Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 15

Ajax "explores" downtown Salem


So today's my first full day in Boston with my brother (Shane) and sister-in-law (Cassandra) and so far I'm having a grand time. This morning, Ajax, their 90-pound greyhound, rudely woke me up by jumping on me was my alarm clock this morning. I can't complain too much, though, because he just laid down and went to sleep again, which means that he's an alarm clock with a snooze button.

After we got ready, we headed to downtown Salem and ate at the New England Soup Factory for lunch, which was absolutely delicious.

After that, we came home to hang out with Ajax's dog walker, Angela, who brought her greyhound (Ajax's girlfriend, Raynah) to play with Ajax and a puppy she was walking/grooming named Jake. He's a little cocka-poo and he's so flippin' cute. Shane told her that she could groom him in their guest bathroom so she wouldn't have to go home to do it and so that Ajax got to spend a little more time with Raynah. After she was done, Angela asked Shane for a broom so she could clean up all Jake's black hair from the bathroom floor, but he told her he'd take care of it.

Later, when we were telling Cassandra (who had been at work all day) about Jake's haircut, she was like "Oh THAT'S what all the hair was! I didn't want to say anything because I thought it was something Mandy did. I couldn't figure out what she had been doing in there!" Ha. Hello, I'm Mandy. I go to others' houses and trim my hair off 2 inches at a time and leave it all over the floor, just to make you wonder.

After playing with Raynah and Jake, we headed back out to mini-Boston downtown Salem to take Ajax for a walk and do a little exploring. The mini-Boston thing is true, though. They have a red line going along the sidewalks (a mini-Freedom trail), a mini-U.S. Constitution (actually the "Friendship"), a mini-Boston Common (Salem Common), and a mini-Boston Beer Works (Salem Beer Works). It's kind of funny. Who needs Boston when you can have mini-Boston plus witch museums?

On our walk to the Salem Common, we saw this guy:

Don't even try to tell me that's not Hurley from LOST. You know it is. Who knew he lived in Salem and has a golden retriever?

After the walk, we went to Dairy Queen, where I waited in a very long line for our Blizzards because it was such a "hot" day, according to the woman behind me in line (it was 70 degrees!). We ate them while we unfortunately listened to a group of very loud, not-very-intelligent women talk about possible reasons they were having trouble losing weight, including colon issues, siliac, and the fact that they haven't had any surgeries that have prevented them from eating for a few days like their friend had ("Gosh, wouldn't that be great! I'll bet I'd lose weight really easily if that happened! Ahhahahaha!!")

Here's a thought ladies - you're at Dairy Queen. I'm guessing the Blizzard you're eating as you ponder why you can't lose weight is doing just about as many favors for your flabby stomach as my Blizzard is doing for mine. Let's either make peace with that or choose not to eat the Blizzard, kay?

On our way home, we saw a Burker King marquee sign fail:

Yes, everyone. Get your "Start Trek" glasses!

Not much else is worth mentioning, except that 1) we ate at a Brazillian BBQ (read: unlimited meat) place for dinner (yum), and 2) There's a place called "Bunghole Liquors" here that always makes me wonder whether they just thought that name was funny, or it's just an unfortunate family name and there's somebody out there named Todd Bunghole.

Based on their website that I just found, I'd say it's the former.

Update: Looks like there's a good reason for it after all.

There's a colorful history to the original Bunghole Liquor store in bewitching Salem, Massachusetts. You see, the Bunghole used to be a funeral home. And during Prohibition the owner and his buddies, like many others at that time, used a slang word to refer to their secret drinking spot in the basement. The slang term they used was "bunghole," as in "Psst, meet you tonight at the bunghole."

A "bunghole" is simply the hole in a cask or barrel.

Read the entire history here.

Oh yeah, and by the way, I'm going to the Celtics' Game 7 on Sunday night. The plan had been to leave on Sunday morning, but I decided it would be worth the extra fee to book a different flight to see an actual playoff game this year. It might be my only chance.

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