Bellingham, Washington The pup Pooka holds steady through the bottle rockets. But when the Roman candles shriek, she whips down the dock and right into my pseudosib Edward's house.
Only in Fairhaven would a wood-fired oven churn out thin-crust, right beside the pumps. And a wee post office counter. Not to mention Vienna Cleaners and King Frog 24-hour Photo Lab, which I somehow overlooked until now. Probably because the wine cellar's so well stocked.
All this in the space Texaco wastes on slushies and twinkies. Those unimaginative corporate creampuffs.
As we nosh pizza on the dock, we can't help overhearing the neighbor Arnie-Artie*. He ambles landward with two large tanks, dodging towel-draped tweens igniting fireworks. "I guess I'd better get the gas off the dock."
C'mon, buddy, it's not rocket science.
Or is it?
*Some initial confusion resulted in Arnie-Artie's singular nickname. After a year, we finally overhear him addressed as "Arnie." A little magic and mystery leaks from the world ... tragic.