Saturday, July 31, 2010

Consider the Lobster Hut


image via Bruno Laplante

This story from the New York Times "In Maine Village, Lobster Goes Briskly - Traffic, Not So Much", reminded me, as I'm sure it did for many readers, of David Foster Wallace's essay about the Maine Lobster Festival and the nature of pain (does a lobster feel pain? Probably.)

It also brought to mind a summer or two spent in Prince Edward Island. Unlike many who fall in love with PEI, my memories are of very fat tourists, waiting in very long lines for very mediocre and over priced lobster dinners. No kid wants to spend their holiday in a hot car, so that's my plea to parents this year. Make more of your vacation about enjoying a place rather than getting there.

For some reason, our parents have a highly delusional Pollyannaish view of summer vacations and road trips. To this day I avoid long drives to the chagrin of those around me. It's hot and it is incredibly dull and when you are a kid and only four feet tall, you sit in the back of a car and all you see is the inside of a car door. Dullsville. So Parents, have some empathy and don't project your memories or pleasures onto your kids. Sitting in the front of a car is only slightly better than the back but don't kid yourself that your children are sitting back there for five hours having a hoot. Their best recollection of summer may be the Dora the Explorer DVD they watched 20 times while you argued about getting off or staying on the Interstate.

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