9.22.2006

By the grace of Cod






Headquarters is now a rental house on the Cape, far, far from Iowa. Instead of corn, there are cranberries. Cut farmers, paste lobstermen. There is actually one Dunkin' Donuts store per citizen, and they are all staffed by unintelligible former lunch ladies from Bulgaria. Strange system: you tell them what you want in your coffee, and they do it. I heard a woman ask for "three quahtas of an Equal, hon." I for one prefer to complete my order hunched in privacy at the cream and sugar counter, thank you very much, because it's nobody's business how I like my beverage. But it is faster, I suppose, and as Traca da Broon points out, this way you don't have to wait in two lines.

We drive a lot now, go through a tank every three or four days. We have a mall in Hyannis, a gym in Sandwich, a doctor in Mashpee, and a nephew in Falmouth. And when you drive you have to stop at Dunkin' Donuts every five miles. I believe it's a state law -- sorry, commonwealth law. Went to the Bodyworlds exhibit in Boston, feeling sick most of the way through it. Funny how Real Human Bodies don't look real yet can make me nauseated all the same. "Woman's Abdomen Showing Massive Constipation" sure was a highlight. In the other direction we have Provincetown. Didn't see you, Nam! Should have emailed first. Next time. Bigger and more elaborately cute than I had expected.

The beach is cool, a couple hundred yards' walk. Dogs dig it. Mind the rocks and dead crabs! Mainly things are quiet so far. A new phase. Lots of writing, reading, and work. And cable TV. Took us days to figure out how to tell what's on TV! Haven't had it since 1999! What do we know about what to watch without putting in a DVD? We're like, as my sister pointed out, "people from China." "America's Top Model" seemed as good as anything, and, as it turned out, it was. I totally couldn't believe what that one bitch said about the other one that one time. I was like I so hope you're booted off at the end, and when she wasn't we realized that they're keeping the bitch on because we hate her -- they know we watch to hate -- and we began to hate ourselves for that. But only a little bit. Not as much as we hated that bitch. TV watching suggestions welcome. We're ready for "Lost," for "Battlestar Galactica," for "Deadwood." Has George's gone out of business yet, or are y'all making up for our lack?

15 comments:

cj said...

Grendel -- aren't you going to tell us how awful life is on the congested, crime-ridden, impoverishingly expensive, unduly rainy and claustrophobically mountainous East Coast, and how we in Iowa should count our blessings for living in this landlocked paradise? Your pictures of dogs running elatedly across an ocean beach might otherwise make me cry. That water's full of yucky seaweed and Portuguese Men-o'-war, right? Isn't it??

Grendel said...

Well, but cj, we're here out of season. It would be like moving to Iowa City in the summer and thinking wow, you can park anywhere, nobody is drunk and screaming, there's no puke on the sidewalks, and the cleavage is at least 30 years old. When the truth is far different.

There IS yucky seaweed on the beach, if it makes you feel better. And I mentioned the dead crabs. And there is traffic sometimes -- but nothing like it is in season. Once winter hits, and we're tying ourselves to trees in the face of a nor'easter, that'll be a different thing. But now it's sunny and mild and the tourists are gone. As a guy said on the radio the other day, "We who live on the Cape year-round know that September is the best month."

Also it's mostly old people. And there's literally nothing to do in East Sandwich. Like, driving to the Border's at the Cape Cod Mall on Friday night is the shizzle.

Trevor Jackson said...

Thanks for the update, Grendel. You and Traca are missed.

El Gordo de Amore said...

CJ --

I'll say the Northeast sucks if you tell me the law school has fallen into rags and destruction without me -- that people crawl the halls, tearing at their hair and crying "Where is El Gordo? Where is the People's Poet of Pleas, Process, Prosody, and Plaintiffs? Now our legal educations have turned to rot! How could we have been such fools?"

That way, we can both happily lie to each other.

Which makes one feel better.

Brando said...

George's? Why there ain't nothin' there no more but a spot a' asphalt. Went out of business in the summer of aught-six. Heard a couple regulars picked up and left, but if you walk by at 1:59 a.m., you can see their ghosts sittin' on the bar stools.

Grendel said...

We drank so much Cuervo and Corona there we started calling it Jorge's.

PJKM said...

Grendel - I hated that bitch, too. But she isn't going anywhere for weeks and weeks.

Watch: The Amazing Race on Sunday nights. The finale of Project Runway on Wednesday. And, if you want a good laugh, any episode of CSI: Miami (re-runs or new).

Patry Francis said...

My dogs went walking on the beach today, too. Didn't see you there, but I do know those Bulgarian ladies you're talking about.

Grendel said...

Patry, I didn't realize you lived so close! I'll have to shave and shower more often now. Are you on the Cape?

rdl said...

Wow what a switch! great read! found you via patry. TV suggestions: House (Tues) and Gray's Anatomy (Thurs? now).

Patry Francis said...

I'm in Centerville, and I gotta say, you nailed the place. Usually we go to our town beaches--Dowse's or Craigville--or Sea Street in the summer (lots of good Brazilian music.) But every now and then we take a big trip over to Sandy Neck, where it looks like your photos were taken.

Anyway, please don't shower and shave on my account. I'm a writer; I don't get out of my pjs till 3 p.m.

gerry rosser said...

There are cooler places to get coffee than Dunky on Cape Cod. There's Pie In The Sky in Woods Hole. There's (ah, crap, forgot the name) the coffee shop on Queen's Buyway in Falmouth. If you feel bar-ish try Roo Bar (Falmouth and Hyannis), if you feel swordfish-ish go to the Quarter Deck in downtown Falmouth (get the anchovy butter on the side, try it before it's slathered on your fish) good chowder there, too.

I'm gone until after the vernal equinox.

I have never wintered in Caped Cod, have been there for short visits in the cold.

Grendel said...

Thanks for all the advice, folks! Will be implementing as we can.

I must say, PJKM, that we watched, or began to watch CSI: Miami last night. First timers. And, uh, not sure how to ask this, because there's no accounting for taste, but were you kidding? Do you watch it "ironically"? Do you "like" it in the same way that I "liked" Fantasy Island, Love Boat, Cannon, The Rockford Files, Quincy? Or do you ... gulp ... do you actually ... um ... how would you describe your real feelings about it? I really do want to know, because maybe I missed something in the ten minutes I allowed it to stay on the screen.

PJKM said...

Grendel! Of course it's a silly show. One of the silliest. That's why I like it.

Did you doubt my sanity???

Grendel said...

I doubted my own sanity as much as yours. And I doubted my own taste. I came to the show tabula rasa, except knowing it's wildly popular, and my thoughts immediately ran to "Well, this is extremely terrible, so either PJKM likes it for the silliness factor or... she doesn't." And that last one -- that is something I could hardly abide, so I wanted to be sure.