Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 23, 2106--Midcoast: Peggy Pays A Visit (Part 1)

"If we agree to take you to the diner for breakfast you have to promise no political talk."

"So what am I allowed to talk about? The weather? Is the rain hurting the rhubarb?"

"It's past rhubarb season. But you could ask Dan, if he's there, how his peaches are doing."

"Peaches? I prefer rhubarb. At least it has some bite. Like me." She smiled coyly and that had me worried.

"Why don't we have breakfast at the house," I therefore suggested.

"I schlepped all the way up here from New York to munch on an white toast? Actually, I came all this way to witness the two of you in your vegetative state. Rising with the sun, going to bed at 8:00, eating kale. Everyone is asking what's going on with you. Salman, Meg, who by the way says hello. Everyone."

Passing over that, Rona said, "We also have very good bagels from a local baker." She added, to make the prospect of not going out enticing, "He used to be a broker on Wall Street."

Mockingly Peggy said, "And I'm sure you have lox from Russ & Daughters. Or is there a local source? Maybe someone who smokes salmon who used to be a neurosurgeon?"

"That we don't have but we do have cream cheese made by a local dairy farmer."

"I know cream cheese has to come from a cow on a farm, but I'd prefer mine from Dean & DeLuca in Soho."

"What the heck," I said, "Let's go out. But please, can we not talk about Donald Trump?"

Peggy ignored me and headed toward the car where she promptly plopped herself in the passenger seat. Rona, as a result, had to sit in the back.

"Do you think the Hermes scarf is a bit much for your diner?" Peggy asked Rona.

"I wouldn't recognize you without it."

Dan was there when we arrived and signaled for us to join him in his booth. Ever the gentleman, he rose to greet Peggy.

"So this is the famous Danny," Peggy bubbled, turning on half her charm. That, at least, was a good sign. Full charm would have levitated the diner.

"And you must be Peggy. I've heard so much . . ."

"Is he the one voting for Trump?" she whispered to me so sotto voce that everyone in the diner turned to stare at her. Unfazed, Dan smiled in her direction.

"So what's good, Danny?" Peggy asked wiggling her way into the booth next to him, "Whoopie pies? Maine blueberries? Lobster whatever? I hate lobster. Kale?" She stole a look in our direction.

"Actually, everything's good," Dan said. "I never eat it, but Deb makes homemade hash which she serves with poached eggs accompanied by her own biscuits. They came in sixth in Paula Deen's biscuit contest."

"That Paula Deen who used the N-word on TV?"

Here we go, I thought.

"I wouldn't know about that," Dan said. "All I know is that Deb's biscuits are among the best."

"If I were Peg--is that her name?--I would have turned down the award or prize or whatever."

"Her name's Deb," I said, "And her biscuits are the best."

"Back in New York no one would eat anything recommended by Paula Deen who's an out-and-out . .  ."

"That's not the way things work up here," Dan said, remaining calm. Peggy fussed with the knot in her Hermes.

"So just how do things work up here, Danny?" I wasn't sure if Peggy was being condescending.

"Well, how do they work down there in New York?" Dan said firmly but without attitude.

To be continued . . .

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