Back in Weybridge in real time, I had a scrumptious date with Tom, who looked quite cute in his Eagles boxer shorts. He insisted I put on my Donovan jersey (just the jersey), and he obviously boned up on football terminology for the occasion. I never thought football was particularly sexy. Trust me, it is. When somebody’s yelling “In the grasp!”, “Caught behind the line for another safety!” “Interference!”, “Score a touchdown…one…two…three!” (I emailed him the mp3 of the Eagles Fight song and he memorized it, the big Sweetie.) I’ll stop now.
A warm welcome to the newest reader of the blog, Anthony John Dell Aquila, Jr. who was born on Sunday, grandson of Colonel Mickey and cousin Joanne. I got an email from License to Injure Slightly. As a relative of mine, I’m sure he’s already reading and eating meatballs of the Neapolitan style.
License mentioned in his email that I haven’t talked much about the Phillies. The reason is that British readers’ eye glaze over and they immediately switch to that guy who’s backpacking in Guatemala’s blog if I get carried away with American sports reporting.
But okay. The Phantastic Phillies are now up three games to one over the Dodgers in the NLCS. The last game was a masterpiece- a pitching battle of pure perfection. J Rol had a walk off two run double with two out in the bottom of the ninth! At least that’s what License said.
Note to British readers: How’s that dude in Guatelama doing? Did he get away from the Contras after they kidnapped him?
Back in Vacation Central, Scary Fairy had blown Pinkie and me off the day before we were due to arrive at hers. Yeah, I totally agree with that assessment.
We could have stayed on at Stuart’s, he was up totally for it; he loved having us stay. But we’d booked our return from Newark Airport. And we’d booked our train tickets to Newark. And we wanted to see Pat and Mike. And I had a date with Israeli Guy scheduled. What an inconvenience and a pain in the tush. Not to mention deplorably ill-mannered.
North Jersey Babe graciously invited us to stay in their luxury penthouse apartment on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Gosh…what to do?
Don’t be daft. Get Princie to drop us off at 30th Street Station (after some final, final Philly shopping), cop a plea with the train conductor: “We made a mistake! We thought we were booked to the Penn Station in New York, not the one in Newark. Why are there two?” delivered in Pinkie’s poshest British. “Well then don’t get off the train when we get to Newark” he suggested. “Thank you” I piped up in my best British accent. Pinkie said it failed miserably. I think she called it ‘a train wreck’.
We grabbed a cab when we got to the Big Apple, and were whisked by the ubiquitous African person aiming directly at hapless pedestrians to Pat and Mike’s with hardly any accidents. We came bearing gifts, of course. Americans simply can’t not do that ‘hostess gifts’ thingy. I thoughtfully had picked up several boxes of Tastykakes during our last Search & Seize in Philly, telling Pat “So you’re not, like, forced to eat Entemann’s for your sugar fix.”
In my on-going war with Mike, I’d gotten him a special box of Eagles Tastykake Touchdown Krimpets, in a festive green and silver wrapper. He so got me back.
I think at this point I’ll mention the lovely snaps I posted of the Bolins proudly sporting the famous Eagles hat. (Bet you guys are sorry now that you got really pissed that particular night in the Grotto.)
Pat told us “Mary’s loss is our gain” which was incredibly hospitable and gracious. Mike poured us a giant glass of Zinfy, and asked “Where would you two like to go for dinner?”
We admitted to being a bit tired from all the shopping/socializing/fancy dinners. “Can we stay in?” I asked. “I’ll be happy with a real, proper American, New York pizza in my Eagles ‘jammies watching the wonderful, awesome amazing Yankees taking care of business.” Okay. So I lied a bit. But we were at their house, and they actually like the Yankees. And that guy- not the A Rod one – the other one…Derek Somebody… is extremely hot. The one with the incredible grey eyes.
So that’s what we did.
Mike had thoughtfully made sure that my bedroom was crammed with every fucking piece of G-men memorabilia he could get his hands on. Including a catalog of the shit for me to take home. I love Mike. If the Yankees end up playing the Phillies in the World Series, I will just stop answering my phone for a while.
Of course, we shopped some more. Even though New York is outrageously expensive. The weather had changed drastically, and it was actually snowing as we queued for an hour to get into Abercrombie & Fitch. I would have said “Up yours” but Pinkie had to get a hoody for Amy. It was so cold, and we were so wet, that we had to stop in every store on Fifth Avenue to get warm. And look around.
I said to Pinkie “Here’s a real treat. I’ll take you to Bergdorf’s. That’s where Jewish American Princesses go when they die.” Sadly, after all the prior shopping, neither of us could afford to buy a hair slide at Bergdorf’s. If they even condescend to sell them.
New York + bad weather = no taxis. We stood on a corner frantically waving at the Africans passing by and laughing at us from their toasty cabs. Then a cab pulled up to drop someone rich off at Bergdorf’s. I swooped in and jumped in front of a bedraggled couple who spoke no English. Boy, cursing sounds really harsh in whatever they were speaking. “Get in and ignore them” I ordered Pinkie, pushing her into the cab. She was seriously impressed by my cunning and lack of conscience.
Back in the lap of luxury, we opted for real, American Chinese food for dinner, one of the last few ‘must eat’ foods on my list. I missed devouring a Reuben with extra Russian dressing. Pat’s fault entirely. She told me there was a New York Deli at Newark Airport. There is; it just hasn’t opened yet.
Friday morning we paid for our sins. After we shopped one last time for little stuff. Do you know that Hello Kitty bandaids cost $4.39? We packed. It really wasn’t terrible. Princie had already mailed two huge boxes to boxes to me, and Pinkie had brought along some vacuum bags which really worked. We sat around drinking coffee and chatting to Pat until our shuttle to Newark arrived.
I admit that I was terrified. And Pat, trying to be helpful, suggested that after I got on the plane I should give Pinkie my American passport to hide in her stuff so that when I got strip searched at Heathrow they couldn’t find it. But after British Air checked me in and took my luggage quite willingly, I relaxed a little bit. So we hit the Duty Free Shops.
The flight was fine; I slept all the way courtesy of a nice flight attendant and several bottles of burgundy. We landed and headed to Passport Control. And absolutely nothing happened. I handed my Passaporti Italiano over to the bored agent and she popped it into the machine and handed it back. No trick questions like ‘Come sta?”. She didn’t smile, but, of course, I was now in England. They just… don’t. Ever. Not even if Derek Jeeter walks by naked except for his batting helmet. So I guess that whole nightmare is finally over. I can stop worrying about it, and I guess I can go home whenever I feel like it for a visit.
The Irish Lad picked us up and I was officially back in Weybridge.
And I think that is now ‘Everything I Did On My Summer Vacation’ or at least what I’m going to share.