The Wrong One Flew
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," anxiously overseeing our little nest and hoping a storm doesn't blow it to bits! Those of you who've been through losing a home will know exactly what I mean.
My daughter The Heir is mostly through her first year of college. The Heir took an extra year of kindergarten and was thus 19 when she began school last fall. You'd think I'd have been tired of her stink by that time, but I was deeply sorry to see her go.
Once she got to college, I actually missed her less. She's working hard and has made new friends, and she has her own radio show on the college station. It's a comfort knowing she's found a good academic fit and isn't celebrating her independence by pouring beer down her gullet and dousing her t-shirt with water.
Heir's spring break was last week. I took a day off work, and we went on a mini-road trip. We drove to the Jersey Shore, where we settled in deserted Wildwood (many, many 1950s-era motels, Heir loves that kind of stuff). After having a sandwich at the only diner that was open, we walked the empty boardwalk, stared at the empty amusement piers, and took a long stroll on the beach, down by the surf.
This gave us plenty of time to talk. And it was a pleasure to see The Heir go all gooey over those cheesy motels. It's like the town has a competition to see who can win "Craziest Motel Theme." I mean, come on. A hotel called "The Crusader," with a two-story mosaic of a Knight Templar on the side? Tacky just doesn't begin to cover it.
But that's Wildwood, NJ. It's famous for such foolishness.
A word about finding dangerous stuff in the sand at the Jersey Shore:
Sorry, Gov. Corzine, but the truth will out.
Heir and I were enjoying the pounding surf when she looked down and said, "Oh, it had to happen."
Lying at our feet was a razor blade. Just outta nowhere.
I guess we could be defying the odds by finding a razor blade on a 10-mile stretch of beach, on a mid-March day. But you know, it's the Jersey Shore, and Wildwood at that. So we're not talking long odds here.
Notwithstanding the stray health hazard, and the incessant drone of bulldozers building beaches -- everywhere we went -- Heir and I enjoyed our day at the shore. We even headed home on the Delsea Drive, a back road that winds straight from Cape May to Wenonah, home roost of every buzzard who is any buzzard in the Garden State.
Yesterday Heir went back to college. It was harder than ever to leave her in that great big dorm. But she'll be home soon for the summer. Heck, at the end of four years she'll probably be home again for a long time. What do you do with a liberal arts degree in a state where you can't rent a slum box for less than $1000 a month?
Today I'm sitting here in my home office, with Decibel the Parrot beside me in his cage. The Heir is going to be 20, but Decibel is older. He's 22 and showing no signs of slowing down. IN FACT, EVEN AS I WRITE HE'S SCREECHING AT THE TOP OF HIS BLOODY LUNGS.
Why can't parrots go to college? I won't even ask for financial aid.