Categorized | Our Town

Gluten

Posted on 03 October 2013

By Peter Hamilton Travis

Color me giddy, but this past summer’s air was heavy with the jejune scent of hyacinth, dumpsters brimming with recently discarded, roasted Italian espresso grinds, and the rarified, pungent clippings from 4-5 acres of well maintained Zoysia sod.

Interesting side note: When propagated from plugs, Zoysia will require two growing seasons for establishment.

Just like Lou Grant’s…

Hair plugs.  And incremental improvements in ensemble TV performance.

Hello?

 “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (CBS, 1970-77)?

Now imagine me shaking my cranium with a hearty stew of disappointment and derision.

The iconic, Ed Asner played News Director at WJM-TV” with effortless aplomb for seven seasons. The first couple of seasons (as with most breakthrough sitcoms) can be rocky.  Choosing Asner to play the character of Lou Grant was supported by a flock of few at the Network. But not for long.

It took some convincing, but Asner eventually won everyone over — gaining the distinction of being the only actor to win Emmys for playing the same character (Lou Grant) in both a comedy (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970) and a drama (“Lou Grant”(1977))

That’s just so…Ed.

Even now, he’s the only actor worthy of a cheap joke.  About hair plugs & dirt.

Speaking of plugs, well maintained Zoysia is possibly the most beautiful warm season lawn grass there is.

My suggestion would be to dig under your neighbor’s white lattice fence and ask. If their answer is “Zoysia” — the grass will always be greener. You are a loser. And would be better off moving to Poughkeepsie.

Through all this — haven’t we forgotten about the butterflies?

Each season, beginning in late spring & thanks to an exceedingly cultivated gardener from Montauk — my garden resembles a psychedelic popcorn machine. But, instead of corn — butterflies of all species, colors, shapes, and sizes pop up from amongst the wildflowers like trippy handfuls of jellybeans.

Salty swaths of butterflies ride the warm, frothy tides over shores that bind us — to what ceases to humble us. They’ll find the irresistible Paumanok hiking trail. As we stop to crane our necks in wonder. How do those spiraling swarms weave their way through the groves of Cathedral Pines. Pin-straight, neigh a needle in sight?

Until you risk your neck and your retinas by focusing on unreachable heights.

Ancient Pine canopies that blind & bind.

Is it worth the effort?

You eventually lose the butterflies.

Long before summer’s end.

And we’re back to espresso grounds.

“Have you seen that new house off Daniels Hole?  My God!  One should be charged a visitor’s fee just to steal a glance at that bronzed security gate!”

“I hear they have a saltwater pool. And the salt is from The Dead Sea!”

“Without question: the cabriolet version of that car — easily — half a million…probably more.  Depending on choice of hide quality, grain of wood, & that impossible to resist flashy nod towards ceramic brakes.

Today, it’s all about “bespoke.” If the following snippet of dialog from a certain cinematic masterpiece sounds familiar…

“Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown?”

The modern answer — off-screen, in real life — is yes.

As I ponder through my sun-filled windows, my back yard is, in fact, extraordinarily dense with hue. Deep, dark emerald. With patches of silver.  September’s silvery glint is not to be missed.

And the quiet…dreamy.

So, no, I do not miss the thrilling sideshows of summer. The highly undernourished blond lady bursting through the doors of a quiet little health food market — all the while literally screaming the following question to no one in particular:

“WHERE IS THE GLUTEN? I ABSOLUTELY CAN’T HAVE ANY GLUTEN. BUT I CAN’T FIND THE GLUTEN-FREE DEPARTMENT! I NEED TO FIND GLUTEN SO I CAN AVOID IT COMPLETELY! ANYONE? ANYONE AT ALL? NO GLUTEN!”

So wrong — yet why does it feel so right? The woman darted about said market so haphazardly, no employee — certainly no other customer — could focus their attention long enough to interrupt her cries for…or against gluten

What is gluten?

 

PETER HAMILTON TRAVIS Went for five solid days sans television. He should get a medal of some sort. Only, incorrect replacement of the new Universal remote batteries disqualified him. For pretty much everything.

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