Oh What Fun it is to Move in a One-Horse Open Somerville:

Helping our friend Chris move

Free donuts, water, and lunch--who could ask for more? Our somewhat surreal friend Chris (who had previously reveled in having his picture taken with another Chris, a Chris P. Carrot (say it two times fast), shown at left) was moving from Somerville to Cambridge, and we agreed to help him one extremely sweaty, ninety-degree August day.

Highlights of the moving part of the day included:

The day didn't end with moving, however; there were three additional parts to the day, each exciting in its own right.

Post-Moving Part I: Lunch

The whole moving crew, minus Christy (left early!) and Christina (taking the picture):
Debbie, Robert, Chris, Sarah, Jo, John, John, Fouad, Emily

Chris took us out to La Ronga ("but it feels so right!") Bakery and Deli in Somerville for lunch, and we ate calzones and subs. They handed us a bag of two loaves of fresh soft semolina-type bread after we ordered. While we sat there, chatting and taking up space, they gave us another bag with two more loaves of bread. Here, Debbie piles the bread in front of Sarah's friend Jo (new to Boston, and somewhat startled by the bread--as most of us were, to be sure) and gives a Vanna-like wave to show it off. Sarah says Chris only likes this place because of the free bread, and we somewhat agree. Did they give us the second batch of bread to move us out of there faster? It was unclear to me.


Post-Moving Part II: Shopping and "Parking-Lot" Fest

We start off going to the Everett Target to get Chris shower curtain rings so he actually can shower in his new apartment tomorrow morning. We wander through Target and buy shirts and anti-microbial Q-tips and glitter deoderant. We try out the bean bag chairs, but we don't buy any of them.

We notice there's a River Fest near the river (was there an actual river? what river? I didn't notice one, but I did notice the festival)--or rather, the parking lot--by the Target, but we decide to do our errands first. These include walking from side to side of the giant parking lot many times, as we go from Target to Costco to Home Depot to Costco, looking now for a step-ladder for Sarah, the shower curtain rings at last finished. All the ladders are disappointing, but the Parking Lot Fest, as I like to think of it--because essentially that's what it really was, you see--was not disappointing at all. There was a fire hose on, and Robert and Sarah (below, right) scampered through it like paired rabbits; then, Robert, Debbie, Sarah, and an odd bearded man in the background who was no connection to us (below, left) posed in their damp, ninety-degree-day glory. They were very moist.

There were also edible treats, in addition to lunch and to the delicious ice cream from Costco, consumed on the lawn in the parking lot (again, quite a nice lawn) during one of our interminable planning stages (Robert's desired superpower, the save and reload feature, seemed extra applicable to these slow planning phases, btw). Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to how to enjoy everyone's favorite carnival treat.

Step 1: We see a fried dough booth, an attraction on its own, advertising deep-fried Oreos for $1 each. Chris and Sarah and Jo crowd up to look, while Debbie and John stand back and smile.

Step 2: The fried-dough woman cuts off a bit of what looks like a long hunk of pizza dough, rolls it out, pats it, puts the Oreo on it, folds it over, and fries it as we watch.

Step 3: Chris pours sugar from a giant jug of powdered sugar onto his Oreo, after telling the woman yes, he wanted butter (!!) on his fried Oreo ("The butter helps the powdered sugar stick better," the woman in the booth had explained helpfully).

Step 4: Chris examines the steaming hot packet, far too hot to eat.

Step 5: Chris eats the deep-fried Oreo. He says it's moist.


Post-Moving Part III: Dinner

Our last stop in the parking lot/river area is back to Costco, with a streamlined, fast-moving group of just Sarah and me this time, leaving the five slow people lounging in front of Home Depot and playing with shopping carts (Chris managed to catapult Robert out of one while pushing him in it at high speed into a curb--ostensibly accidentally). Sarah and I raced through Costco, having none of the long, drawn-out, which-box-is-better-and-why conversations that Robert had earlier, nor any of the oh-my-god-will-they-see-us-sneaking-in-extra-people-on-one-card anxiety. Instead, we pick up chicken, ribs, salad greens, tomatoes, and fruit, enough for a dinner feast for us all, and then we head back to our apartment to cook and eat.

The faithful who made it through to the end of the day.

At home, we nibble on potato chips and dip while spare ribs and chicken thighs slowly grill with a ginger-jerk sauce. We hang out and talk, watching some Home Star Runner and some Queer Eye (an odd pair indeed) and discussing Chaucer and African American Vernacular English and zombie movies and being picked on in high school. Some of us even nap, or shower, but no one person does both. At the end of the evening, after Costco cookies, rooftop chats, and strawberry daquiris, I'm not even sure I can remember that the day began with a moving van and lots and lots of boxes.

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Created: 08/28/04. Last Modified: 08/28/04.