Monday, May 30, 2005

A modest proposal

Now that I'm back in the land of the flat, the straight, and the organized-by-the-points-of-the-compass, I will admit to having been positively charmed by New Hampshire's rolling hills, narrow-streets-that-used-to-be-cow-paths, and--apparently--random design. Then there's the heart-warming combination of tourist-attracting trendiness and crotchety frumpiness that is seacoast New England.

Not to mention that I ate quite a bit of seafood (steamuhs, sawdfish, and lobstuh) and drank some wicked good beer and also had some good ice cream--a scoop of coffee Heath Bar at some little ice cream joint in Portsmouth.

Which reminds me--in New England, the per capita consumption of fatty, unhealthy foods is off-the-charts high. This is a little known fact, but it's true. Everyone has this image of corn-fed midwesterners waddling through the fried dough area of the state fair, or southerners sucking down platefuls of sausage biscuits and gravy. But New England is America's junk food dirty secret.

For one thing, premium ice cream stores dot the landscape like mushrooms after a spell of heavy rain. In fact, the whole crucially important concept of mixing CANDY with ICE CREAM was invented in New England (at Steve's Ice Cream in Somerville, MA, to be exact ... not that I used to hang out there a lot or anything.) And leave us not forget that Ben and Jerry--who basically stole the idea of mixing candy with ice cream and marketed it nationwide--live in Vermont.

Then there's the fried seafood situation, which is, frankly, pretty scary. I remember this fish place called The Fish House (oh, those wacky whimsical New Englanders!) where I used to eat lunch when I worked nearby. I bet I ate either fried oysters or fried clams for lunch every day for a couple of years. It's a miracle I lived to see the birth of the blog.

And then literally everywhere you turn around there's another doughnut place. New England has doughnut shops the way the rest of the country has Starbucks. There's one on every corner. Dunkin Donuts is headquartered in New England, and this is a very big deal. Did you know that the professional sports stadium in Providence, RI is Dunkin Donuts Stadium?

So naturally, this has me wondering one thing. When the doughnut eating epicenter of the world is apparently somewhere around Worcester, MA, what the hell is Homer Simpson doing living in Springfield?

Homer should give serious thought to relocating. There are nuclear power plants in New England, so he could get a job no problem. And if people have safety concerns about having Homer working in a nuke factory--and they should--Dunkin Donuts could always hire Homer to eat donuts as a tourist attraction.

--P.

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xxx, Poppy.