and without power I hope this list helps you find things to pass the time away until you get back on the grid. If you are with power, I hope this list makes you more thankful for it. And If there’s someone sleeping in your guest room, couch or bathtub, please be patient with him or her. They’d much rather be in the comforts of their own dwelling and not live with the risk of walking in on you in the bathroom again. Jeez!