I’ve mentioned before (‘Painting‘) that I enjoy the odd day trip to visit a nearby area that’s become hopelessly trendy because of a new (-ish) wine industry — even though I don’t actually like or drink wine. This past weekend was one of those day trips; the first this year in fact. Several of us self-administered massive amounts of caffeine, lemon currant buns and peaches, piled into vehicles and ran the gauntlet of cheap smokes and discount leather goods to reach berries, hollyhocks, grapes and earnest young people in logo-encrusted golf shirts.
I’ve also mentioned before that I look for different things than my friends; they look for well-crafted and reasonably-priced fermented grape juice while I look for friendly canines, good ice cream and captivating (at least to me) art. I think the bar is lower for me, but I may be biased.
At one point I was following Emily‘s directions and roaring down a gravel road because she said it was the road to dinner. On one side of the road was a field the colour of spun gold with blue jays doing synchronized gymnastics in the trees. It was beautiful. On the other side of the road, though, was a sign indicating that the road was only semi-maintained and perhaps I was going a tad faster than was truly wise.
My car needs a thorough wash now.
At one location I was admiring the art (there were five pieces I liked, two that I liked a lot) and not annoying women in the bathroom (well, not that I know of) when I sensed (call it a sixth sense, but without large-caliber cannon) that I was being…watched. I looked around and I was being watched — by a very pleasant-looking yellow Lab who clearly perceived the possibility of belly rubs. His Mom told me that his name was Max (coincidentally, this wasn’t the name of a young lady in our group) and when his belly was rubbed I received an extremely sloppy kiss in return.
To be honest, I think I liked the art better.
At another venue I was admiring their Joe Pye (bigger than mine) when three large motorcycles rolled into the parking lot. I briefly wondered about the logistics of designated drivers with motorcycles, then noticed that they all had at least some of the expected accessories: The beard. The leather. The shorty (black of course). One of them, though (the biggest) had more: A license plate (local — this will become relevant in a second) with a creative misspelling of the word HOG. And it (the bike, not the rider) was so big it had a bumper. On the bumper a flag was flying. A confederate flag.
The Mason-Dixon line is a day’s drive south of us — in another country.
When this guy embraces a stereotype, he, um, goes whole hog.