We had our annual Hamptons Getaway last weekend, where our group from high school gets together and catches up. And it was a relaxing time as usual. By relaxing I mean nonstop people yelling at each other. In between the yelling we often have time to gloat about how little we have changed, which is great for now, but before you know it we will be gloating about how few of us are dead. I don’t want to be one of those people who when they die you go, “Jesus he was even still ALIVE?”
We sit around the table outside with our drink of choice and chat. Sometimes we talk about old times, but very rarely, since now everybody brings their kids, and the only things we ever did in High School together happen to be the very things that everybody is trying to convince their kids not to do.
Sometimes we talk about current events, like whether they should build a mosque next to Ground Zero. On one hand I don’t know why in the world they would WANT to build a mosque next to Ground Zero and risk having dopey people say bad things about them, if they are trying to show how loveable they are. On the other hand I got a mosquito bite, so I went inside.
The Hamptons is a funny place. If you look around, you can find an example of everyone in the song, “You’re So Vain,” by Carly Simon. For instance, I saw a guy with a hat strategically dipped below one eye. I also saw someone with an apricot scarf. There was also a guy who was with an underworld spy, or the wife of a clothes-pin. Okay I was never that good with lyrics.
Steve made his usual fabulous filet mignon on the barbecue. All of us are very health-conscious and do not eat red meat, so we had Steve cook it until it was maroon. I would like to get one of those rotisseries for our home barbecue, but I can’t imagine cooking anything other than beef on it, because anything smaller than a cow and you risk having it look at you with its stunned face as it comes around each time on the spit. It seems so barbaric, and there’s just no way to dress it up. I find it odd when they cook a whole pig and stick an apple in its mouth, as if to say, “We caught this fucker trying to steal an apple, and that was the LAST STRAW!” Or when they take a chicken and stick an entire lemon up its ass as if to say, well never mind what they would say.
There is a lot of fawning over wines, everybody saying that this one is very rich, or that one is a little fruity. Personally I think fawning over wines is a little fruity, but that’s mainly because wine gives me asthma, not to mention a hangover that is very rich.
As we eat and drink with spirited conversation, intelligent points-of-view, an exchange of ideas, I can’t help thinking what a dynamic group we were and are. Then I eat something with a bee in it and all those good feelings go out the window.
The next morning my wife and I made crepes, which is to say that we were trying to make pancakes and forgot one of the ingredients. Since everyone is so health-conscious, we made sure to bring some fresh fruit as toppings, hoping no one would be interested in the chocolate sauce. But there was a boatload of children there, and while adults can be easily fooled, children never fall for such basic tactics.
We got to the beach in record time. Usually it takes one to two hours to pack the coolers and figure out who is going in which car. This time it took two hours and seventeen minutes, including the fact that their car was literally out of gas. I won’t mention any names, since I would find myself on my own list, but there are people who will pass by a gas station for 2.79 a gallon, thinking that they have enough gas to make it home and then, by coasting down hills with the engine off, squeak over to the 2.77 gas station. Unfortunately, a change of plans takes them instead right by the 3.11 station, clearly unacceptable, but everyone knows that the gas gauge has a built-in margin of error of a quarter-tank. Those of us willing to drive five miles out of the way to spend two cents less on gas are the same people who overpaid by $25,000 on our house without blinking an eyelash.
Anyway we get to the beach and start our Scrabble game, and all of a sudden there is a big dust-up because the Clintons walk by. It is almost impossible to tell it’s them, since they are so unassuming, strolling by slowly, hand-in-hand, followed by a bunch of guys in bathing suits with a wire coming out of one ear. One of them tackled a kid with an Uzi squirt gun just to be on the safe side.
While everyone is yakking about the Clintons and what they’re wearing (Hillary is wearing red from top to bottom, which is making her caboose look like an actual caboose), I’m looking at my Scrabble letters thinking, hey, since Hillary knows about foreign policy, she probably knows how to spell the word, “foreign.” I thought it was “i before e except after c,” but there’s no “c” in “foreign,” and spelling it “foriegn” looks foreign to me. Maybe the word “foreign” is foreign and the rules don’t apply?
But the Clintons saunter away and I’m left with no Spell-Check and Steve’s really bad Bill Clinton imitation. Everyone else is dishing about how much better Hillary looks on TV. If I was on TV I would have the make-up girl make me look worse than I usually do, so I could hear those words that the litigants say after a Judge Judy trial: “TV doesn’t do you justice!” I think about braining Steve over the head with a Kadima paddle, but I don’t want to ruin my Kadima paddle.
Incidentally, Hillary Clinton is the 67th Secretary of State. Thomas Jefferson, whom Hillary’s husband is middle-named after, was the first. Jefferson waged the Tripolitan Wars from 1801-1805 to prevent piracy of American ships off the coast of North Africa. Killed in action during a heroic maneuver in this war was one Captain Richard Somers, whom my town is named after, even though he never set foot in it. If he did, I believe he would have liked it, even though there are far too many traffic lights.