April 16, 2021. Proctor, Vermont.
Soundtrack: Wind Rose – Diggy Diggy Hole
Vermont is peopled, not with people, but with quarries. You can’t spit without hitting one, and the rare few that are not still in operation because they, what, ran out of rocks? – have gone on to be repurposed into subterranean ice skating rinks and swimming holes, the use of which are deeply, deeply illegal.
Fortunately, the police are (arguably) people, and you can’t be arrested if there’s no one around to arrest you. Which, there isn’t. The entire state is an arboreal wasteland.
“Beefton!” I said. “Do not leap into the quarry!”
“I tire of this life!” Beefton called back over his rippling, comically oversized deltoid. “The time has come for the next great adventure!
We were shouting because there was some kind of bird going absolutely bananas up along the wall in what had to be the most obnoxious, least effective mating display I’d ever seen. And I spent a good deal of time at the West Chester Landmark.
If anyone knows what this loser bird is, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. It haunts me to this day.
My attorney approached the ledge again, heaved in a breath, steadied his nerves.
“Farewell, Bastard. Witch. I’ll never forget all you’ve taught me.”
It was at that point he recognized that the quarry was full of water, and he resolved to live another day. Beefton is highly avoidant of swimming, and if a light drizzle wets his fur he goes frothing mad and barrels through the house as fast as his densely packed, efficient little body will go, smashing into every available surface.
There are times I’m thankful he’s more pitbull than labrador, and most of those times are when we’re near a body of water in 40 degree weather. Do you think purebred a chocolate lab would hesitate, for even an instant? There might be ducks in there.
We loaded back into the wagon and resumed our traversal of the woodland wasteland, hoping to find somewhere to eat. In our travels, the universe provided me with a gift to ensure that my conduct was right and in accordance with my destiny.
Astoundingly, the giant gorilla dumbbell shoulder pressing a car was not on Atlas Obscura, but Wilson’s Castle was. Wilson’s Castle was also closed off to the public under penalty of law.
Not very defensible,I decided. Minimal ramparts, no murder holes to speak of. There’s tactical value in the elevation, but you just couldn’t muster a sufficient force of archers on that balcony to deter an invading force. Especially with the ground-level windows!
Disgusted at the misleading designation of this large, butt-ugly house, as well as at the Orwellian hellworld we occupy that forbade me from getting closer to pass still more cutting judgment on its strategic worthlessness, we wheeled the wagon around, returned my legal representation to the humper haunted airbnb, and drifted into Rutland proper, whereupon I learned what risotto is.
Outside the restaurant, I found an excellent mural of a peregrine falcon. Since a fungal encounter with a falcon in the dead of winter in my picaresque early twenties, I take raptors as universal signposts from Athena assuring me that I’m on the right track.
“Okay,” I told her. “I’ll learn a risotto recipe.”