Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mortality and Citrus

Whalehead King went to Shallett’s Laundry today. Regular readers may wonder why Shallett’s Laundry keeps making regular appearances in our hero’s adventures. It is because the staff of Shallett’s Laundry is a dandy’s best friends. Every clothes horse in New London finds himself or herself regularly at the corner of Montauk Avenue and Bank Street. It is not just because they are stuck in traffic or visiting the soup kitchen. It is because they value their wardrobe.

Whalehead King exchanged pleasantries with the people who keep him looking his best. He walked through the press room where the pressers were singing opera amongst themselves. He visited Maria, the tailor, about a pair of pants. Maria was peeling an orange so intently that she didn’t notice Mr. King was ready to be fitted. That is the kind of concentration she brings to bear on her sewing. It is why she never misplaces a stitch.

After she had laced the hems and the waist of the pants with pins, Mr. King changed back to his street wear. When he pulled the dressing room curtain he saw Maria was back at her orange. He said good-bye but she didn’t hear him. She was taking a bite out of a wedge of orange and her little work area smelled like citrus.

On other business, the best dressed man in New London stopped at the counter. Susan was her usual bright spot in Whalehead King’s day. He lingered awhile to discuss mortality and all or our ultimate reward. Susan appears to think she looks her age. Mr. King had no idea how old she is until she told him. He was astounded. He had always thought he was the elder by eighteen years, not the other way around.

As Susan and Whalehead King finished up their conversation with talk of getting ready to dig holes, the staff in the press room stuck up a stirring chorus from the finale of Aida. On that note, Mr. King tipped his fedora and made his way downtown.

One note to the general public: When you see Whalehead King speeding and leaning deeply around a corner or doing some tricky lane splitting on State Street, do not shout his name. Though our hero is regularly unflappable and focused on what he is doing, it is best not to tempt fate. Mr. King had his little Metropolitan in a wheelie today when Frank the Handyman shouted out to him and waved. Our hero was tempted to wave back, like the Lone Ranger on Silver, but thought better of it. Frank just got a nod.

In good Estrogen-and-Tonic tradition, we have pulled a switcheroo today. To read about New London writ large, Click Here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

We know who got the credit for shooting Liberty Valance. It was Jimmy Stewart who was later elected United States Senator. It is true Jimmy Stewart was brave as he steeled his nerve and aimed his pistol at the baddest man in the territory. Jimmy Stewart had strong convictions and stood by what was right. He didn’t shoot Liberty Valance though.

Jimmy Stewart couldn’t fire a gun. He had the will but not the strength. If he found it in the end, he didn’t really know how to do it. properly. John Wayne knew this, but he also knew that it was Jimmy Stewart’s destiny. He took a larger view. John Wayne went secretly, armed with a rifle, as Jimmy Stewart's backup.

We know who shot Liberty Valance. We know who got the credit for doing so. We know both men deserve the credit. Jimmy Stewart was great. He made you believe in the common man. John Wayne was great. He made you believe in yourself.

To learn what Ye Olde Whalehead King has been up to Click Here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Black Tooth

A black tooth fell out of Lulu Quail’s mouth today. Ms. Quail was watering the garden in front of her house on Summer Street when the tooth fell into the cup of a tulip. The tooth hit a bee who was busy cross-pollinating. The bee fell dazed on the ground before it recovered its senses and buzzed onto the next flower. The black tooth stayed in the cradle of the petals.

The top of the tooth was white. The rest was as black as a slender, short piano key tuned to F sharp. It was as big as a baby’s pinkie nail. Lulu Quail was startled at first. Then she doubled over with pain. Her jaw ached her whole head, down her neck and down to the ring finger of her left hand. She felt like her molar’s empty socket was being ground by a rough pestle. She felt faint but, though she is slender as a sparrow, she is tough as a buzzard.

Lulu Quail walked to CVS, her head throbbing and her eyesight blurry. She bought a box of Anbesol and poured one bottle right onto the sore spot. It brought temporary half-relief. With the pain subsided to a stinging ebb, Ms. Quail walked home and made a dental appointment.

Toothpaste in a tube was invented in New London. So were orthodontic braces. The city is well known as a place full of perfect smiles. New London’s municipal water supply is Lake Konomoc, a reservoir that is infused with the highest quality fluoride allowable under federal law. Lulu Quail is an anomaly in a city of dental health.

