new Hudson Valley residents
Saturday, July 26 2014
Today was the day that our friends Susan and David filled up a 25 foot moving van, cleared out their Upper Westside apartment (along with two storage units), turned in their key, and moved into their new house just east of Woodstock. This morning David came over and dropped off the two dogs Olive & Darla to hang out with us all day while the movers did their thing. (David later reported that the movers were all Uzbek and did a great job, though several appeared to be nursing terrible hangovers.)
This evening David and Susan wanted to celebrate their new upstate residency by going out to dinner. So at about the time Gretchen was closing down the bookstore, I drove over to Susan & David's place. Its great room was piled chest-high with cardboard boxes, and there was furniture and other boxes in various other rooms. Susan had suddenly come down with a terrible gastrointestinal complaint and wouldn't be going to dinner last night, so David and I drove into town in my Subaru.
We met up with Gretchen and went to Joshua's upstairs dining room and were soon joined by Deborah, who was carrying a very expensive camera so some idiot wouldn't break into her car and steal it. We had the usual Joshua's experience, although everyone drank a bit more than usual (I think everyone but me had two drinks; as usual I had a single big 16.9 oz Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA). Also as usual, Gretchen and I ordered Asian Hot Pots. Dinner conversation with this group is always a continuous series of setups and punchlines, much of it revolving around the subject of defecation. Early in our meal, David teased us by introducing the idea of the thing he imagines whenever he needs to make himself throw up, but he didn't tell us what that thing was. Later, though, after a couple drinks, he told us. "Picture a morbidly obese man," he said, then added, "And now imagine him wiping his ass with a piece of ham." That was it. That sounds pretty disgusting, but my mind immediately went to who would still very much want that piece of ham after the morbidly obsese man was done using it as toilet paper: Ramona the Dog.
We were amazed at the end of our meal to discover that the four of us had somehow run up a $174 tab. "Those are [New York] City prices!" Gretchen sighed. "Yeah," David agreed, "I thought we were getting away from all that!"
After dinner, as we walked through a back alley to get to the parking lot immediately southeast of (and in the back of) downtown Woodstock, I heard the first ominous "Cha-cha-cha-cha" of a Katydid. That's the call that signals summer is in its final half. Back when I was a kid, it meant there were just a few weeks left of summer vacation, and it was not a welcomed sound. It even had bad connotations for my father, probably for a similar reason.
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