On a clear and quiet summer evening, the air is still and the lake is smooth as glass, reflecting the setting sun. A few birds dart back and forth gobbling what few mosquitos have the misfortune to be about. The bonfire is blazing and its crackling symphony is a counterpoint to the rustling of the trees. The Bass are jumping and bellyflopping among the lily pads, snatching the low flying bugs that the birds have missed. This is what we see from our cushioned perch on the deck:
An idyllic setting. In front of us the lake, along side us good neighbors, behind us our modest but comfortable cottage, and beyond that the green grass extending along the driveway past the row of evergreens to the quiet country road that leads to our llittle bit of paradise.
All seems ideal, when in the distance we hear the faint ringing of chimes tinkling the unmistakable ditty, "Popeye the Sailor Man." Have we suddenly been transported into another dimension? As the chiming comes nearer and gets louder and louder, we wonder if Rod Serling will emerge from behind the evergreens to introduce us to the Twilight Zone. Have aliens descended from the mothership seeking our leader, Popeye? What is the source of this incongruous disturbance?
It's only a misguided mobile ice cream vendor, who obviously made a right turn when he should have gone left, for there is no business to be had on this midweek evening on our road, when the weekend cottagers and their ice cream licking offspring are gone. Now, if he was offering adult beverages of the alcoholic variety, he would have made a big sale at this adult's place, since he scared me into drinking, thinking about aliens approaching and Twilight Zone conundrums.
As the confectioners conveyance rolls on by and the chimes doppler after it, I reach for the comfort of the brandy bottle and, pouring a generous medicinal measure, I return to the solace of the birds and jumping fish and the setting sun and the undisturbed surface of the lake, and know I have certainly only imagined the whole thing. The schnaaps helps.