SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD – The road back to normalcy goes through General Tso. That, at least, is the case in Scotch Plains/Fanwood, where all the Chinese restaurants are reopening for take-out at the same time, at high noon next Tuesday, TAPInto Scotch Plains-Fanwood reports. Local Lo Mein lovers still recall the sting last month, when all the Chinese restaurant owners got together and mutually decided to close their doors during this pandemic, following a stark, unfair dip in business. Six weeks later, the self-imposed exile will finally end, promising oodles of Chow Fun.
STATEWIDE – The state’s golf courses are looking awfully lush these days. But they remain empty, as per the governor’s stern “stay at home” order. Now, the New Jersey Golf Association, as well as a couple of state lawmakers, are hoping Gov. Phil Murphy will reconsider reopening 300 or so golf courses. Many are quick to note that golf courses are now doing brisk business in New York and Connecticut and question the reality of health risks in a sport that celebrates social distancing. But Murphy won’t consider anything until the golf courses could open “responsibly.” It’s likely the golfing isn’t the big concern; perhaps it's all the mingling before and after the 18 holes, with a well-earned gin & tonic awaiting. Meanwhile, the golf clubs are losing cash week after week, while glorious temperatures arrive. Will the governor feel the heat?
VINELAND – Sick and tired of Netflix? Well, those dusty, old drive-in movie theaters may be making a comeback. Fueling this speculation is Gov. Andrew Cuomo, telling the New York Post that he may let his state’s 25 remaining drive-ins reopen as a safer choice than indoor theaters. If Gov. Phil Murphy follows suit, New Jersey’s last and only survivor, the Delsea Drive-In Theatre in Vineland, could get a huge, unexpected business boost, prompting its owners to show something newer than “Back to the Future.” Delsea owners postponed their March opening due to coronavirus restrictions. But, now might be a good time to ensure your souped-up DeLorean’s flux capacitor is ready for a trip to Cumberland County.
WASHINGTON TWP – Gas prices aren’t quite what Marty McFly paid back in good ol’ 1955, but this pandemic may drive fuel prices below $1.50 a gallon. That’s cheap enough to take the family on a retro-road trip to this Warren County town to “fill’er up” at Guy’s Auto Service. RetroRoadmap.com says this hidden treasure is one of New Jersey’s oldest full-service gas stations, built in 1922. It still uses vintage pumps, one from the 1950s and three others from the 1970s. Originally a Standard Oil station, Guy’s has been independently owned for three generations of the same family since 1959. Bet they’ll also Squeegee your windows without a lot of attitude.
BRIEFING BREATHER: America’s oldest gas station is Reighard’s Gold Star in Altoona, Pa., operating continuously since 1909.
STATEWIDE – Most billionaires, like us, really don’t know what to do with all our money. Sure, we have our yachts, Learjets, Ducati motorcycles, Kentucky Derby winners, etc. It’s all just so predictable, you know? But there’s at least one billionaire who has some new ideas on how to spend. Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, tired of throwing money at Presidential politics, is putting up $10 million to help create a COVID-19 contact-tracking program. Mayor Mike, assisted by 35,000 medical students and some resident geniuses at Johns Hopkins, wants to find a way to immediately identify someone’s friends and family as soon as they test positive for the coronavirus, NJ Spotlight reports. Right now, all Bloomberg has is an idea and $10 million. Imagine if he manages to cut the pandemic short by just one day. Way better than a Ducati. Even the one we have, dripping with diamonds.
NORTH BRUNSWICK – While you sit at home, staring blankly and forgetting what's on TV, it's time to get inspired by these do-gooders: Homeowners on Patton, Newton, Douglas and Davis streets step outside on scheduled nights, including tonight, to twirl flashlights and wave or shout greetings to their neighbors. They are collecting non-perishable food for a local food bank and making regular phone calls to check in on their elderly neighbors. The Sentinel also says more than 30 homeowners are writing optimistic messages and tacking them up on their mailboxes for Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack to read on-air during his daily televised COVID-19 update. More fun than a double-feature at the Delsea!
KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE DAY
GLOUCESTER – The good news for two local knuckleheads? The UPS package they had been waiting for arrived Friday. The bad news? It came while they were being charged by police with threatening a different UPS driver earlier that day. The Daily Journal reports that Kyree Shaw, 40, and Diana Bailey, 52, boxed in a truck with their vehicles and demanded the driver turn over their package. The only problem: He didn't have it, yet they wouldn't give up until they searched the cargo. A little later, a different UPS driver in a different truck pulled up just as cops were charging Shaw and Bailey with criminal coercion, making terroristic threats and conspiracy during a state of emergency. Considering Shaw was also charged with possession of marijuana, we're pretty sure he was impatiently awaiting a giant bag of nachos and a couple of jars of queso. Three Murphies.
KNUCKLEHEAD SCORE: 3 out of 5 Murphies
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
PRIMORYE, RUSSIA – Think you are bored? A marathon runner who spent nine months training for a now-canceled race is now keeping in shape by running laps around his bed. So far, he has travelled 62 miles around his bed, way short of the 155 miles he had intended to run in a Moroccan desert. It took 10 hours, 19 minutes to run around his bed for 62 miles, as he remains desperate to keep in shape while cooped up in his apartment.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1992 that the first McDonald’s opens in China, with a Lo Mein subpar to what you can get in Scotch Plains.
WORD OF THE DAY
Berserk – [ber-SERK] – adjective
Definition: Frenzied, crazed
Example: We now go berserk when the doorbell rings.
WIT OF THE DAY
“I don’t like to give up on people when they need someone not to give up on them.”
- Carroll Bryant
“You can’t have many hundreds of employees standing around doing nothing.”
- Donald J. Trump, defending layoffs at Mar-a-Lago
WEATHER IN A WORD: Wet
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun