Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Thoughts on "The Country"

a) I've always been trying to figure out why the mountains are called the "country." I mean, I can see why it would be called the country, because it has a country-esque atrmosphere, but the whole thing confused the hell out of me when I was a youngster in grade school. I went to school, and they taught me the difference between a city (like New York City) and a country (like the USA). So the summer after I learned that, I ask my parents, "wait, we're leaving the city?" "Yes." "And we're going to the country?" "Yes." "But aren't we in the country already?" "Uh, no!" "What do you mean; we're still in the same country; do you mean we're going to a different country?" At which point, my parents would give me a look like I was nuts. And I was thoroughly confused. So do me a favor, just call 'em the Catskills or the Mountains. Keep it simple.

b) Why are all the pizza shops in the country so crappy? If sny of these places looked the way they did and operated the same way, they wouldn't last a day. And you can argue that they have a premium on their location, but why doesn't someone compete and drive the other guy out? Maybe because it's two months a year, they just don't give a darn. But if I have to step into one of those sweltering, smelly shops with twenty flies circling around my pizza, I think I'll pass.

c) The only reason to go to the country these days is the weather. At least that's the only reason I can understand. Whatever charm the Catskills had is long gone. And with the advent of summer homes instead of bungalows, that bungalow-colony atmosphere is long gone. All the japs have to park their cars right next to their summer home/unit (don't you dare call it a bungalow!), and you can barely have a catch lest you get run over by some luxury SUV. And everyone's either in the bungalow watching TV or shopping in Woodbury with their clique. The famous hotels? Dead as a doornail. An over-the-hill comedian or reject Jewish singer? Yawn. So the country is basically Brooklyn with nicer weather, a swimming pool, and lousy pizza shops. Lovely.


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