Adventures With Harry

Harry, despite all the recent cold weather, cannot for the life of him understand why anyone wouldn’t like winter. Nothing is biting or stinging, your underwear doesn’t stick, poison ivy and the immortal deer tick lay buried in the snow. Sleep is better. There’s the electric blanket to warm the sheets or a dark cavern of covers under which to hibernate for eight hours. And how can anyone compare the romantic glow of evening by the fireplace to…air conditioning?

But the best thing about winter, at least in Harry’s mind, is soup.

It’s hard to louse up soup. If you can chop vegetables and pour water into a pot, you can make soup. But there is one kind of soup that Harry, for everlasting reasons, will not go near: pea soup.

Sign Up for E-News

The last time Harry had pea soup was in January 1978. Interest rates were soaring, disco hedonism had replaced hippie hedonism. And the idea that Harry’s generation would “change” the world had come and gone.

That depressed Harry. But even more depressing were his marital problems. His wife, Mimi, had recently thrown a glass at his head. If he hadn’t ducked, Harry was reminded by the hole in the sheetrock near where he sat for dinner, he’d probably be dead, or at least facing life with brain damage. His wife’s murderous rage had left him sorrowful, sore and depressed.

Depression can at least be mitigated. Move! Do something. Get in a car and drive 75 mph, take a walk in the woods, jump out of an airplane (don’t forget the parachute). 

When his depression became too much to bear, Harry took train rides. Watching the scenery speed past, the soothing clickety-clack, the mild vertigo produced by locomotion (the best word in the English language) helped get him out of the rut that we call ourselves.

So, Harry boarded the 11:20 at Brewster and arrived at Grand Central with just enough time to flag a taxi and catch Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe playing tennis at the Garden. After the matches, he walked across Eighth Avenue to have a cocktail and something to eat. The restaurant had a food buffet and Harry decided to take a chance on the pea soup, which happened to be the cause of his current marital difficulties.

“Get the ham hocks, smoked ones,” Harry had requested of Mimi, who was attempting to make pea soup for the first time. Mimi was just learning to cook. Picture the queen of England in an apron. That’s how Mimi looked. She’d been the product of some fussy breeding, her genes uppity. But in that first year of marriage, she’d wanted to please Harry, to cook hearty dishes, work in the garden with him and get a few calluses on her pampered hands. But all the while what Mimi truly loved doing was ballroom dancing. Harry promised to give it a try, but first things first: The husband gets the food. The wife cooks it, right?

Right, Harry was a jerk.

Mimi’s pea soup didn’t compare to “Mama’s.” For one thing, she’d used a bland piece of boiled ham instead of the ham hocks; it’d turned out too thin, an insipid, pond-scummy green.

Mimi was rinsing dishes, her back toward Harry, who sat at the kitchen table eating her soup, his disappointment growing with every spoonful. Love and hate often mingle closely in marriage, especially when it comes to a man’s palate. Mimi, impatient, finally turned to face Harry. “So, how is it?”

“You forgot the ham hocks. I have to be honest, Mimi. It’s a travesty!”

Mimi held a glass in her hand. She threw straight and true, aiming at Harry’s head. If he hadn’t ducked, this column might be a murder story. The hole the glass left behind was large enough to fit a wall safe.

The pea soup at the buffet, as it turned out, was worse than Mimi’s. Once on the train, Harry went directly to the bar car for a gin and tonic. He drank one and carried another back to his seat. He started falling asleep but suddenly felt a pressure in the pit of his stomach, which swelled upward into his chest and finally to the opening of his throat. Something had to come up.

“Oh, Jesus, God,” Harry said out loud when the door to the tiny bathroom opened. He’d been in there for 30 minutes, on his knees, retching, hugging the toilet for dear life.

“Next stop, Brewster!” the conductor hollered.

The hole in the wall had stayed for weeks. Harry kept it there to remind Mimi that she’d almost killed him. But after being poisoned by the pea soup at the buffet, the hole looked different to Harry. No one escapes their just deserts.

We will end here, but it may please the reader to know that, after fleeing Harry, Mimi turned into a great ballroom dancer. And Harry? He had to learn how to cook for himself. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

America's Pizza Crisis

To me, pizza is the perfect food.

It contains all your major food groups: dairy, vegetables, bread and meat. It needs no alterations, no improvements, no changes. It is perfect in its pristine, glorious incarnation—unless you are in Chicago. I don’t know what the hell that thing is.

But like any good meal, the key to stellar pizza is the recipe and the quality of the ...

A (Burnt) Toast to Love and Marriage, on the Rocks

In its first few moments, sitcom-style comedy “Clever Little Lies” grabs audience attention right away, with one of the most revealing wardrobe changes you’ll ever see on stage. It is done modestly but just provocatively enough to elicit vocal appreciation from amused patrons.

The fast-paced play, starring Richard Kline of TV comedy classic “Three’s ...

A Snowflake for All Seasons

My name is Bruce and I’m a snowflake.

It’s quite the burden to bear.

I trace it to my childhood.

I don’t know what my parents were thinking.

They had a crazy notion to bring me up to not reflexively dislike other people.

So, I don’t know any better.

I don’t begrudge anybody what they have or what they don’t have.

That’s not true.

I ...

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

Monty, the Magnificent

Not to brag, but our dog Monty is pedigree royalty. Yes, he’s like the Prince of Pooches, the Duke of Doggies, the King of Canines… well, you get the idea.

Monty comes from a long line of Retriever blueblood. His mother, father, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers are all champion show dogs with enough medals and ribbons to make Lassie woof with envy. While his lineage is ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Carmel Cinema 8, Carmel

Screening: “Suicide: The Ripple Effect”

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_cacd9d489f78ac41874a_2018_july_rabies_flyer

Sat, July 28, 10:00 AM

Hubbard Lodge, Cold Spring

PCDOH Free Rabies Clinic

Health & Wellness

Fri, August 3, 9:45 AM

Carmel Fire Department, Carmel

2018 Big Latch On

Health & Wellness