Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rhode Island in Real Life (Addendum to Part 2)



We, the three mutant mousketeers, went off to the movies this weekend. After much discussion and a reading from rotten tomatoes, we decided on Dan in Real Life.

When Dan packs up his three daughters and heads North on the Interstate, the sign looked familar. When the car was driving along the shoreline, also familiar. Next camera shot was an aerial view of that bridge, the really scary one we had just crossed ourselves a few weeks ago, and we knew - Dan's parents lived in Rhode Island.

Yes, North of Newport, along the harbor. We watched and laughed. It was completely unexpected.

When the Dan gets pulled over by the local police, he mutters under his breath "Welcome to Rhode Island." Our thoughts exactly.

In one scene, Dan (Steve Carrell) drives to the beach. You see him standing by a run-down clam shack that has been closed for the season. Looked like Misquamicut- probably just South of where we stayed, across the Westerly boundary line. There was the bowling alley and the water slide, circa 1975- we saw signs for the waterpark near our motel. Scary, very scary.

In their defense (just briefly), it is easy to understand why Rhode Islandites have a major chip on their shoulder. When the California wildfires were raging last week, CNN reported the area burnt was "half the size of Rhode Island." Think about that for a moment- our national newscasters were trying describe how incredibly large the fires were by comparing them to the smallest state in the Union divided by two.

Recently, an alternate lifestyle devotee from England got himself killed while engaged in extreme sexual play in Lynn, Massachusetts. His Dominant partner (who has since committed suicide) wrapped him head to toe in cellophane, stuck a straw in his mouth and locked him in a closet. He suffocated. His play partner panicked and, with a friend's help, dumped his body in, you guessed it, Rhode Island! Could they have picked a smaller, more obvious place?

My last thought on Rhode Island is a sentimental one. It really wasn't a bad place, it just wasn't our kind of place. There are some beautuiful vistas, amazing mansions, lovely shops, kind and generous people- including the owners of the Seashell Motel who have tried very hard to improve their property- and they deserve special mention.

If you are filthy rich (or bought a sailboat with the profits you made from pumping out Pocono Foods septic tanks every day for three years), the sailing looks very fine in the harbor. Just watch out for the fog- it comes in quick on little boogie-board feet.
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