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Monday, 08 September
Vacation (Fortunately Without Chevy Chase)

Last Thursday, the wife and I left a much-needed long weekend on Whidbey Island at a bed & breakfast. A couple of friends (who are themselves a couple) joined us, K. and K., and we had a glorious time on the ridiculously beautiful island doing things like luxuriating in the hot tub, drinking booze, and in all ways pretty much just draping ourselves over furniture like sleepy mandrills.

The bed and breakfast was of the "Here's the bed, make your own fucking breakfast" variety, which was great with me: the 2-bedroom cottage was set apart from the owner's house by about a quarter mile of woods, and they had stocked the fridge with eggs, bacon, juice, etc. So rather than having to chat with athletic Swiss middle-aged couples touring the countryside over scones or grimly smiling at a too-eager-to-please host, we lounged around looking disgusting and made breakfast at whatever damn time we pleased. Being a total misanthrope, this worked out well for me.

Outside the cottage was a stable containing three lovely horses who clearly were used to getting their way with the tenants; they would hang their long faces over the stall walls and stare at us when we came out on to the porch. They'd sort of shake their faces at you, then give a soulful look at the apple tree nearby, and look back at you pleadingly. It was great; I immediately wanted to magically replace all the panhandlers on Broadway with adorable horses. Traditional beggars don't whinny and make chuffing noises of appreciation when approached with apples and carrots (though I confess I've never tried this tactic).

Note to self: tomorrow, try pacifying neighborhood panhandlers with fresh produce. Approach subjects cautiously, saying absurd things like "Who's a pretty thing? Are you a pretty thing?" and then shove carrots in their faces.

Maybe not.

A ridiculously big hit was, of course, the hot tub, which my wife in particular showed alarming enthusiasm for. She was in that fucker immediately, relaxing quite vocally and with much stretching and wriggling, causing me to think: Well, I'm not needed any more. We all got in a couple of times, but it's just not the same for me, I guess; it feels good and all, but after a little while I just kind of start to feel like soup. The wife, however, I imagined was stealing away in the dead of night to get back into the tub's gurgly embrace. "Wha--? Whereya gon?" I'd say muzzily. "I'm leaving you for the hot tub." "Whyyyy?" "It doesn't kick me or fart in bed," she'd say, slipping out the door. It would be hard to argue with her; it's just as well we do not have a hot tub at home.

We dicked around the island one day, visiting the local winery, whose pleasantly straightforward host treated us to some lovely stuff and endured our clownish questions. "What's Oak Harbor like?" "Northgate," she deadpanned. (For non-Seattleites, Northgate Mall is an utterly charmless aging mall north of the city; it is known for its wretched Eastern bloc-style architecture, unappealing retail outlets, and frequent violent crime.) Freakishly, we still went there, and sure enough: it was horrible. The K.s took to calling it "Commerce." I hypothesized that some of it had to do with the nearby military base: "The boys get back in town and want some cheeseburgers and whores." We thought about seeing a movie, and checked out the wan, crumbling theater: Jeepers Creepers 2, The Medallion, and . . . God, I don't know. Something else that made us immediately stop thinking about seeing movies. I began to wonder if the entire town wasn't some governmental black-hat experiment in mass demoralization.

"Agent Smith, report on Oak Harbor!"

"Sir, the populace has reached Level Five. According to a recent poll, 74% of the respondents feel like their souls are 'made of some kinda black crud.' "

"Excellent. Move to Phase Three."

"Yes sir. Johnson! Release the roving packs of gray, mangy, vomiting dogs!"

We took a little side trip on the passenger ferry to Port Townsend as well, a lovely little burg whose sidewalks are absolutely crammed with terrifying hippies, pedal-steel bands (what?), and adorable little beachy-front shops designed to crowbar all your fucking money right out of your pocket. It's charming if you're in the mood, and we were; we stopped at some anonymous pub to get some food, which only took a mere forty-five minutes or so to obtain from the perilously incompetent waitress, and we didn't even care much. We all passed out on the ferry ride back, except for boyfriend K., who was viciously stung by a bee that had crawled into his shirt. It's kind of funny if you know him, though we all felt bad; he writhed and occasionally made piercing noises through his teeth. "HEEF! HEEF!" I know that doesn't sound funny, but this is the same guy one time who put too much spicy crap on his pho soup, and spent the better part of an hour with water bursting out of his eyes and his nasal passages burning like hellfire. Things like that just kind of happen to him. He's like Job, but with slapstick.

