Seven hundred fried twenty-somethings staggered off the Nantucket ferry onto the dock in Hyannis yesterday. Fried in every imaginable way. I wanted to hand out sunscreen, an urge that reminded me I’ve grown into my mother. But it was too late anyway. They were crisped. Red racing stripes running down downy white legs, across the back of necks and making provocative arrows pointing alluring toward cleavage.
They were also fried in another colloquial sense. It was the end of Figawi Weekend, known alternately as Memorial Day Weekend, an event that once-upon-a-time was supposed to be about a sailboat race from Hyannis to Nantucket, a fact lost long ago. The atmospheric ‘fog’ in Figawi (as in ‘where the f__k ah we?’) morphed into a well marinated kind of fog before the first sailor found (bumped into?) Straight Wharf. It’s a party. It’s a brawl. The only thing these legions of foot soldiers on the battlefield of youth were memorializing was the grey cells they’d sacrificed on their parade route from bar to bar.
This year Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, two chiseled specimens of the male species who are icons of the Patriots football team were so out of control at Cisco Brewery, they drew a crowd. The proprietors, being no fools, began to sell tickets to this celeb mayhem. The boys became the entertainment. The word from my spy is that they ran up a $3600 bar bill which said proprietor, being no fool as I’ve mentioned, forgave. After all, you cannot buy that kind of publicity if you own a brew pub. Mentioned on the evening news, as they were. To the boys’ credit, they left the barman a $1000 tip. But was this appreciation for taking over his job and opening the taps? Or do they even remember doing it? It’s a toss up. Or maybe, since today is opening day of football practice, I should say it’s a coin toss. Or maybe, when Coach Belichick is through with them, their little gluts shining as red and sore as those sunburns, we could call it a spanking.
Which brings me back to the beginning and all those baked babes coming off the boat. The matronly angel that hovers permanently by my right ear, feeling smug and judgmental, despairs for their skin and their grey matter and the unruly behavior they visited on Nantucketers well into the wee hours this past weekend. But, TinkerBelle, that mischief maker, who is always buzzing my left ear, sees things differently. She is the patron saint of youth and lost boys. And she is always reining that matronly old buzzard back into line.
“I’ll take a Gronk six pack any day,” she says with a twinkle in her eye. “Better youth and beauty, bad judgment and bad hangovers ,than the slippery slope of the moral high ground.”
Yeah, baby. That’s my Tink.
— Belle Songer