A sweet, adorable, clever story about a beautiful and beautifully mannered ex Miss Alabama who has decided to jump in the river. Maggie has made a list of pros and cons and the pros have won out. For months, Maggie makes preparations for the day. She has donated all her clothes and jewelry to the local theatre, arranged to have flowers delivered to the graves of her parents for the next 25 years, written a letter to her cleaning lady with $500 and her gold watch, closed her bank account and given away the money to charities, cleaned and shined her leased car and her rented apartment, and left her old tiara and baton to an old friend of her mothers who worked at the local department store and always called her up when there were sales. But in the cab on the way to the river where she’s hidden away weights and a raft, she is commissioned to sell her favorite house in the world, Crestview. For the sake of the beautiful old house, and for the sake of the small happy firm to which she is devoted, Maggie feels she must put off the big day. She comes back home, whites out the date on the ‘To Whom It May Concern Letter’ she has left in her kitchen, and gets to work.
Don’t buy anything. Don’t borrow anything. Don’t open any kind of e-trade account, or invest in any kinds of funds, or buy any kinds of currencies, or pay any kind of broker. Read this book, cover to cover. Then write a letter of praise to Peter Schiff for his clarity of thought, his easy to understand explanations of economic realities, and his ability to map out alternatives for Americans with a little bit of good sense.
A town is the scene of what people do, become and have.
Stabenow describes happy slow small towns with unusual people who are ever so slightly insane. Who might shoot people over candy bars, or murder them in quaint hotel rooms or share fried bread with a wolf.
There are towns with female elders called “Aunties” who have outlived five or six husbands each, speak English as their third or fourth language, and who have enthusiastically and indiscriminately adopted every stray idiot that crossed their path. They have walnut brown cheeks, wear gold rickrack and are poised between misdemeanors.
Some of these towns are north and some are norther. It is cold:
He wore a balaclava and a knit cap, inside hood Gortex pro shell, ski pants, Patagonia capilene, beneath down parka guaranteed to 20 degrees (below), surround caribous guaranteed to 20 below…
Some are situated where there would be gold if it could be mined. And here there are problems.
‘…This grand vehicle was a color not seen in nature… metallic, shimmering kind of not-chartreuse, not-gold, not-silver, not-mauve with just a hint of not-maroon….’
Thinks Kelp, not-thinking, not-talking to himself in a kind of not-Bronx, not-Queens, not-Staten Island, in-your-front-lawn five-borough accent while looking for a car to steal in Long Term Parking at JFK. Specifically, a car with an MD plate, cause doctors know about cars you can survive.
This is a book for New Yorkers over 40 who remember Mayor Lindsay and the Bronx before Co-op city and Queens before Balkanization.
Be prepared to laugh unstoppably in the middle of supermarkets. While waiting in line for plywood, ready for the next hurricane. With a mouthful of anything beginning with the letter B.
WILLIAM DUFRIS doing 5 ex-cons planning the kidnapping-that would-go-wrong at bowling alley volume is gut-funny, rib-funny, crotch-funny. A book to be not-read, not-spoken but laughed out loud.