- The Atlantic Ocean is a cruel mistress. She was utterly placid and glassy in the mornings, her only motion what Patrick O'Brian devotees will recognize as a "greasy swell" that broke limply on the shore, waves no more than a foot high. The wind picked up most afternoons, giving the waters something of a creditable chop, but certainly nothing that would make a surfboard move an inch. The way to guarantee such undulatory impotence is to rent a surfboard with an eye to learning, finally, to surf.
- The way to guarantee the irritation of a recent surgical incision that has nearly completely healed is to rent a two-person ocean-going kayak. Really -- you should try it; all the best families do. Take the kayak out into the surf, load your trepidacious passenger, in this case a girl of fourteen who has never so much as paddled an air-mattress, lose your grip on the thing in a wave, have it turn turtle, and then -- this is the fun part -- feel its sharp edge plow right into your recently incised thigh-muscle. In my case, this raised a mere charley-horse in the thigh -- but imagine my surprise when, the day following, I managed once again to be attacked by the object, this time the very sharpest, surf-cutting prow of the vessel driving into the exact same spot. My screams could be heard in Lisbon.
- I'm going out on a limb, here, and I'll probably be drummed right out of the Drones Club for even mentioning it, but I think it might be possible -- just possible, mind you -- that there is such a thing as too much P. G. Wodehouse. I hasten to add, the Master cannot be gainsaid; his skills as a farceur, his effortless, playful mastery of the English sentence, and his delicious evocation of a bygone and far more civilized time can never be surpassed. My problem is that reading him introduces an unbecoming orotundity to my own speech, and I begin interacting with my own children and their guests as if they were characters in an English country-house farce. I was a whisker shy of demanding that we don black tie for dinner, but I found myself referring to a glass of Samuel Adams Boston Ale as "a life-giving draft of the needful" and mystifying my son by telling him I'd "just been giving the rising sun the glad eye." I began to believe that all I needed was a black-rimmed monocle like Galahad Threepwood's to pop out of my eye at moments of surprise. People don't wear monocles these days, more's the pity. They should.
- People who don't read P. G. Wodehouse should not be allowed to name their beach-houses. I have in front of me a brochure from the rental agency that let us our house, and it is a collection of the awfulest puns ever perpetrated by human agency. "Whalecome Inn." "Our Tern." "Sea Esta." "A Shore Thing." "Solvent Sea" (at two thousand clams a week in the high season, a subjective assertion). "Breakin' Wind" (I swear to you!). I am aware that I am not exactly innocent in the punning line, and so my irritation might be a bit de trop, but I'm mystified why somebody would invest the time and money to have an elaborate sign made up reading "Weak-End's Retreat." What the hell is a "weak end"? Is this some kind of reference to the human ass? Why the hell did somebody think that was funny? Jesus. People.
- Now this is funny, a real-estate agent's sign, abandoned on the ground outside our beach house:
Always wanted to do that to a Realtor(r). And while I'm at it, spank his worthless bum with a riding-crop and yank on his dog-collar. Perhaps you'd like to meet his wife, Dirty Little Two-Bit? And their enchanting daughter, Attention. And their son, a well-known blogger -- Link. Lovely family.
- Bobby and Mikey: Thanks, boys! That was some sovereign pinch-hitting. Personal Revelation Time: In my younger days, I looked a who-ho-hole lot like Bob Seger. Like, frighteningly so. That pic of Bob in Bobby's last post? Wonder Woman asked me where Bobby'd gotten a picture of me in college. Yikes. Best thing to do with your stalker, Bobby, y'ask me, is to consult Jeeves. The man's brain is positively bulging out all over the place. He lives on fish, you know.