"What does that mean?"
"It's two things that D likes about Kellnerin," he said.
"Of course." The people who write the stuff under the bottlecaps are really freaking me out now.
IN THE TOWN before the town where we were headed, there's a WWII museum: brick building, with a map of the lower 48 painted on the side flanked by "1939" and "1945." But more noticeable is the hole in the same wall, with a tank driving through it, over a pile of bricks and rubble. Above the tank, hanging by chains from the top of the hole, is a placard reading "Air Conditioned."
The first time D took me up there, he pointed it out. "Look, there's a tank coming out of that wall." And he pointed it out the second time, and the time after that. It became a sort of in-joke, and then a game, to be the first to say, "Hey, there's a tank coming out of that wall" as soon as it came into view. D got me this time.
IT WAS UNUSUALLY COLD for August; by the time we woke up on Saturday morning it was only 50 degrees (that's 10C). Still we decided we wanted to go into town and just walk around a bit; there was a craft fair this weekend and we were also told that, though it wasn't that good this year, there was a good shop where lots of local high-end craftsmen sell their goods, which is on the way into town, between the war museum and the town center, near the local grocery store.
We headed out in the afternoon, by which time it was pleasantly warm and sunny but not too hot. We did the rounds of the craft fair which was fun though nothing amazing (except there was a woman selling harps, dulcimers, and other instruments we could never afford, store, or play), then stopped by an ice cream stand for a couple of waffle cones. D's was Maine Black Bear (which is a raspberry/chocolate deal) and mine, Moose Tracks (vanilla ice cream with chocolate and peanut butter cups). D found a footpath that he swore would be a shortcut to the craft store.
A while later, we were still on the footpath. "Do you know where we're going?"
"Of course. There's the grocery store right there," D assured me, pointing at a green roof that certainly looked a lot like the one on the grocery store.
When we got there, though, it was not in fact the grocery store. "Look," I pointed across the street. "There's a tank coming out of that wall."
"See? Are we not exactly where I said we would be?"
"We are not exactly where you said we would be."
"Well, we're close."
"We went too far," I corrected, as we turned right and headed back toward the town center.
We walked past a house for sale, an large Victorian with a turret. "Would you want to buy this house, you know, if it was less than a million dollars?"
"Yeah, it's OK. Needs paint."
"Paint is cheap."
"And a new driveway," I added as we stopped to look back at it.
"We'd probably get tired of looking out the window and seeing that tank pointing at us, anyway."
"Yeah, we'd get up every morning trying to be the first one to say that there's a tank coming out of the wall."
I got to the bottom of my ice cream cone, and discovered that the cones were handmade. Instead of just being wrapped into a cone shape, they were folded over at the bottom so as to eliminate the hole through which, in inferior cones, melted ice cream inevitably drips. I thought this was the most brilliant ice cream cone innovation I'd ever seen.
Anyway, we found the shop. I ended up buying a wool cape, which felt like an odd purchase to make in August, but I like it.
ON THE WAY BACK HOME on Sunday, we passed an auto body shop. "There was a sign advertising 'Alingments,'" I commented.
"I saw that sign too," D said, "but I noticed something else. It said, 'Walk-ins welcome.' Like, what are they going to align, you?"
A while later, there was a discount furniture place that had its name painted on the side of the building. As we passed it, D said, "Huh, I thought at first it said 'FURNITURE ENCOUNTERS.' It sounded a lot more interesting then."
Then, closer to the Massachusetts border, there was a moving company with a large building surrounded by trucks, all emblazoned with the company name. "You know," commented D, "Roy the Mover has been in the same place for a long time."
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