New London dentists are never busy. No one knows how they make a living. Ms. Quail easily got an emergency appointment. The doctor examined her mouth and told her he had never seen a case like this. He carved a replacement for Ms. Quail from a slug in his scrimshaw collection. It looks better than the original and it holds an edge.

With a new tooth set snugly where it belongs, Lulu Quail is no longer in pain. The new tooth is the best looking in her mouth. She smiles prettily again.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Everthing Counts In Small Amounts

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Good things come in small packages. The second-smallest city in acreage in Connecticut is none other than the Whaling City, New London. For those curious, the smallest is Derby. What does New London have in common with Derby? Nothing but size.

New London has nothing in common with anywhere else, not even old London. New London is a cosmos of its own. New London has its own gravitational pull. Some people get sucked into its little vortex, swallowed by forces beyond their control. In New London, men and women are created in God’s image.

New London is more than a mote in God’s eye. It cannot fit through the eye of a needle, but it is the closest thing this world will see to the Gates of Heaven. Atop Heaven’s Gate is a pearly marble seal carved with a three-masted ship tacking toward port. A banner above reads, “Mare Liberum.” A squad of cherubs is dispatched to dust the carving every day.

New London is wee. It is so seemingly unimportant that it doesn’t appear on some maps. Some cartographers sleep through class. To earn a Doctorate of Cartography, The American Academy of Professional Cartographers has decreed that diplomates must complete three semester hours studying the longitude and latitude of New London, Conn. Herbert Fennel was the Academy President in 1938. He learned that his birthplace wasn’t included on every map. He decreed a new rule and it has stuck over the intervening decades.

Strange things happen in New London. There is a ghost at the Polish Club. Find out here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Place in the Sun

There is a place in the sun for everyone and New London is one. May eases toward June like ripples in the surf. The Thames River sparkles, dappled with sunshine whiter than the clouds. When tide comes in from Long Island Sound, the breast of the river takes on the slate blue of the Atlantic. When the tide recedes, the river turns as clean and pure as the rivers that feed it.

Connecticut’s Thames River starts where the Yantic and the Shetucket Rivers meet. These two are fed by the Mount Hope, the Willimantic, the Quinnebaug, and myriad streams that flow through forest and farmland. The Thames collects the effluviant from far upstate, in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner where life has changed little since the Civil War.

The Thames River is New London’s life blood. It was once called the Pequot River, and then the Mohegan River. New London was called Pequot Plantation. After the Pequot War, the legislature found the name distasteful and suggested the lands Indian name, Nameaug. It is a Mohegan-Pequot word that means “Good Fishing Place.”

The inhabitants of Pequot Plantation had a different idea. They had found their place in the sun and they wanted to bask in it. An Algonquin name didn’t sit well with former Englishmen who knew they sat on the best port in the world. They petitioned to name themselves as they saw fit. As the home of two governors, the city had its way, setting a precedent that has stood the test of time.

The citizens of Pequot Plantation knew what they should be called. They stood tall and declared across the Atlantic that their city would be called New London, and one day it would change to New and Improved London. They intended this as a toss of the gauntlet and set to work making an improved New London, Conn.

After three hundred fifty years, New London has become a place full of civilization’s amenities. There is a place in the sun for everyone. The Whaling City is one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A New New London Made Anew

Three days can mean alot. A lot can happen in three days. As New London hurtles toward its date with destiny, time goes by and it keeps going by. You cannot revisit the past, but we will attempt to do so through the magic mirror of fine literature.

Lilacs last grew by the dooryard of Whalehead King's Odditarium on Friday. Today is Monday, and that makes all the difference in the world. Friday's New London was a gloomy place, chill as a corpse and about as interesting. Monday's New London is a place where tulips spring from the ground, kissing the sunshine and whoever puts their face close enough to be kissed. [Yes, that was on purpose. No, we were not ashamed to do it. Ed.]

A man was spotted at the train station laying gold dollars on the tracks. He had both Sacajaweas and the new George Washingtons. He sold them later for ten dollars apiece. He sold out. He had added nine dollars of value by caprice.

Things can change as quickly as a passing train of thought.

The work week begins and people trudge to thier toil. A motor scooter passes the crossing guard on the corner of School Street and Montauk Avenue. Driver and public servant exchange salutes. What cheer is there in New London, Conn? There is all the cheer in the world, right under our noses. Bend down to touch the tulips.

