Too much foo-foo in Lenox

“So, Pops,” said Murray, the world’s cutest dog (who was taught to speak English and to read and write at the Literacy Network of South Berkshire), “how are you going to get into trouble this week?”

“Well, Murray,” I replied, “I believe I am going to get a whole lot of people in Lenox mad at me.”

“Wait, Pops! Lenox is Clarence Fanto’s hometown. He should write about Lenox, and you should write about Great Barrington. You don’t want Clarence mad at you, do you?”

“Murray, I love Clarence. He may be the best writer at The Eagle, but hey, if you’ve got something to say, you’ve just got to say it.”

“OK, OK, Pops. So what is it?”

“Well, Murray, your mother, the Lovely Roselle, grabbed me by the little hair I’ve got left and demanded that we eat at this place, Haven, in Lenox. I told her that I didn’t want to go out of the Southern Berkshires, but she insisted. And you know how your mother is: She always has to get her way. So I grudgingly said, ‘OK.””

“How come I couldn’t go, Pops?” asked the little dog.

“Do you think this is France, Murray? You know that Americans don’t allow dogs into restaurants!”

“Well, Pops, it may be time for a little protest action. We have rights, too! But why are you going to get in trouble with the people in Lenox?”

“Don’t you see, Murray? This place, Haven, is just unbelievably good. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good breakfast.”

“Pops,” said the little dog, “why in the world will people in Lenox get mad you for saying how good the restaurant is?”

“You don’t get it, Murray. Those people want the place all for themselves. They are going to be mad as hornets. As it is now, it can be tough to get a seat in the place. Once my column comes out, these ordinarily nice people are going to turn into vicious animals. They’ll start to get xenophobic. They’ll start to treat us as if we came from New Jersey or Long Island and you know how unfair that would be.”

“Don’t worry, Pops. Not that many people read your column, and most people who read it don’t always believe what you say anyway.”

“Murray, you hurt me to the quick. You hurt me as much as double-hernia surgery.”

“Well, Pops, I only do it to keep you balanced, which, you know, is not always that easy. So who runs Haven in Lenox?”

“A very nice woman named Shelly Williams. It’s also a bakery. Don’t tell anyone, or they’ll call me a hypocrite, but we had a wonderful pastry. To die for. And that’s not all, Murray. These people are so nice that they made an incredible meal for the volunteers at the last WAMC fund drive. I can’t believe how good it was.”

“Wait a second, Pops. I was there! Wasn’t that the ‘Thanksgiving Dinner,’ the one with turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce?”

“Yep, that’s the one.”

“Wow, all the volunteers gave me a little taste. It was great. So Pops, is there anything else you want to say about Lenox?”

“Well, yes, Murray, now that you ask. They’re doing all their streets over and putting brick sidewalks in some places and narrowing the streets.”

“Do you like it, Pops? Do you?”

“I have to confess that I am a bit worried. The place is becoming a little too ‘precious,’ maybe a little too foo-foo. I’ve always loved Lenox, but they may be crossing the line. And now I hear that Great Barrington is thinking of doing the same thing, complete with new lamp posts. Ugh. I sure hope that doesn’t happen.”

“Yep, Pops, you’re right. Those people in Lenox are going to hate you.”

Originally Published in the Berkshire Eagle, 11/14/2009

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