… on made men pre-coffee


Early Morning Intentions




Okay, let’s keep this to a whisper because we don’t want to scare him way.

Seriously, if you are reading this, read the whole thing in your whisper voice (which today will be represented by italics). I’ll tell you why.

So this morning, I woke up really early and I wasn’t going to get up but I made the mistake of looking outside and a bunch of Canada Geese were in the cove outside and so I thought I could take great pictures for you and put them up this morning. So I stumbled downstairs and grabbed my camera with a Canada Geese-appropriate lens and headed outside.

But the Geese were jerks and wouldn’t pose, like, at all so I sat on my dock and sulked a little but my friend JustOneJim’s boat looked particularly lovely in the morning sun so I took a couple of pictures of that and some other stuff like plankton, and then I was heading inside.

Okay, so keep whispering because the reason for it is coming up.

So I walk up the dock and it’s all quiet except for birds and the ‘blue blub blub’ of lobster boat engines, and the occasional ‘splash!’ of a lobster trap going into the water.

And I get up to the top of the dock, to the platform that sits sort of on the grass, but also sort of on the rocks. And there is some space underneath it because the big rocks slope toward the water. 

Get it?

Well that’s when I hear something.

I know. Try not to scream.

And it’s like a rustling in the bushes very close to me and I know right away that it’s not Frick and Frack, the dopey red squirrels that keep following me around and yelling at me mainly because they are species-ist and hate humans.

So I wait and, out of the corner of my eye, I see something making its way down to the dock. 

Like, right toward me.

But I channel my inner photojournalist courage (lie, I don’t have inner photojournalist courage).  But I somehow manage to stay very, very still.

It’s a dark thing, and I can’t see it really well and I don’t want to move to get a better look at it because I don’t want to scare it away. It is about twenty feet long.


It was about two feet long and it goes right under where I am standing.  So it is now less than one inch of wood away from my feet.

And I’m all, ‘ohmyGawd. What. The fluck. Is under my feet?”

And then… are you whispering?  Okay, then I see this:


What the…


And my brain said it looked like a mouse, but where do you get a two foot mouse on the coast of Maine, my brain also asked itself and then we were in what is called ‘a conundrum’.

Also, I had the distinct feeling this ‘not a mouse’ was Italian.

No I don’t know why.

So I’m standing there, like on the wood right above this giant Italian mouse-thing that I really don’t want to make me – like when criminals ‘make’ an FBI surveillance van, and then he does this:




So my cover is completely blown.

And he darts back underneath the platform and comes out the other side and reads the sign on the dock. 

Seriously. The dude can read.

Don’t believe me?




I told you.

And you know what? He didn’t even care.

He would have totally trespassed.

So I’m still there, stock still, knowing I have this Italian giant mouse right underneath me and I know – you know, in the way you just know – that he is not just a regular Italian giant mouse. He’s a made man.

And that’s when it hits me.

He’s a mink!

A made mink.

And so I name him Tony Soprano right there. 

Because minks are members of the Mustelidae family, which was shortened from “Mustelidae-ini” when they came through Ellis Island.

And who are his cousins? 

Wolverines, that’s who!

Ya. Wolverines are this guy’s muscle.

I was not about to muck with him.

And just when I was going to try to run – I know, why bother, because the Mustelidae-ini family has eyes everywhere – he pulls this out of his hat:


Oh, hi.

Ya! All cute!

And then, as if that wasn’t enough, this!


Look, I’m not even a threat…


Oh, don’t worry, I’m not gonna hurt ya. The Godfather got it all wrong. Why don’t you just invite me inside to meet the family?

And I was all, ‘Oh sure, Tony Soprano. You are so cute and I believe you and why don’t you come up to the house for breakfast!” 

But then I suddenly remembered the scene, you know, with Big Pussy on the boat…

Oh sure you just want to come in for breakfast Tony Soprano.

So I politely decline and I’m pretty sure Tony Soprano smiled and he went his way, and I went mine.

But I know, and I know that he knows I know, that he knows where I live.

And the whole way back inside, I was thinking, how on earth am I gonna explain to JoHn that we have to move?

Queue the theme from The Godfather.

Thanks for readin’.

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