Who was putting coins on the train tracks? Find out here:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Between The Gutter and The Stars

New London sits between the gutter and the stars. When some people walk they jangle with their pockets full of spare change. Some people play by their own rules and shuffle and skylark about. Some people look as it pleases them, without a knot of consideration for what anyone thinks. New London sits squarely on the globe between the gutter and the stars.

Seen delineated on a surveyor’s map, New London balls itself into a fist downtown and punches a cheap, feeble uppercut into the soft gut of the State of Connecticut. Seen from a street map, New London is a bundle of nerves downtown trailing a spinal ganglion down to the ocean. Seen at eye level, walking about one’s internal map and tracing the tracks of muscle memory, New London is a dream.

Bottle rockets burst in New London’s atmosphere during Sailfest. Other, more intimate, still howling, explosions happen every New London night. This is a city built on lust and love and all the measures in between. Once the genie is out of its flask, she refuses to be put back in. New London is full of pretty women with light brown hair. On some weekends, you will find one or two who are strawberry blonde or blond streaked with gray.

Sometimes a relic is wrapped in a bejeweled reliquary. More often, talismans are found in the people we meet. We all have something in common. Some have more in common with our selves than others. All pigs are not created equal. I have found a pearl. I found her in New London.

If a person is good, New London will reward him or her with his or hers heart’s desire. New London is like that. It exists halfway between the gutter and the stars. People are halfway between Heaven and Hell. Better to meet an angel in Hell than a devil in Heaven. New London has provided many introductions over the years. All of them have been good.

Whalehead King has arm-wrestled many demons in New London and he has thumb-wrestled many angels between bouts. If Whalehead King is good, it is because New London taught him how to be.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Yipee!! The Musical!!

Word has it that a certain playwright connected to Connecticut College is hard at work on the manuscript of a new Broadway blockbuster called, “Yippee!! The New London Musical.” It will have a tryout and polishing season at the Goodspeed Opera House. It will have a trial run at the Shubert Theater in New Haven. The next stop is the bright lights of Broadway. It is sure to be the next “Annie.”

“Chim-chiminey, chim-chiminey, chim-chim-chareen/ When you’re in New London you’re full of baleen….” The Walt Disney Company has already contacted the playwright for options to put the whole production on ice.

“Chim-chimeny, chim-chiminey, chim-chim-charoom/ You go to New London to get covered with spume….” Twentieth Century Fox has already contacted the playwright for the film rights. The producers see this as a vehicle for the next generation of box office draws. They have a number of undiscovered hunks and sex symbols chomping at the bit to get the leads.

“Chim-chimeny, chim-chiminey, chim-chim-charerm/ New London’s a place overflowing with sperm…..” It is about time New London inspired a musical. It is a city set for operas, and it has an infectious tune. It is a city of convoluted plots, colorful characters and happy endings.

We not that the Portugese Fisherman in Hodges Square has a new sign. We note that the outdoor architecture on the bocci courts next to The Bulkely House is nearing its magnificent completion.

Number One

There is city that is New London’s rival. There is a city that is a thousand New Londons rolled into one. It is a marvelous place, but it is not New London, Conn. New London, Conn. has something its primary rival lacks. Though this rival city has more people, more activity, more name recognition and more resources; though this city has everything New London has on scales New Londoners cannot conceive; though this city accomplishes things beyond tiny New London’s grasp; though industry and intrigue thrive in this city; though people bid to live there; New London has one thing its rival lacks. New London has Whaling City Spirit™.

The City of New London’s primary rival happens to be all five boroughs of the City of New York located in New York State. You can get lost in New London just as easily as you can in the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan. You can find your muse in New London, take a chance, make a big break and build a life fantastic. If you can make it in New London, you can make it anywhere even in old, old New York.

Union Plaza is better than Times Square. The sidewalks aren’t nearly as crowded. Pedestrian traffic moves almost unimpeded. The Lyman Allyn Museum is also a metropolitan museum of art. An important port, New London has the oldest continuously operating customs house to track maritime, commercial traffic. New London’s harbor is full of the comings and going of the biggest types of ships and the smallest.

