Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
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Some extra Island stuff ... from weekly blog
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GAS IS A GONER: A critical gas crisis has befallen LBI. We’ve damn near run out of service stations. I discovered this the hard way – and I was fuming, literally.
Not having assorted fill-up sites close at hand is doubly troubling for those of us a truck-owning ilk. I’ll be the first to admit my beloved heavy-Chevy is the consummate guzzler. Hell, it can guzzle more than a redneck at a beer truck rollover.
So where have all the LBI gas stations gone?
You don’t have to be some sorta fuel historian to recall when Ship Bottom alone had six gas stations, -- five of them in just a 250-yard stretch, starting at the Exxon at “the circle” and ending with Russo’s, right before the first Causeway bridge. In between, there was one on each side of The Gateway Bar and Restaurant and yet another on corner of Barnegat Avenue and Eight Street. The one on Barnegat Avenue is now the last station standing between Surf City and Beach Haven – and it’s on its last leg.
Doing more gas station recalling, Long Beach Boulevard, as recently as within the last few decades back, had eight service station between Surf City and Beach Haven. As of this past weekend there were none available, short of one up in Barnegat Light. Which brings me back to my fuming.
I was heading to Holgate, my gas needle sinking toward empty. No sweat. I intended to fill up in Beach Haven, as usual -- only to find it had become a dry town. How can that be?! It’s such a partying place.
I fumed all the way back to Ship Bottom hoping to hit the lone remaining pumps, twixt the Queen City and the Gateway to LBI. Things were so close, fuel-wise, I pondered that paradox of whether to drive faster, to rush to the pumps before fuel runs out, or to conserve gas by old-ladying along, meaning more time to stress over the running on empty. I won’t tell you which route I took on the grounds it might incriminate me.
I did successfully slide into the lone open station on Barnegat Avenue, where a whole new stress arose. The pump I had sidled up to has seen way better days. Hell, there are pumps in Cuba in better shape than the one straining to squirt out my gas out. In fact, the entire station had an oddly domesticated air. I’m not sure what to make of it but as I was sitting there I watched some small, quite-cute kids riding Boggieboards -- on the concrete. I was tempted to explain the concept of an ocean and bodyboards but I was afraid my voice would shut off the pump, which had already stopped about five times before hitting $1.00.
Anyway, here’s hoping this service station shortage is only temporary. Hey, I’m now more than willing to pay a few extra cents per gas gallon. Inconvenience is costly. I’m even hoping the price of gas will quickly double so former LBI stations can reopen and we can go back to driving life as usual on LBI. Why ya lookin’ at me that way?
Below: "Abort, take-off! I repeat: Abort take-off!"
MY LANGUAGE SUCKS: I recently got a note questioning my right to freedom of foul speech. Damn it all, I thought I had been kicking ass in cleaning up my verbal act.
Self-policing my cussing, even when doing a piss-poor job, is far better than having a bar of soap jammed into my frickin’ mouth – a method that was tried on me at a young and tongue-impressionable age. It failed. I soon acquired quite the taste for Ivory Bar Soap. That 99 and 44⁄100 percent purity was to die for. However, I outgrew that kid’s stuff and began self-administered Zest. Predictably, I soon turned to the hard stuff, secretly drinking straight Bronners Almond Castile Soap – on the rocks. Life soon had me cussin’ like a Marine, just to substantiate my growing soap drinking problem, which had somehow sunk to guzzling Woolite from a paper bag.
But I swear to hell and back that I’m now getting better – Oo-effin-rah!
If only tender-eared types knew how much bloody constraint I now show when writing.
If I try to be esoteric about those folks going balls out on critiquing my language, I might note that many of the greatest writers – which I sure as hell ain’t – fully foul-mouthed their ways to literary fame and writing excellence. I’ll exclude Henry Miller since even I blush reading that bastard. Ain’t no soap coulda helped that boy.
In the same vulgar vein, I love talkin’ about my interview with cooking legend Julia Childs. It’s a good thing we were at a cooking show because that would explain photos of all us reporters with our mouths down to the ground … after hearing her drop F-bombs to where the television sound men simply walked over and hit the “erase” buttons.
What’s more, nowadays some of the finest and brightest talk show hosts – I have to reference the oft-blipped Jon Stewart – have given up even trying to clean-mouth it, fearing they might get confused with Pat Robertson.
Not that I’m emulating anyone. I’m as far from an emulator as one can get. I just routinely use both spoken and implied cussings as forms of emphasis.
Hurting my freedom-of-cussin’ cause is how this column, mainly meant for fishing, nature, and out-there types, has leached into the mainstream. The mainstream runs very hot and cold. It also has lots of sensitive ears, so to speak.
While I’m just as often stunned by the language open-mindedness of many readers – those I would peg as stodgy and loose-tongue intolerant – I’ll take an occasional shot at keeping it verbally clean – though I don’t think I’ll ever control nouns.
This is my one yearly reach-out for donations to keep this website/blog up and running. Expenses to keep it up and running do mount by year’s end. Any contribution is not only appreciated but is strictly applied to the site.
Checks can be sent to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008
Also, a huge thanks to the tons of folks who have helped with the blog this entire year