Sunday, 16 January 2011

Lobster 101

It looks like they're escaping. You shouldn't take the rubber bands off a lobster before putting it in the pot. Immerse them after the water has boiled. They are sea and land animals. They will crawl across the floor of your caravan if you don't take this culinary advice.

Maine Holiday-one person missing, one missing person, the main person, three people instead of four.

We should see the rest of America before returning to England. No more to say. Let's go for a drive. We would often squeeze drivable cities into long weekends. Little trips to Indian statues. We knew more about the area than the locals and more about America than the Americans. Black Hawk, Sioux, The Kinnikinnick.

"Do you believe it? The woman in the supermarket asked me what language we speak in England. These people. They think England is in France. " She loved to Yank bash. Yank bashing was her thing. It made her feel superior....and she was. It gave her a point of reference.

"These Americans. They don't know how to cook. Look at them...fatties. They can't get out of their cars to pick up a take-away. They've never heard of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. They are probably heating pizza as we speak." She was a good cook. She liked to enhance the meal by telling us how much money we were saving by eating a square meal at home. "Especially the greens. Americans don't know how to cook greens. This would cost at least twenty dollars if we were eating out."

"These Americans. They don't know their pleases and thank yous. It has been the most disturbing day. I will never sell hot dogs at your school again. "
"A cheerleader? What do you want with being a cheer girl? You don't know what a football looks like. Home and away? I suppose I'll be doing the driving."

Blue aerograms. We'd slice them open and sit there listening like pilgrims on Little House on the Prairie. Grandma and Granddad are coming. We piled six of us into the two door Ford Maverick and headed for Niagara Falls. It was a sporty vehicle. It got a little less press than the Mustang. Dad had purchased it with ten dollars down at Rock River Ford in his first two weeks of moving to the US. Mum read the letter to her father, a Navy man from Plymouth. He still grumbled. "That's the last you'll see off him." Nearly true as after posting the letter, he had a massive heart failure and spent the first six months of his one year contract in intensive care. There were five or six more heart attacks after that and twenty-two pills a day.

The few first hours of the holiday were spent heading west towards Iowa. Wait a minute. Let's look at the map. East Coast. Turn right. Zoe locked us out of the caravan at the rest stop. A small crisis that tipped my mother over the edge. She was angry and in tears. That's when it hit me. We had to figure it out on our own. I crawled through the window. He had only been gone a month. He made it to 44. I wasn't in the mood for a holiday. We saw them minting coins at Fort Knox, touched the cracked Liberty Bell, and raced past The Indianapolis Speedway. Each monument washed over us like a tombstone. I meant to hesitate only for a minute, not for a lifetime.

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