Anyway. I'm back, and I survived Monday at work, where of course I answered the same question over and over: "Have a good time?" People always ask you that when you get back from a vacation, and then of course you have to tell them about it. To get around this, sometimes I'll lie. "We got gang-pressed into a geek circus, and I had to jerk off chickens while a monkey orchestra played 'Pass the Dutchie'!" "Ha-ha, be serious." "Heh, okay. We actually were on a millionaire's retreat, and he let us hunt and shoot The Most Dangerous Game! I bagged me four hillbillies!" "All right, I'll talk to you later." "You don't want some hillbilly steaks? They taste kind of like feet!" "Jerk . . . "

But yeah, I had a good time.

Roam | Skot | 08 Sep, 2003 |

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

Ah, but did you get any Whidbey Island liqueur? Them's my favorite! Can't remember the kind of berries they use, but I do remember I can't get it anywhere but the Island...

Comment number: 001448   Posted by: Elayne Riggs on September 9, 2003 04:19 AM from IP: 141.149.34.229

SKOT! I think I may be lousy with tongue cancer. I did a Google image search and now life has no joy. Do you think I will lose weight after they cut out my tongue and I cannot even taste the protein gruel I will be "living" on?

If only I could give this tongue cancer to one of histories greatest monsters.

I am going to be tasting like a madman until Monsieur Tongue Guillotine

Comment number: 001449   Posted by: Johnny13 on September 9, 2003 08:16 AM from IP: 163.192.21.4

Until Monsieur Tongue Guillotine comes for my tongue. You got that right?

Comment number: 001450   Posted by: Johnny13 on September 9, 2003 08:21 AM from IP: 163.192.21.3

Port Townsend is the home of Loompanics, everyone's favorite publisher of guides to things like manufacturing crank out of common household cleaners or forging passports for fun and profit. Can you buy homemade anti-personnel mines and illegal phone taps from charming street vendors there?

Comment number: 001451   Posted by: Snarky on September 9, 2003 08:24 AM from IP: 198.151.13.8

"love lift us up where we belong - where the eagles flyyyyyy....."
Officer and a Gentleman - right?
Dang, I love Port Townsend.....did you get an ice cream at Elevated Ice Cream and then sit on the boardwalk and wave to Canada?
Did you eat you some geoducks - huh?

The Geoduck Song (tune: 'Turkey in the Straw')
Dig a duck, dig a duck, Dig a gooey duck
Gotta dig a gooey duck, Gotta dig a duck a day
'Cause I get a buck a duck if I dig a gooey duck.
So I gotta dig a duck, Gotta dig a duck a day


um, I didn't make this song up - I promise.

Comment number: 001452   Posted by: heather on September 9, 2003 08:51 AM from IP: 63.227.131.182

Thanks to all the comments here, I have hit upon a solution for Johnny13, who is in a tongue-panic. If it comes down to it, I will buy the Loompanics book Home Tongue Remedies, and be able to replace Johnny's tongue with a gigantic geoduck. Problem solved!

(Again for non-Northwesterners, a geoduck--pronounced "gooeyduck," unfortunately--is a gigantic saltwater clam. Seriously gigantic; it is most commonly described as looking like a gray, mucus-covered horse cock. WHO'S HUNGRY?)

Comment number: 001453   Posted by: Skot on September 9, 2003 09:28 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

Skot! My dentist has cleared me of my cancer fears. Turns out I have some ulceration brought on by stress and acidic foods. Color me tongue cancer free.

Comment number: 001454   Posted by: Johnny13 on September 9, 2003 10:10 AM from IP: 163.192.21.4

Sorry, Johnny, but I already bought the clam. Get in the chair.

Comment number: 001455   Posted by: Skot on September 9, 2003 10:13 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

A gray, mucus-covered horse cock, hmmm. But does it taste like feet?

Comment number: 001456   Posted by: Bet on September 9, 2003 10:23 AM from IP: 205.242.228.42

I know the geoduck song - we had to sing it in elementary school! (oh it doesn't have a front and it doesn't have a back, it doesn't know Donald and it doesn't go quack!)

Also, the Whidbey's liquor that was mentioned is FAN-FRICKING-TASTIC and it's made from Loganberries.

Comment number: 001457   Posted by: Krizzer on September 9, 2003 04:59 PM from IP: 12.229.253.255

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