It's the calm before the storm.
I awaken on Friday, June 29 in someplace called Tolland, Connecticut. It's 8:30 AM local time with cool, overcast skies. It's also "trash day" as my first sight of scenery outside my window is my host hauling his garbage bin up his driveway.
Now, my West Coast readers aren't going to believe this…but, you know how our driveways are about the size of a supermarket parking space? Well, back east, you can actually drive in your driveway. It was like 40 football fields in length to me and every house had one!
Happy shoveling during your six months of winter, though. Suckers.
Meanwhile, here are 10 Random Things I Discovered During One Full Day in Tolland (in chronological order):
1.) I have tasted the Gates of Heaven and they're glazed with God's Goodness. We don't have Dunkin' Donuts out west, so I'm left to be teased with their commercials during NESN and YES broadcasts on my MLB Extra Innings baseball package. They've got a new key lime pie donut that, without a hint of hyperbole, must've just missed the cut when they recently re-did The Seven Wonders of the World.
It was all…kinds…of awesome, kids. My one regret is that I didn't bring a batch back with me like I did when I discovered the equally incredible ketchup-flavored Lay's in Canada last summer. Sadly, California donut shops are an endangered species, mostly owned by Koreans who take a cookie-cutter approach and offer the same eight donut types. Throw in the fact that we're the ONE state still on that ridiculous anti-carbs kick and it's obvious that we'll remain many, many miles behind our pasty, un-athletic East Coast counterparts in the department of "500 calorie fat bombs for breakfast".
2.) Yes, Dunkin' Donuts deserves two distinct discovery points. Their coffee isn't as strong as Starbucks, but it provides a more sustained synthetic shot of caffeinated adrenaline throughout the day. And, they have them on every corner!
3.) Spent the rest of the morning viewing a new DVD release. It wasn't as amazing as the key lime pie donut (came close, though), but it did help me realize two things: One, if my wife didn't control the Bootleg Bank Account, I'd spend all my money on these things. Two, watching pro wrestling with another guy is infinitely more entertaining that watching with my wife. (Fewer plot points to explain.)
4.) I forgot a few things in my haste to get away from the wife and kid. Most notably: soap. I'm one of those brand-loyal Bootleg Guys and I've been using Zest since I moved out of my parents' house and no longer needed to settle for their homemade Crisco and Pine-Sol "soap" combo. In a pinch, I had to borrow some body wash from the lady of the house. This would rank a solid second behind The Dunkin' Experience for the day. What a lather! I haven't been that clean since birth. And, the best part is that it left a moisturizing feel to every inch of my body. Curiously, I could smell the melon, but not the cucumber. I know, I know…I'm nitpicking.
5.) We hit up the Bidwell Tavern Café for lunch. Proudly established in the slave days of 1822, it was an honor to sit in the same place my great-great-great grandfather might've been lynched. They feature more than 15 flavors of chicken wings which automatically makes them my favorite restaurant in all of Coventry, CT. We split a 30 wing platter and then ordered lunch. Bad idea? Yes. Great quesadillas? YES! And, mine came with a phenomenal homemade salsa that burned my tongue like turpentine.
6.) I also forgot my A's cap for the game tomorrow. Now that genetics and my barber have conspired to cut my hair to the bone, us light-skinned bruthas need all the protection we can get from the sun. We went to a local mall and surprisingly discovered that 27 major league teams vanished or went bankrupt overnight. All that remained were the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox as these were the only team's merchandise on the shelves. Oh, and Connecticut…when your mall features eight sporting good stores and a "$1 For Everything" shop that's gone out of business, you might want to throw in the towel.
7.) After our two-lunch lunch, it was time to shop for dinner, which meant my first visit to the Big Y chain of supermarkets. Friendliest check-out girls you'll ever want to meet. And, we'll just leave it at that.
8.) My boy's wife got home from work and unlike some Mrs. Bootlegs I know, she started dinner almost immediately. Immediately! There was no "Oprah". No balancing of her checkbook. No 45 minute phone call from one of her girls to distract her, either. In my house, all of these interruptions are a regular occurrence, then the wife comes downstairs around 8:00 PM and asks, "What time do you want me to start cooking?" How can I answer her without Doc Brown and a DeLorean?! I knew I should've married white…I knew it, I knew it.
9.) Former New York Yankee John Flaherty is actually a pretty decent color commentator. He can currently be found on the YES Network.
10.) And, I was served steak! On a Friday! And, it was the way I like it! The last time Mrs. Bootleg brought me steak on a Friday was when Taco Bell screwed up my Chicken Chalupa Supreme. She never double-checks the order at the drive-thru.
Next: New York City…Yankees vs. A's…Aaron rides a subway…Jack & Cokes…Grey Goose & 7s…and an early-morning rat sandwich.