BOB SMITH WRITES ABOUT REASONS NOT TO GET A DIVORCE, UNINTENDED TRIPS TO CANADA, BAT MITZVAHS IN VERMONT 
Monday, March 8, 2010, 04:43 PM
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By Bob Smith.......as told by Aryanna Duhl:

There flights from West Palm Beach to Burlington, Vermont though JFK Airport in New York. There are flights to New Hampshire on SouthWest Airlines. There are flights to Boston. For some reason, my father decided to ignore all of these flights and, instead, fly us to Hartford, Connecticut from where we would drive North to my aunt Joanne's house which is in the exact geographic middle of the State of Vermont.

We drove through a cold, dark November night through Connecticut then through part of Massachusetts, then into Southern Vermont. A few minutes after entering Vermont, my father announced: "Let's go to McDonalds." But, it did not appear that there were McDonald's in Vermont. Well, at least you wouldnt' know it if there were because the law there doesn't allow golden arches. Without golden arches, McDonald's just fade into the gloomy, foggy Vermont landscape.

The good news was that the Interstate followed the Connecticut River and on the other side of the Connecticut River was New Hampshire. And, in New Hampshire, the state didn't care what you did. Golden arches? Build them higher than the sky if you want...knock down low flying airplanes with your arches...New Hampshire doesn't care.

So, we drove across the Connecticut River and into New Hampshire immediately after seeing the first set of arches. Then, we headed back across the river and North.

Did I mention that Vermont doesn't allow cellphone towers on top of mountains? A state full of mountains that would be great for placing cellphone towers on top of doesn't allow them. So, there we were heading North and, after a while, my father began to realize that nothing looked familiar. So, he tried calling my uncle, Jim, on his cellphone: nothing. He tried again: nothing.

So, he turned off at an exit and went a few miles to the general store. When he got back in the car, this is what he said: "The people in the store laughed when I told them where we were going and they said that we were just a few miles South of the Candadian border."

My mother, still displeased with my father for having yelled at me a few minutes before for knocking the CD player on the floor and not, herself, being a big fan of Vermont, being lost in Vermont or the country of Canada said: "I want a divorce."

Since the State of Vermont is approximately the size of Pahokee, my father was able to find his way back from the Canadian Border and to my aunt's house in about 45 minutes. It turned out that he had gotten lost because the McDonald's was where it was because of the huge Interstate intersection it sat next to. At the interchange, we were supposed to go West...not North...but my father had forgotten about interchanging because he was concentrating on eating his quarter pounder.

My mother softened her position later that night. She would forgo the divorce if nobody blamed her for not showing up at my cousin's Bat Mitzvah service. She was willing to come to the reception afterward...and to eat and to drink. She just believed that the side trip to the border should get her out of having to spend 2 and 1/2 hours in a Montpelier Synagogue listening to a lot of praying in Hebrew.

This is what I learned from the trip:

1) Laws that don't allow golden arches are facist restrictions on free speech.
2) Laws that don't allow cellphone towers on the top of perfectly good mountains are facist restrictions on free speech.
3) Sometimes, instead of getting a divorce, you should just not go to the Bat Mitzvah.

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In an upcoming entry, I will describe Aryanna's impression of the Torah portion she read during her cousin's Bat Mitzvah in Montpelier. This will include: ancient Jewish rules on rape and sacrificing small birds.------Bob Smith
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Bob Smith is a retired South Florida lawyer who now resides in Northern Wyoming, just South of the Canadian Border. Bob is an avid ice-fisherman and moose hunter who makes frequent trips over the border to shop in Medicine Hat.



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