Five and a half years before I was born, my parents lived in an entirely different section of North Carolina. With a number of days off of work after Christmas, my dad gets an insatiable hankering for a Maine lobster after seeing a particularly delectable television advertisement.
"Pack and get in the car," he says to my mom.
"Where are we going?" she asks.
"We're going to Maine."
So off they went. Twelve hours later, it's midnight, but they make it in one piece to Maine. They cross the border and pull into the nearest open restaurant.
They sit down to order. The waitress asks what they want to eat.
"A lobster," my dad said, with an ecstatic grin.
"How would you like it cooked?" the waitress asked.
"You know ... a Maine lobster!" he says.
"I know ... but how would you like it cooked?"
At this point, it dawned on my dad that he'd embarked on a spur-of-the-moment road trip all because he thought that a Maine lobster was a method of cooking lobster known only to Mainers.
"Wait ... you know that a Maine lobster is just a lobster from Maine ... right?" my mom asked.
Her inquiry was in vain, for she knew the answer to this question just as much as he did.