He swore he’d never make the move, but friend Dudley has packed up his Pennsylvania digs and carted the whole lot to Toledo. He says, of course, that my moving here with my wife to be near grand-and-great-grand kids had nothing to do with his move. He claims he likes the fishing in this part od Lake Erie better, and that he is an avid Detroit Tigers fan and wanted to be close enough to day-trip to the games. Whatever. He’s here! And he’s in rare form.
He stopped in to let us know he’d moved, and immediately tore into “what’s wrong with Toledo”. “It’s flat,” he said. “You can look all day and never see a mountain or hill, or even an interesting dip in the landscape!” I told him that was (however slight) an exaggeration, but he’d have none of it: “You could test fire Ronnie Reagan’s laser gizmo in Toledo, and you’d probable burn the hell out of some poor sap’s butt in Cincinnati! Nothing to stop it!” He even claimed total shock at the idea that rivers Maumi, etc. in the area actually flow somewhere. “There’s no hill to flow downhill from!”
Then he went on to the general difference in state regulations. Dud, of course, lived in Pa, near me in Erie. There, for example, auto titles are registered and issued through the States Notary Public system. Take your information to the local notary and they notify your lien holder to release the old title and Pa. returns the new title to them. “In Ohio it was a 2-week process, involving separate fees for everything from a ‘VIN inspection’ to an issuance fee, to a ‘convenience’ fee, all for the privilege of letting them overcharge for a process they – themselves – screwed up TWICE and made me wait while the corrected THEIR error!!” (He was in rant mode here, so I tried to deflect his attention.)
“Did you know there’s a Jeep convention going on in Toledo this weekend?” I asked. “You own a Jeep , don’t you? You should enjoy that!” “ARE YOU NUTS?”,he screamed. “Who would be proud to have built that #@*^$% lemon? The only convention I’d attend is one where they gather to cuss the day they ever saw a Jeep and stone the front door of the Jeep plant!” He turned redder than I’ve ever seen him, and he couldn’t talk for a few minutes. Finally I suggested a quick 9 holes of golf to get us both some air, and he agreed. I won’t say how we did, but there’s usually one-or-two shots per round for most golfers that keep us coming back…shots we wish had been recorded to prove they actually happened. Well, this time, in 9 holes, there wasn’t a single shot that either of us would ever admit to having made. It was dismal, and did nothing at all for Dudley’s mood.
But in spite of it all , it is good to have a friend in the new surroundings. He might be cranky, but he’s also a bit of the old home come to stay. I expect to see Dud a little more often, of course, because neither of us knows a great many people here. I have family to visit (and great grand kids to spoil) but outside of that it looks like Dudley will be the alternative for a while. And that’s OK. I’m certainly used to him by now!