Somewhere atop the list of my favorite things rests the verb "eating." Also high on the list: the band Wilco, videos of baby pandas attempting to climb trees, mafia flicks, highly caffeinated coffee, Van Morrison's performance of "Caravan" in the film The Last Waltz, and the Wu-Tang Clan.
Eating, however, is the only item on my list of favorite things that could also be considered "essential" or "important."
Late addition to the list of my favorite things: putting quotation marks around words for no reason other than to use them, because the late Frenchman Jean-Girarde Q'Uotacion (I'm 99.9 percent sure that he was a real person) created the quotation for a reason, and I intend to honor him.
Anyway, I spent the holiday in Maine with my special lady, celebrating Thanksgiving at her grandfather's house in Hudson, which is about 20 miles outside of Bangor. We also spent some time in Presque Isle, which, contrary to popular belief, is not an island, is nowhere near the coast, and has a surprisingly low population of lobsters.
My girlfriend is from Presque Isle, and if you were to talk to her for more than 15 seconds, she would announce this fact with pride.
"So, Jamie, it's good to meet with you, let's talk about this proposal -
"I'm from Maine."
"Oh, that's nice. Umm, I think this is well-written, and I am particularly interested in -
And so on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making fun of her - I would never, ever do that in print, because I value my life way too much. Having visited Presque Isle many times, I understand why she is proud of her geographical roots. Presque Isle can best be described as "far." As in, holy crap, we are very far from everything.
It takes about 12 hours (650 miles) to drive there from Saranac Lake. To put that in perspective, you can drive to all of the following places in less than 12 hours: Shea Stadium, Washington D.C., Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Shea Stadium, Virginia, West Virginia, Trenton, Chicago, Shea Stadium, Big Pink, the place where Deer Hunter was filmed, West Hampton, and Flushing Queens (Shea Stadium).
So, why drive 12 hours to Presque Isle?
Because I am an awesome boyfriend.
Wait! No! You drive to Presque Isle to eat. A lot. You drive to Presque Isle if you need to gain upwards of 10 pounds (I don't), and to eat the best comfort food money can buy. Like mashed potatoes that consist mostly of butter and garlic. And cream of tomato soup, that consists mostly of butter.
And, on the way you stop at her grandfather's house, because Frank makes "chicken-spaghetti," which is mostly butter. And chicken and dumplings, which doesn't appear to have much butter in it, but who am I to speculate?
The point I'm trying to make here is that the next time you load up your car to travel to some totally awesome destination, like the Baseball Hall of Fame or Madison Square Garden, think about what you're missing in Presquel Isle: Butter.
Chris Morris is the news editor at Denton Publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org