Ah, the holiday season. Our little family has just returned from a Thanksgiving visit to my in-laws. Next comes the interim holiday visit of my in-laws to us, followed by the arrival of my wife's father-in-law (i.e., Dad) and aunt-in-law (i.e., Marge), who were hoping to be at my in-laws' for Thanksgiving but couldn't make it. A week after they have left, our little family will go to my in-laws' for Christmas. I expect I will be hitting the eggnog pretty heavily by then.
Anyway, since my in-laws live in New Jersey, I thought this would be a good time to discuss goings-on in the Garden State.
The first thing I would like to discuss is how peculiar it seems to me that Joey Buttafuoco does not reside in New Jersey.
Now, admittedly, New Jersey has nothing on certain parts of Long Island - those parts where "Long Island" is pronounced in the French manner, the vowel sound "I" in "Island" requiring a liaison with the preceding consonant, thus: "lon-Guy-land." And Joey's last name is pronounced not in the Italian manner, "Butta-FWO-ko," but in the Long Island manner, "Butta-FYEW-ko."
In truth, I would be hard-pressed to improve on such a place as this as the setting for the dispensation of perfect justice to our latter-day Don Juan. And yet it has always seemed to me that Joey would feel right at home in New Jersey.
Joey, Joey, Joey. Indulge me in a moment of reverie.
I think I saw your little brother once (if you have a little brother) on the PATH train between Newark and the World Trade Center. My girlfriend (now Mrs. Lindberg) and I were on the way back from my future in-laws' house to the city.
Your little brother and his girlfriend got on the train in Harrison. She was about, yes, Amy Fisher's age. She looked so sweet as your little brother politely shoved her onto the train ahead of him. The boots, the leather jacket, the big, big hair, the doe-eyed freshness of her makeup. And the way she gracefully slid into an empty seat with another empty seat beside it. She looked up to your little brother with those big, doe eyes, offering him the seat next to her, eager for approval of her choice in the near-empty train, her mouth hanging open just a little, like it always does.
And the way your little brother didn't so much as break his stride as he went past her, giving her the same look you give a giant cockroach in your apartment while squishing it under your boot. It starts with surprise ("Roach!"), changes into indignation ("Die!") and is followed by contemptuous disgust ("Ick!
The eloquence of that look, a look that says, "You sat down there, you [unintelligent person], I don't believe you."
And then the moment I shall never forget: The way your little brother, silent as stone, never breaking stride, in one smooth, practiced gesture, snapped the finger of his right hand in the direction of those big, doe eyes and pointed to of the car. …