I won't say I left early last night even though I left seven hours earlier than I had the night before. But in any event, when I unlocked my front door, my wife was on the house phone. I could tell in about two-shakes-of-a-lamb's-tail that she was talking to Uncle Slappy.
"No," she said to the alte cocker, "We don't have any plans for the long-weekend." Then she, wisely, rolled her eyes in my direction and handed me the blower. My wife loves Uncle Slappy, but he's usually best left to me to handle.
"Hi, Slappy," I said.
"Boychick, on the Fourth, you are having a picnic or a barbecue? You are going to a ballgame or seeing a parade? Maybe you're going to the beach?"
"No, Uncle Slappy, none of that. We have been working round the clock lately. Frankly, I just want to relax and not check my email or think about work."
"Your Aunt Sylvie and I are spending the weekend at Martha's Vineyard. We got invited last night. Sylvie packing already is."
"You're going to Martha's Vineyard? That's quite a trip just for a weekend."
Uncle Slappy was quiet for a moment.
"It's nothing," he said. "A 20-minute drive on the interstate."
"Uncle Slappy," I corrected, "It's got to be at least a four hour trip from Boca--even if you can fly non-stop to Boston and catch a puddle-jumper right to the island."
"Oh," he laughed. "We're not going to that Martha's Vineyard. We're going over to Martha and Sol Weintraub's for a picnic. They have a small grape arbor in their backyard."
Now I laughed.
"Not Martha's Vineyard," he said, "Martha Weintraub's Vineyard. Very different."
We were both laughing as he hung up the phone.