Categorized | Our Town


Posted on 29 July 2011

by Peter Hamilton Travis

Super delicious, I am. At least according to 99.99% of all The East End’s most infectious ticks. Superstitious? Not so much.

Now, to avoid what I believe as The Universe’s Awful Truth — down to the marrow of every clattering bone — that death’s foul, icy yawn shall be released upon my prickled neck…

You know those yawns seemingly born from boredom that curiously erupt into a sneeze? Ominously heralding a breach in the bulkhead of your immunity? Well, it’s that kind of yawn.

Unless I recite (as I retype in impossible unison) the first letter of the final word in the first sentence. Three times.


There. No worries. I’m in a much safer place now.


This also just happens to be my 13th column for this super delicious, super historic newspaper. That, since 1859 has so unselfishly provided award-winning journalism focused entirely on where we are all so lucky — make that fortunate — to call home.

And wouldn’t you know it. 1859 marks the fateful year a massive amount of petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania! Having had the pleasure of being interred four blisteringly-boring years behind the fortress walls of Gettysburg College, I can only attest to that area’s curiously nefarious…energy.

Well, that and the fact that Gettysburg’s campus was built on — and is surrounded by — the ghoulishly unsettling, blood-soaked site of The Civil War.
Finding such a large deposit of cheap fuel boded well for Titusville. Not so for Sag Harbor. Which had a large interest in either whale oil or Vaseline.

From whatever I could glean from an embarrassingly unwieldy stack of Vanity Fair and Motor Trend magazines. Hello? Some of us have no power at the moment! Or own a book, smart phone, or a placemat from the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum’s Café, “Knuckles.”

How I know that, “knuckles” refers to a series of ridges on the dorsal fin of certain whale species is most likely the product of a misfiring neuron.

You find my pain amusing, do you?

Many of the whaling ships based in Sag Harbor found their final resting place in San Francisco. Abandoned after being hit by a final rogue wave of lust and greed.

Like TV’s “Let’s Make A Deal” times 13. California’s Gold Rush.

OK. I’m doing my best here to avoid mentioning the giant white elephant in the room. Or would it be about town? On the page?

Interesting side note gleaned from pile of aforementioned reference sources: “White Elephant” will be an exclusive trim package offered with the 2013 “Range Rover Supercharged Deluxe HRH Prince William’s Wife Whatshername Edition.”

Except you’re locked into going with “Plover’s Down” for the interior leather color. Much like the off-white Ye ‘Ol Cloak of Nuptials worn by the future Queen on April 29, 2011.

Is it Carol? Kelsey? Emma?

I have got to start reading People again. Just as soon as LIPA returns my calls.
The white elephant I’m speaking of consists of a series of seasonal events I must get off my chest.

After opening the door of a local grocery/wheatgrass bar, I graciously waited for what seemed like several school busloads of children to exit before I entered. All worth my while when the last child looked up to actually thank me! Then, before I could take more than a single step inside — I was trampled back out by a stampede — no — a circus car’s worth of garishly painted clown mothers. Thousands of them click-clacking (strappy 7” heels at noon on a brutally hot Wednesday? Really?) All yacking past without a single thank you. Or direct eye contact. I can hear it now from the crammed clown car’s front seat:
“That place had the creepiest, grumpiest doorman!”

“Oh my God! Right?”

“Seriously. Sandals with white socks?!”

“Oh my God! Right?”

“Was there someone holding the door open for all of us?”

“I never saw him.”

“What time is yoga?”

Then there was the gentleman driving a tan Lexus RX350 down Three Mile Harbor Road — who stopped so short in front of me (so that he could barely make a second turn into the same bar/eatery) — I turned into a ditch to avoid him. When I calmly approached the pallid, stork-of-a-geezer to tell him how dangerous his stop was, he quickly interrupted me.

“I didn’t see you behind me.”

Then, like a choke-collared cobra, I reminded him how close he came to killing me — and my dog. Which made him laugh out loud. Spit something unprintable across the parking lot in my general direction. And walk away. Towards — what I can only guess — was his, “Cheers.”

Minus the cheer.

Finally, I would like to thank all those nearest and dearest to me who have given me the patience and strength to weather a rather difficult time. From my brother, Luke who single-handedly caused my previous “Our Town” column entitled, “Dip” to go completely viral. Simply by posting photographic evidence on Facebook of THE infamous dip platter — along with a link to my column on The Sag Harbor Express’ website. To everyone else (you know who you are) who understood all and still made me laugh.

Who knows? 13 could be my lucky number.

PETER HAMILTON TRAVIS is wondering if someone wouldn’t mind dropping off a copy of the Sag Harbor Express. He’s never leaving his house again. At least not until October. When the light seems filtered through fresh pumpkin. And the air smells of freshly dipped caramel apples.

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8 Responses to ““13″”

  1. lynn blue says:

    Peter – here’s to “13″ also a bar -mitzvah, a good deed, a blessing a transition when one becomes a man (no no not THAT) here’s to great style, wit and you, you, delicious you, one of my all time favorites. please don’t let the lack of punctuation get in the way of knowing that i never yawn when reading your column and i appreciate every darn mot! Bravo! Lynn

  2. Stacy says:

    ” What time is yoga?” – brilliant… :-/
    Happy 13!

  3. Barbara Gaines says:

    Oh my G-D right! Happy 13!

  4. Susan Pheffer Nekrutman says:

    In reference to “13″ Love… Love … Love … In these trying times I am so happy to have something fresh and captivating to look forward to!! Thank you Sag Harbor Express and Thank You Peter!!!

  5. Aari says:

    Where else will I ever find jokes about whaling trivia & OCD in the same place? No need to leave my house either.

  6. Sally Ann says:

    OMG! I think I held the door for those women too!

  7. Michael says:

    Don’t know if you’re still checking this, but I loved the column. Call me I’d love to discuss it more!

  8. This is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

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