A city in miniature, New London believes in quality rather than quantity. New London has everything New York City has, but everything New London has is artisinal and precious rather than crass and commercial. New London, obviously, chases something besides dollars. It chases its dreams.
New York is a city in which dreams get recognized and realized. New London is a city in which dreams get chased. The best part of a journey is not the destination. The best part of the journey is the journey itself, and all the incidental details and tales one experiences along the way. New London knows this. Rather than be Number One, New London would prefer to enjoy its potential to be Number One.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mike Rix in Boston

Dot Ave is many miles of little details. It boggles the mind to walk along it. It could be in any dense, New England city, but is part of Boston, the biggest city in New England. Boston is The Hub of the Universe. Dot Ave is a spoke in a wheel. It is a blur of activity and motion. It is a commercial artery. It is one of the ties that bind Dorchester into Boston and brings the greater metropolitan identity into every neighborhood through which it passes. There is no other avenue in the City of Boston like Dot Ave.

Shallett’s Laundry got a special order placed from Boston for a sensitive dry cleaning issue. The party who placed the order had heard about the capabilities of Shallett’s Laundry in far off New London, Conn. and the abilities of their delivery driver, the remarkable Mr. Michael Rix. Word travels fast though the dry cleaning grapevine and a reputation like Mr. Rix’s is hard to keep under wraps. He has received many enticing financial offers from rival dry cleaning chains, but he has always turned them down. He is proud to be the face that Shallett’s presents to the world. He is paid well and granted the independence to perform his mission in life as he sees fit. What more can an adventurer like Michael Rix ask for? He is already a hero. He doesn’t want to be a corporate shill or add shine to a marketing angle.

The order in question required both pick up and drop off in a twelve hour period. The address was 1111 Dorchester Avenue, more toward the head of Dot Ave than the tail. There was a stubborn, red curry stain on a chef’s five-button jacket and he was scheduled to host a lunch buffet the next day. Based on the miracles Shallett’s reportedly performs in New London as a matter of routine, the proprietors of Shanti Indian Restaurant decided they needed to call in the best in the business. Shanti’s owner called the owner of Shallett’s and made the arrangements.

The next day, Mr. Michael Rix, laundry delivery man supreme, traveled from New London’s twisty, convoluted streets at 3:00AM. He was headed to the equally twisty and confounding streets of Boston, Mass. He navigated Interstate 93 without difficulty and exited on Morrissey Avenue. There are no streets this wide or congested in southeastern Connecticut. Mr. Rix didn’t loose his bearings. He turned onto Savin Hill Avenue and found Shanti without a hitch in the gears of his van. He picked up the goods and headed back to New London.

Boston is a cosmopolitan city. It is attuned to the rest of the world. Laundry delivery drivers in Boston know Mr. Michael Rix’s reputation. Someone spotted the Shallett’s Laundry van and assumed it could only be our hero on a mission to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to provide superior service with a smile. The news was spread via CB radio and cell phones set to walkie-talkie mode. Soon, Mr. Michael Rix had a fleet of laundry trucks escorting him along Dot Ave to the city limits. The other vans blocked traffic. It was like a parade.

The chef’s jacket was delivered to Shallett’s Laundry’s headquarters on the corner of Bank Street and Montauk Avenue in New London. The staff got right to work and removed the stubborn, red curry stain. The white jacket fairly sparkled.

Mr. Michael Rix is a humble man at heart and he didn’t enjoy the attention he had garnered driving his official van of office through Beantown. He enlisted his wife to give up the family pick-up for a few hours and left Connecticut’s Whaling City incognito. As a regular commuter with a chef’s jacket hung in the passenger side of his cab, Mr. Rix drove as straight a line as possible to Shanti Indian Restaurant. The chef was so pleased, he kissed Mr. Rix on both cheeks like a French head of state. Mr. Rix navigated Dot Ave like a veteran of the laundry wars and he drove away triumphant. It was another victory for clean clothes delivered promptly with aplomb.

No crowds gathered to watch Mr. Rix deliver the goods. Remember, he was traveling anonymously. If anyone knew Mr. Michael Rix was in town, there would have been reporters and photographers from the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. There would have been television news crews.

The transaction was conducted without fanfare. The chef at Shanti Indian Restaurant hosted his lunch buffet wearing a white jacket that fairly sparkled. It was shinier than the chaffing dishes on the buffet table. There wasn’t a hint of a tint of red curry to be found in the room. It costs a little extra to ship tablecloths and aprons to New London for cleaning, but the proprietors of Shanti Indian Restaurant think it is worth it. Read the reviews they have posted in their windows. Every one mentions how precious every reusable textile appears in this tidy, gracious eatery. You can thank Shallett’s. You can thank Mr. Michael Rix.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New London Ear Spider

There was a spider in John Dufresne’s ear. The doctors at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital cannot explain how the spider got there.

