Friday, July 21, 2006


Inspired by J, I'll share with you my first bad tourist--a.k.a. conelicker**--experience of the season.  Besides the eternal wandering into traffic and bad driving and speedos that we all know and love.
It was the last day of my grad school residency, and many of my schoolmates met at a lobster shack in Harpswell to eat some of that delicious crustacean.   The seating at this place was picnic-table-on-the-dock style, with buckets on the table to throw our discarded shells and piles of that tomalley into.  It was a gorgeous day, hot as hell, but the beer was cold in a cooler on the floor.  The food was good, but lobster eatin' is a frickin expensive habit, and it hurt more than a little to pry that $50 out of my lean, lean wallet. 
So me, post-bill-paying, standing on the dock near the picnic tables with several of my goodbuddies from school (where we had moved so that our picnic table seats would be free for other seafood lovers).  Behind us, a middle aged white guy (MAWG) and his wife, whose recreational polo shirts looked brand spanking new, wearing those stupid lobster bibs and dripping butter down their chins. 
MAWG stands up and comes over to us, plastic lobster bib a-flappin.
MAWG:  Excuse me.  EXCUSE ME!  (we were a little loud.)
We all turn around.
MAWG: Did you know that you're blocking our view?  Could you move?
Me: WTF?  I just paid fifty bucks for a couple of steamed bottom-sucking scavengers at this very restaurant, and I'm not going to see these folks here for six months, so stick it you know where, conelicker.  (and then I kicked him in the shins.)
Actually, I didn't really say anything, though I did seriously think about kicking him in the shins.  But I did defiantly not move and continued blocking their view.  Because I paid for it too, no?  And, no expensive haircut or flat accent gives you more right to the view than me. 

**A word about the term "conelicker."  If you've been in Portland for the summer you know exactly what I mean; I believe it was coined by my friend Monique, who used it to describe those sunburned folks who wander through Old Port traffic dazedly licking their enormous ice cream cones and carrying big shopping bags.  But I have since expanded its usage to include all tourists, since they are all, potentially, conelickers.  I have occasionally been a conelicker myself in other places (Bar Harbor, P-town).

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