Sunday, April 9 2006
Gretchen and I took a couple of weekend house guests (in this case one of Gretchen's second cousins and her fiancé) to Sweet Sue's in Phœnicia for br...unch. Sweet Sue's is probably the most popular brunch location in the entire Catskills, and on a day like this one you could easily see why. The sun was bathing the landscape in the kind of warmth that is always a possibility this side of the equinox. Even if the air itself still had a touch of early April chill, the sun managed to pay that debt and a little extra as well. It was like being back in Quetzaltenango, where everyone has suntanned faces and hands but are (one assumes) blanched everywhere else.
While we ate there on the sidewalk I was made aware of a new subdemographic, though a name for it eludes me. This subdemographic is characterized by early 30-somethings who drive enormous SUVs (often of the BMW brand) and have precisely one kid and perhaps a purebred dog as well. It's as if the kid is worn (they are often worn in the manner of Flavor Flav's clock bling) as another form of conspicuous consumption, as if to say, "Oh yeah, in your face, this is our kid because we can afford it!"
There were two different people from this demographic attempting to park their behemoths in front of us while we ate, though it turned out Gretchen and I knew one of these people; the mom half of the Jeep-driving couple works at the office of our dentist.
As for the BMW, it treated us to a car alarm serenade while its owner was in one of Phœnicia's several shops. When the owner came out he apologized and asked if the serenade had been going on for very long. "Actually, about five minutes," Gretchen lied. (It had been only about a minute, but a miserable minute in Phœnicia nonetheless.) Interestingly, the car alarm didn't play the usual car-alarm sequence (that familiar series of videogamesque electronica passages you can hear as easily in Brooklyn as in Quetzaltenango). It was much simpler than that, without any discernible passages at all. Evidently there are at least two different car alarm compositions burned into the ROMs of car alarms worldwide, waiting to delight and amuse at the slightest jostle or bump.
But back to my point: the enormous BMW, the car alarm, these are all symptoms of someone who wants to take up a lot of room in the world. Someone who drives a huge SUV and makes big monthly payments for this privilege has to convince himself that the entire world is envious of him. An indication of this was provided by a brick-red Hummer that also rolled through Phœnicia as we ate. Its passengers were all waving at us in slow motion as if they were politicians! Could people who drive Hummers really not be aware that a large fraction of the population, particularly among the brunch-eating demographic, find their vehicles disgusting?
We'd carpooled to the Stewarts at the intersection of Zena Road and Route 28, and while the others continued down 28 to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, I went home via Dike Road and Dug Hill Road. I stopped at an abandoned rock quarry on Dug Hill Road and gathered a number of large wedge shaped rocks, pausing at one point to pee out some of Sweet Sue's coffee. About halfway into the peeing I thought I heard a car coming, so I went to close the necessary valves in my lower abdomen in an effort to cease my urination. I must have acted too quickly, because I felt a shooting pain coming from an unfamiliar place. I'd actually pulled a muscle trying to stop peeing! I'm getting old.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next