Sunday, March 25, 2012

Maid Marian on Her Tiptoed Feet

I did something on Friday that I rarely do: I bugged out of the office early. On rare occasion it hits me that since my work day starts at 4:30 a.m. it is not heresy for me to head for the exit now and again on a Friday by the middle of the afternoon. So by the time the clock struck 3:00 p.m. on Friday I decided I had had enough.

In retrospect the itch to hit the road early stemmed from the fact that I spent more time on Friday than I do in my typical work day outside enjoying the weather. As an attorney who does a fair amount of premises liability work, one of the things that I do is visit firsthand the site of the accident so that I have a better understanding of what happened, whether it occurred within the four walls of my client's building or outside on the grounds somewhere. It is merely one man's opinion but it seems to me that if you are an attorney who earns his/her living defending personal injury actions arising out of either automobile or premises accidents and you do not make it part of your day-to-day to visit the scene in order to familiarize yourself with it, then you are doing your client a disservice. Then again, do not feel compelled to take my word for it. I also think attorneys should begin their work day before 9:00 am and work (at least) to 5:00 p.m. more often than not. I wish I had $1.00 for every time that does not happen. I could afford to sleep through the alarm at least one time or two times a month.

So, anyway, I spent most of my Friday enjoying the gorgeous weather while I was actually working - a treat so rare that when I returned to the office in the middle of the afternoon I found myself aghast at the thought of spending the next several hours cooped up inside. Aghast I tell you. Aghast.

I sent the Missus an e-mail entitled, "It is Friday. It is Lent." Now as anyone who has ever happened past this space knows there are two things that make my hair hurt with equal fervor: the notion of God and the money-grab that is organized religion. So by now you have suspected - as Margaret did upon reading the subject line of the e-mail - that I manufactured a reason to get something I really wanted. I knew that she would respond well to the ruse because what it was I wanted was something that she wanted too.

We honored the "do not eat meat because it is a Friday in Lent!" nonsense by going to eat dinner at a place we both love but frequent infequently. Uncle Vinnie's Clam Bar in Raritan Boro, New Jersey is a little neighborhood joint that consistently cranks out the best, tastiest fish dishes. We have eaten there a number of times and have never had a bad meal. Truth be told, if it was socially acceptable we would go there, grab two seats at the bar and order five or six dozen of their Littleneck clams oreganato appetizer. In the words of my Italian father-in-law, they are so good that, "You will want to throw yourself down the cellar stairs."

I am constrained at this point to acknowledge that we first stumbled upon Uncle Vinnie's a number of years ago thanks to a tip from Margaret's ex-husband Bob. Other than proving to be so incompatible enough with the Missus that he moved from "husband" to "ex-husband" status thereby creating an opening for Yours truly, his tip regarding Uncle Vinnie's is the single best thing he has done for me. And we have known each other for more than two decades.

If your day-to-day does not take you to the Raritan Boro area, then create an excuse to get there. Spend a few minutes visiting the John Basilone Memorial and then, once you have worked up your appetite, head on over to Uncle Vinnie's. Be prepared to wait - it is a small place and it is always crowded. It is worth it.

Besides, how often do you get the opportunity to feel like William Tell?


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