Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Live free or die


Today Jenn and I are leaving her parents’ place – and the attempts on my life as well – and are headed to New Hampshire to pick up her dog, who’s been relegated elsewhere for the holiday. As we drive, I am on the alert for evidence of “living free”, though I don’t really see much, unless you count the lack of sales tax. Apparently people from MA drive to NH to buy stuff, pretty much making those of us who live in Cook County look like amateurs, as we drive from Cook and its 10.25% sales tax (yes, the highest in the country) to Lake County (7%).

When I express interest in moving to, say, NH, Jenn tells me that there are a lot of rednecks here, which surprises me, as when I think of NH, I think of maple syrup and grizzled Wilford-Brimley-types hanging out on porches dispensing folksy wisdom amidst brilliant fall foliage. But then as I look around, I notice that freedom apparently involves living in a shack. Or a shack-like trailer. So, umm, maybe I’ll stick to MA after all – they’ve already done the health care reform thing AND they have good pizza, so really, what more could I possibly need?

My other issue with NH is that as a state, it seems to be mocking me. What other explanation could there be for the road signs that say “Thickly Settled”?? Thickly settled indeed. Hmph.

We pick up Jenn’s dog, a sweet little girl that she named Kona in honor of my own Kone, and head home for mojitos and more ultra-competitive cards. I will note that even at Jenn’s, I’m still bundled up like the Michelin Man, and Jenn is wearing……a t-shirt. Hmm. Must have something to do with my uber-efficient athlete’s metabolism, conserving all possible energy until needed for my inspiring athletic endeavors. Yeah, that’s it.


Jenn and Kate are going shopping, and since I have a deeply ingrained fear of shopping on weekends based on what hell that is in Chicago, I figure I’ll stay in, get some work done, explore the town of Lowell, etc. And oh yeah, I want to check out the so-called vegan café or coffee shop or whatever that’s right above Jenn’s apartment. She’s told me that she never eats there, and I admit I sort of don’t really get that. How bad could the hummus at a typical vegetarian coffee shop/café be? I figure it probably also has stale “healthy” style pastries or cookies, semi-withered quiche, perhaps some breadstuffs, and certainly coffee, tea, etc. This is my vision when I later walk in there after my stroll about town, to see if I could get a bagel and coffee, or something else equally simple. A muffin, say.

As I walk in, I believe I’m greeted with a “Namaste!” by an employee, but it’s hard to tell as I’m a bit overcome by the scent of patchouli, which hits me with the ferocity of a mushroom cloud. The place is rather dimly lit, so as I’m looking around for the requisite breadstuffs, which I don’t see, I’m asked if I want to look at a menu. Oh sure, why not. That might simplify matters.

Or not. Because this menu is truly the most inane thing I’ve ever read, or tried to read. We have one ridiculously named item after another, all crammed onto the pages of this little take-out menu, all in flowery script. A typical description:

The Healer – a gluten-free, delicious digestive cleanser and nutrifier- A savory, therapeutic blend of flax oil, kelp, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and Braggs all enlivening steamed broccoli and dark greens with raw sun-sprouts over brown rice.

There’s so much wrong with this I don’t even know where to begin, but let’s just say that food dishes should never be described as “nutrifiers” and leave it at that. Jenn, I’m sorry I ever doubted you. Hell, even the lattes try to push rice or soy milk. No, wait, the rice or soy milk “empowers” the latte. Right.

The rest of my time in Boston, I sarcastically tell Jenn that I’m just going to dash out and get a sandwich - “The Magician”, perhaps? (“A sandwich even an ardent meat-lover will crave!” Sure. I wonder which part of the “sensational sweet Miso Sauce smothering tofu” I’ll crave exactly.) - from the vegan place up above. For some reason she finds this hilarious, though I’m not entirely sure why….

Tuesday at the airport

Okay, apparently I’m booked on the Screaming Kicking Child Express for today’s flight. And as I’m waiting to board, I’m sitting next to my box of live lobsters that I’m hauling back for Idiot Brother, which keep scrabbling around in there. I can hear them. (As an aside, that’s a great thing when you’re in an airport, to be toting around a box-o-stuff making odd clicking sounds. Sigh.) So really, would it be wrong to somehow create some…..synergies, say, among those two seemingly unrelated phenomena? Just wondering…..

1 comment:

t-odd said...

Move to MN - no tax on food, clothing, shoes, etc. Oh, but there is that cold weather bullshit. Yeah.