Steve Martin, Garry Shandling, Albert Brooks…Add my friend who -shall not be named, to this list. He missed his calling. See if you don’t agree with his wonderfully funny satirical send up of my “Shorelines” copy. He also comes to a lake for vacation…its definitely worth a read for a good SNL style chuckle. Sure cure for the summer’s end blues..
“Sit with me just a moment. Close your eyes. Smell the scent of mown grass above the boathouse. Waves lap. A heron flies overhead and out above the lake a hawk soars, catching a thermal lift. Pine needles whisper and sigh in a stirring breeze. Sunlight knifes through the slats in the dock. Feet sink into the plush wet moss on a rock. All of the best things in life come down to these small moments.”
Oh, my God. Please shoot me.
As you know, my annual vacation takes me to Vermont, where I am placed in the same kind of idyllic setting that so inspires you a few miles away in New York. (The only significant difference is that Vermont has the virtue of . . . well, fewer New Yorkers.) Since you’ve invited me to join you, I’ll be happy to share my responses to your blissful Shorelines musings . . .
– I’m sorry, I don’t have a moment to sit with you. I have to make an emergency trip to the local medical clinic with _____________ (Insert child’s name) to ______________ (Choose one of the following: treat her poison ivy boils / sew up his gash from “l’affaire de fish hook” / remove the engorged tick from her scalp / have his stomach pumped of that rancid meat we purchased from the town grocer / reset her kneecap from the waterskiing wipeout / extract a rusty nail from his foot).
– If I close my eyes, I might doze off. Nobody could sleep last night because it’s so f’ing hot in that cottage!
– Unfortunately, the scent of mown grass is overwhelmed by the odor of the neighbor’s broken septic system. Because you’re from New York, the omnipresence of e coli is nothing new to you . . . But the stench is mind-numbing for those of us accustomed to breathing real air.
– The sound of the water lapping is certainly soothing – almost as much so as the sound of the water pounding on the cottage roof two nights ago . . . and three nights ago . . . and four nights ago. I took great comfort in those 53 consecutive hours of rain. And I’m glad that someone hid the kitchen knives . . .
– Yes, I was considering the splendor of that blue heron as I cleaned up the last pool of excrement he left on our float — an avian equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill.
– That’s not a hawk, sister. That’s called “one big-ass dear fly” . . . And you won’t be speaking of him in such majestic terms when, four minutes from now, he or one of his 23 million cousins that live on this lake, is gnawing on the back of your neck. You’ll be trying to snuff out his existence just like you’ve done to twelve of his kin in the last two hours!
– Who can hear the whispering and sighing of pine needles over the whining of that f’ing jet ski!? If I get my hands on the little prick who’s riding it, I will chop him into bass chum.
– More than sunlight knifes through the slats in the dock . . . My ankle, for instance! Everything in this God-forsaken land rots within twelve months – particularly the dock planks. These people just have a thing for “decay.”
– You don’t have to step on a rock to get the feel of wet moss. In this climate, moss and fungus will grow anywhere. Try the shower stall. That box of crackers we opened last week now houses a small forest of mutant vegetation that could wipe out half the state in the wrong hands.
In fact, the best things in life are all waiting for us at the Albany airport! A toilet that flushes automatically . . . A newspaper that prints the headline of Bin Laden’s capture in larger font than the story about the volunteer fire department’s pancake breakfast . . . Water that does not taste like it’s been stored in the boathouse wheelbarrow for the last year . . . And an airplane that will carry us back to warm and comfortable shades of brown. I’m begging you, Lord: Get me away from all this GREEN!
We’ll all be much safer if we can just get to that plane . . . Toying with gravity at 60,000 feet is infinitely less risky than canoeing in the middle of that lake . . . with a dozen speed boats criss-crossing our path – each captained by some New Yorker with complete disregard for any human life other than that of the screaming brat being dragged behind the boat on a tube.
I’m so grateful for this annual dose of perspective . . . this restoration of my soul . . . this salve for the year’s wounds and disappointments . . . this . . .
Good night nurse, did that f’ing heron just take another dump on the float!? . . .