John Dufresne, age 34, of 17 Edgewood Terrace, began complaining to his wife about pain in his left ear a week ago. It started off as a minor irritation, but as the week wore on, it became unbearable. He also couldn’t hear in his left ear, which irritated his wife. He only heard half his list of chores, so the trash wasn’t taken out and the cat wasn’t fed and the gutters were still clogged. The whole time he was complaining about his ear.

He couldn’t sleep. Finally Mrs. Dufresne got tired of his tossing and turning in bed, so at 11:30 PM, she took her husband to the Emergency Room. Doctors examined John Dufresne at 5:30 the following morning. The Ears, Nose and Throat specialist on call dropped his otoscope when he saw the cause of Mr. Dufresne’s complaint.

Other doctors were called in to take a look. They were amazed. Cases like this happen in textbooks and journals, but rarely In New London, Conn. John Dufresne had a spider in his left ear and it looked like the spider had made its home there for about a week. It was no wonder Mr. Dufresne had become hard of hearing. His left ear was full of webs and dead flies, as well as the spider.

A quick dose of Raid finished Mr. Dufresne’s unwelcome visitor. The doctor washed out the ear with normal saline solution from an IV bag and a syringe. By 11:30 AM, John Dufresne was as good as new. He could hear perfectly normally and he was pain-free.

See more New London news at Myspace.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Honey Plus

There is a man so sweet that when he writes a story, bees stop making honey. Some people can string words like pearls on a golden wire. Some people have a natural bent to take the dross of life and spin it into fools’ gold. There are some people who enjoy this kind of folderol. We haven’t met them yet, but they are out there.

Whalehead King is a man who hates drama and pat situations. He is a man who enjoys when things do not come together. He is a surrealist of the commonplace. He has been told more than once that his descriptions are like an acid trip in a supermarket produce aisle. If little happens in Mr. King’s stories, it is because little happens in his life. He enjoys his minor triumphs, and he takes his missteps in stride. He thinks literature should reflect what goes on around him. He doesn’t witness many murders or extortions or white collar crime or blue collar crime. He coasts through his days and he likes to escape into the crannies and confines of his routine.

Everything ends in the grave. Whalehead King is planning his mausoleum. It will be fit for Napoleon if it is ever erected. In the meantime, Whalehead King is busy making his life a work of art. Since Mr. King is a dandy rake, people often compare him to Oscar Wilde. Since Mr. King is the center of attention by making odd pronouncements and being different, he is sometimes compared to Andy Warhol. Like Mr. Warhol, Whalehead King is a social butterfly often seen, but rarely understood. Like Mr. Warhol, Whalehead King is a tastemaker, though few understand how far his influence reaches or why. Like Mr. Warhol, Whalehead King is bemused and bewildered by a world he has mastered.

A person’s life unfolds in convoluted, over-itself, patterns. There is rarely a discernable reason at the end. That is the beauty of living. The more you do, the more you see, the less sense the whole experience makes. It is wonderful and beautiful. Sometimes the cat doesn’t get out of the bag and the bag gets tossed in the river. Sometimes the tomcat escapes and cuts a swath though the garden, tossing litter all the way.
There is a man who enjoys life as much as he is able. He has a big heart. He slakes his thirst along the bank of Connecticut’s Thames River. He lives in New London, Conn. He shares his escapades with whoever has the patience to listen. He goes about his business like a monk on pilgrimage. He rarely leaves New London

Monday, May 07, 2007

Nylon Dress

Like the old song says, “If you want to make your baby happy…Go to the shop and buy a dress of nylon.” A number of fashion options are available to New London’s stylish set. Whalehead King brought a lady friend with him to judge the ladies’ clothing available in New London’s shops.

“A cotton dress comes from a plant…A nylon dress is a work of science.” Mr. King and his companion stopped at Honey Plus to sample an array of frocks that are hung in the back of the store. There were a number of colorful, Indian, cotton dresses attractively priced at $14.99. Mr. King’s companion panned the dresses as not being fashionable enough.

They next went to Family Dollar on Montauk Avenue. They made a beeline to the women’s clothing racks. Mr. King’s companion was in hog heaven. Nothing at Family Dollar costs more than ten dollars, and the nylon dresses are no exception. Mr. King’s companion grabbed a handful of dresses brightly printed with flowers in every color in the rainbow. She is impulsive about spending money, but she knows what she likes.

