My date with Monsieur Henri

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‘Heading home to a hurricane’

Well. At least I wasn’t the only one traveling toward Hurricane Henri.

East-End friends and relations had shared stories of long gas lines and even-longer traffic lines as Henri-spooked Hamptonites fled West.

Hamptonite Traffic. And this is when there isn’t a hurricane bearing down on us

But, judging by the crowd waiting to board the next bus (er, excuse me, “Jitney”) at the Long Island Airport Connection — a hot, dusty patch of concrete smack-dab next to the roaring traffic on the LIE — there were plenty of other fools heading East. (For those of you who are not familiar with Long Island Geography, “east” is the direction you go to get to The Hamptons; “west” is the way out. The LIE is the Long Island Expressway; trust me, there is nothing “express” about it.)

Also, I must interject a teensy qualification here, mainly because “The Hamptons” sounds so all-fired snooty and all. For most of us East-Enders, The Hamptons just happens to be where we live — and shop for groceries and vote and go to the dump and fold laundry. Oh, I have spotted Sir Paul, but he was standing in line at the farmer’s market just like everyone else.

Traffic at the Farm Stand. (Sir Paul could very well be in one of those cars)

Pro Tip: you can spot a “local” out here because we always say “hello” and smile, even when met with stony stares aimed at us over a cellphone screen.

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Masked and Anonymous

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‘First class service. With a really big smile’

Like most couples in these pandemic times, The Dude and I are spending a lot of time together. Way more time than we used to. Mostly, this is pretty swell.

One of the swellest: going on long hikes together

But (not much, but some) friction arises when we get to talking. I make my living (or used to) with words. So I know a thing or two about their use. Dude Man, while extremely well-educated, has a propensity for the odd word misuse. He’ll use “faux pas,” say, in a sentence like, “I made a real faux pas in my backgammon match.” And then I can’t help myself. I’ll say, “What did you do, burp really loud?”

Then I have to explain that “faux pas” means a social mistake, not a mistake mistake. And he gets all indignant. “That’s the way I’ve always used it!”

Sometimes we bike together too. (Needed something to break up the bickering)

The other day he used “euphemism” wrong. I can’t remember his exact mangled phrase, but our subsequent lively discussion required me to resort to Wikipedia for backup. If you have the time, it’s worth a click to see all the different kinds of “innocuous words or expressions used in place of those that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant” there are.

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