2//1/19 Public Eye

(Published 2/1/19)

The difference between where I grew up and New York City is that one is the Big Apple and the other is more like a Chia Pet seed … cut in half.

Although we did have a stoplight in Denton, up in Caroline County here on the Eastern Shore, it did not function the same as that big city’s lights, in that ours never really had a need to turn red.

That’s because a traffic signal must have vehicles converging in one spot to go into its green-yellow-red mode, which would be a notable occurrence in that town back in my day.

In fact, somewhere in the annals of the town, there’s a notation that says, “1958: elementary school students let out early to watch traffic converge. Light turns red, governor takes credit.”

I’m just kidding, of course, because I liked where I grew up and would only make fun of it in a nice way, as in saying February meant two things in my younger years there: Valentine’s Day and free rides for the kids on the manure spreader at Jimmy Henry’s farm.

Again, that’s not true — it was just a promotional idea a couple of us had that didn’t quite work out, hinting early on that a career in marketing wasn’t in the cards for me.

But when you head into NYC, as I did just recently, you do tend to notice certain differences, such as Denton had just two real bars, whereas NYC has more than several, I suspect.

I don’t know that for a fact, because there are limits to what a man can do, although I did give it my best shot. Make that shots.

 I did particularly enjoy the establishment where a blurry creature professed to me his undying love of Linda Blair (“The Exorcist”) because he liked the way her head rotated right before she did the split pea soup routine. 

“And I’m 57!” he declared, as if age might be a determining factor for someone who liked rotating heads, or had one of his own and was looking for love in circular fashion.

“And I’m 57” in that regard is like saying, “I love ham sandwiches, but never take the train.”

But making sense was not what this trip was about. Its purpose, from my perspective anyway, was to tell jokes (many of which momma don’t allow ‘round here), drink a tiny bit more than usual (tiny is a relative term) and eat in restaurants where they see people every day who are even crazier than you are.

And go to Arthur’s Tavern down in Chelsea, where everyone’s head will rotate sooner or later.

The truth is, I love it, even though I do tend to get nosebleeds once I get off the peninsula. Besides, I couldn’t have come home early even if I wanted to.

When I did check in at home with my marital associate, she asked if I was having a good time and a replied that I was.

“Well, if you’re not, you can always take the train back to Wilmington.”

“And you’d pick me up there?”

“Not a chance,” she replied. “Your long weekend is my long weekend too.”

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