Why nylon? Mr. King’s companion quoted the song. She said, “A nylon dress is a fancy dress…a nylon dress never makes a mess.” So true. When you wear a nylon dress, you are dressed for success. Check out the goods at Family Dollar on Montauk Avenue.

You can learn more about the importance of fashion at Myspace.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Change is Afoot.

They have cut down two large trees on the old Bodenwien property on Pequot Avenue. On the other side of the city, they have wrapped ye olde towne mill in Tyvek. Fire trucks rushed to Squire Street yesterday and closed the street to traffic. Fire trucks rushed down Broad Street toward downtown at 11:00 o’clock this morning.

A city is full of details and action. New London, Conn. is a city. New London is full of activity. It is like an ant farm. Citizens go about their business and no one action makes sense unless viewed as part of a whole. If New London is a mote in God’s eye, God smiles at New Londoners’ antics. Everything works out for the best.

Two old trees will not be missed on Pequot Avenue. Ye olde towne mill will last another four hundred years under the Goldstar Memorial Bridge. Accidents happen and they will be replaced by other accidents. A single life is a string of details. A city’s life is a collection of incidents. Whatever happens, adds to the whole.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ye Olde Grid-locked Grille

The ‘gridlock” in Gridlock Grille refers to the speed of the kitchen. This New London eatery with its ample views of the equipment rental concern across Coleman Street, is popular with a certain kind of gourmand who appreciates practicing patience as a sign of virtue. You can buy a nine pound lobster for $11.00 a pound, in season. Drinks are extra. Order in advance.

A party of four was seated in an empty hallway lined with windows. Rather than get a window booth, they were seated in front of the only brick column in the narrow room. The booth was set for two, the only one that was. After many rearrangements of drinks and menus, two more placemats and silverware were assembled on the table. The new placemats were printed with defective maps of the United States that confused the District of Columbia with the State of Maryland. Arrow Paper couldn’t sell them so the Gridlock Grille got them at a good price.

Salads came with the meals and the diners were treated to a baffling variety of iceberg lettuces matched with high-fructose dressing. No one finished their salads. The vinaigrette tasted like Kool-Aid crystals mixed with hydrogen peroxide. It tingled on the tongue.

The meals came out in a series spaced to make sure polite people are destined to eat cold food. The fry-o-lator was set on extra high so the frozen fish patty dishes came out first. The gentlemen who ordered fish, being gentlemen, waited for the ladies’ meals to arrive before they dove in with the energy their hunger required. Five or seven minutes passed. The third plate arrived. It was a salad made of iceberg lettuce, feta cheese and sliced, black olives fresh from the can. The waitress said it would just be a few more minutes before the fourth meal arrived.

So what had stumped the chef that it took so long for him to prepare? A boneless breast of roasted chicken without any more garnish than a baked potato fresh out of the steam box. What a meal. Luckily, the fry-o-lator was extra hot. The fried fish was still lukewarm in the middle. If the company wasn’t so good to be around, a terrible time would have been had by all. The fish was much like this review of the Gridlock Grille.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Breast and Breadth of the Thames.

Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow. Everyone needs a place on which to rest their head. Where better than on a lover’s chest?

The broad breast of Connecticut’s Thames River stretches out from the shores of New London like a faithful partner to The Hip Little City That Can™. New London would not be New London without the Thames. City and river are inextricably linked. They share each other’s destiny.

Though the Thames River is older, by millennia, than The City of New London, Conn. the two have been melded since the English landed in 1646. If the city of New London began as a parasite taking advantage of the Thames River’s strengths, the city now lends its grace to the Thames’ shore. The breadth of the Thames has swollen with pride during New London’s tenure. A natural, man-made formation, New London is an example of how evolution and geology can converge to create beauty.

What is a city without spires? New London’s buildings pierce the sky as high as cherubs soar. When the Thames River is quiet, it reflects their profiles infinitely along its breast. You can’t have a Whaling City without having a Faire Harbour. The mouth of the Thames is made content with New London biting on its lower lip.

To read about a wrench in the Whalehead King machinery feel free to visit MySpace

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Carrie Crow

Like people, some crows are gregarious and some are shy, coy, and retiring. Some crows prefer their privacy to the raucous good-time lives other crows experience. Some crows live in shadow.

