Whalehead King has been in a New London State of Mind, but he hasn't spent much time in New London, Conn. That is the way the world works sometimes, and like in the alley behind Ernie's Cafe, you never know what is around the corner. It may be a tiger of a lady or it may be a beached whale. It is hard to deal with either and it takes stamina and patience and superhuman strength.
Our man in the field has been reconoitering in strange climes and waters, dipping his toes into the surf that laps muddy beaches along Dorchester Bay, Massschusetts. He has spent many hours in Taunton, Mass., a special stop in his regular journeys to the hub of the universe. Unlike New London, Conn., Taunton is landlocked and our hero doesn't understand how a city can exist without a harbor. He feels just as blinkered about Des Moines, Iowa, Oklahoma City, Okla., Austin Texas, and Cheyenne, Wyo. Mr. King has never been to Philadelphia, Penn. It is one of the few places in America this minor, urban bard has left univestigated. It is too far from the ocean and inconveient when our hero is navigating the Eisenhower National Highway System.
Taunton, Mass. has more 1950s-era Chinese restaurants than any other place our continent-wide traveller has ever visited. They have signs in faux, chopstick calligraphy that advertise American and Chinese specialties. Mr. King passes through and admires the anachronistic restaurant design. He only imagines what chop suey treats are on the menues. He stops at Henry's Root Beer House. He pulls his Littlest Ninja motorbike up to the carhop stand to enjoy the cusine with other regulars. They sit at the picnic tables under the awning, eating hot dogs and sipping non-alchoholic root beer, trading road stories. Mr. King's license plate gives away his point of origin. He has to describe the back road ride between New London, Conn. and Taunton, Mass.
Each side of Mr. King's Littlest Ninja, the odometer of which has passed 6000 miles in less than a year, bears a sticker along his faring that reads, "You have a freind in New London, Conn." Truer words were never spoken and people pick up on the promise. You make more friends when you are in a New London State of Mind. Whalehead King lets the good times roll as he rolls with the punches and takes his just desserts with an indulgent smile. Mr. King's future, like New London's has never been brighter.