As a hatchling, Carrie Crow fell out of her nest in Bates Woods. Suzanne White found the baby bird and brought it home. She asked her mother if she could keep it. Because Suzanne had carried the little bird, she decided to call her Carrie. Carrie Crow is an indoor crow. She prefers to have walls and a ceiling, as well as a floor. She flies fancy maneuvers within the confines of her world. She soars like an angel within her limitations.

Who would have thought Blackie would have met Carrie Crow? Blackie is the kind of gadabout and gadfly that is usually in the spotlight rather than on the sidelines. Carrie Crow is a crow that rarely leaves the confines of her comfort zone. They did meet one day, against all odds. That morning was overcast and drizzly and not a creature was stirring at the tail end of Ashcraft Avenue where Carrie Crow makes her home. Since it was quiet, Carrie Crow decided to poke about the lawn. It just so happened that while Carrie Crow was weeding the garden, Blackie was soaring overhead to meet a little chickadee in a bush on West Street. When Blackie caught sight of Carrie Crow, he whirled around on pinions free to take a second look. Blackie was in love.

He landed at a respectful distance from Carrie Crow and introduced himself, being sure to say first, “Begging your pardon, Ma’am.” Blackie pulled out all his charms. Carrie Crow was mystified at first, but after awhile Blackie started to attract her like a dead mouse in a trap. Let us just say that nature took its course and that crows are one of the birds included in the phrase, ‘the birds and the bees.’

Blackie still visits Carrie Crow. She is one of his stable of tablemates. Carrie Crow smells like Febreeze™. Blackie smells like Romeo y Julietta brand cigars. Despite that they have such different dispositions and goals, the two get along quite well. Carrie Crow enjoys hearing about Blackie’s adventures. Blackie enjoys the peace and comfort of Carrie Crow’s company. They fit together like a quill and an inkwell.

A poetic observation of what crows are called in scientific Latin can be found by visiting

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Brockett In Boston

The Paul Brockett Road Show is scheduled to play at the Bulfinch Yacht Club in Boston, Mass. on May 12th, 2007 The crew of Messrs. Brockett and Anderson along with Ms. Killimade, will be bringing the New London State of Mind to wash up on the docks of Boston Harbor. This will be more than a tea party.

Whalehead King went to the Bulfinch Yacht Club on reconnaissance. He and a friend happened to be in the neighborhood. His friend knew that Mr. King would want to know where the New London State of Mind was spreading beyond its miniature physical boundaries. She took him to Friend Street. The Bulfinch Yacht Club is located at number 234 Friend Street. A sperm whale from New London is about to land in the Land of The Cod and The Bean. The provincial mice will show the cosmopolitan ones that there is a world outside the web woven by the T lines. The Yacht Club’s address couldn’t be more appropriate.

Paul Brockett, Dave Anderson, and Meghan Killimade, fresh from a Manhattan gig, are ready to tackle Beantown. They will surely eat beans while they are in Boston, but the Roadshow crew is looking forward to banging out the big, New London sound at the Bulfinch Yacht Club. They are going to let their talents loose so freely, the cables of the Charlestown Bridge will vibrate like harp strings. The Roadshow will be on its marks and ready, set, go!

The Bulfinch Yacht Club is not a yacht club at all. It is the kind of honky-tonk in which the Roadshow has cut it teeth to razor-sharp sense of crowd control. They will work the crowd and crowd out the reputation of every band in Beantown. The Paul Brockett Roadshow is already the most popular, prolific and professional band in New London, Conn. They have already toured the Nutmeg State and taken it by storm. The Roadshow has already wooed and charmed jaded Manhattanites. New York’s outer boroughs are sure to soon follow with admiration accompanied by flowers and women’s underpants tossed at the stage. What will happen when Boston makes the acquaintance of Mr. Paul Brockett and his comrades-in-music?

I will tell you. Meghan Killimade will beat out a syncopated rhythm that mimics the sound of sunspots exploding seven light-minutes away. Dave Anderson will noodle on the bass, doing whatever bassists do to keep a song moving and interesting. He will do it better than any bassist in New London can mimic. Paul Brockett will charm the audience with his guitar, his improbably large cowboy hat, his voice, and his snappy repartee. Mr. Brockett will sing, he will wail, he will yodel, he will belt out the ballads, and he will be gracious. He will charm the swans out of the duck pond.

Whalehead King is looking forward to seeing the Paul Brockett Road Show in Boston. If you didn’t see them conquer New York, you should take the train to see the next best thing. As they say in Germany, “Roadshow! Roadshow! ┼░ber Alles!”


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