Digital Places of Interest

Friday, July 20, 2012

Post #10: The English Nerd Blues: or, a Frost in Summer

Hey Folks! It's Friday, July 20th, which means we're coming to the end of the Week Four Shift.

At the end of the Week Four Shift another phenomenon tends to occur: the English Nerd blues. As difficult it is to believe, life on the Mountain is not immune to the summertime blues. English Nerds get lonely too. They miss their friends and family. They miss their sweethearts, too. You think that just because someone likes reading books and writing about them and then sitting in a meadow to watch the sun drift leisurely behind a stunning mountain-kissed landscaped means they don't have feelings? Pishaw.  

The English Nerd Blues are serious business, mister. You see  it all the time on campus. Overworked men and women dressed in rags, the concept of personal hygiene long forgotten, shuffling around in a daze after dinner, hunched under the weight of an overstuffed backpack mumbling to themselves with sarcastic joy, "Gotta read my Chaucer, Oh boy! Gotta Chaucer read my Chaucer, yay! Can't wait."   

Oh, there's a three-hour lecture that goes until 10 pm? On Proust? Awesome. 

Truth be told there's only one cure for the English Nerd Blues: a nice long walk down west Rt. 125. Or as I like to call it, "The Road Sparsely Travelled." That's an allusion, folks. English Nerds eat that stuff for breakfast up here. They're like Allusion Ninjas. Heck, one spotted it before I wrote it.

Our destination is Homer Noble Farm. "What's Homer Noble farm?" you ask. Homer Noble is the name of the kindly farmer who gave Robert Frost total use of his backwoods cabin, free of charge, to use as his personal one-man writer colony. In return, Robert Frost religiously slept with Homer Noble's wife. Quid pro quo, Clarice. 

The important thing is not to dwell on Robert Frost's moral failings. The point is that walking to his den of sin in the woods is a great way for overworked English Nerds to let off steam before they take some poor library hostage. 

Give me the Chaucer, and nobody gets hurt.
As you foot it down Rt. 125 be mindful of your surroundings.  There are many wonderful things to see along the way to the Frost Cabin. 

For instance: This tiny cabin, which is not the Frost Cabin, is nestled just off the shoulder of Rt. 125, not far from the Inn. Local legend says this is where the famous Ripton Troll is supposed to reside. Or as he's known to Bread Loafers: Edward Brown. Rim shot, please. 

Moose are everywhere along Rt. 125. Moose are crepuscular, which means they only emerge at dusk or dawn. Or it might mean they suffer from terrible acne. I can't remember. 

Locals say it's rare that anyone or anything survives on a head-on collision with a moose. The location of this cemetery opposite of the Moose Crossing sign doesn't bode well either. At least the fallen Moose  served their country with dignity and honor. 

After a mile or so of walking westward down Rt. 125, you will come to the road that leads to the Robert Frost Cabin. For all you literature lovers out there, know that the path is suitably unpaved, so when you walk you feel as if you are taking the road less travelled.

If you stand in the middle of this road  and say out loud in a poetic manner: "Whose woods these are I know..." the disembodied voice of Robert Frost will whisper in your ear, "mine, bitch."  

The Farmhouse where Homer Noble lived, and the path that behind the house that leads up to the cabin.

Be prepared!

The path to the cabin isn't long but bring bug spray. Don't forget. Use it. The bugs are vicious. I don't like to sound preachy but in 1983, Bread Loafer Carl Weathershack tried to walk the 50 feet to the cabin without using bug spray. Tragically, he never made it. The mosquitoes picked him clean. The bones were left as a warning.

And the cabin itself! This is where Robert Frost schemed his next conquest of Mrs. Noble and then wrote poems about being good neighbors.

The actual Frost Cabin.

As you can plainly see, the cabin is locked because  68% of all people who visit are English Nerds who turn psychotic whenever in the presence of Robert Frost paraphernalia. Luckily, as a Front Desk Maven, and as someone who holds a sterling reputation for responsible, level-headed behavior, I was allowed special access to the cabin. I'm happy to report folks, that, eventually after the proper authorities were consulted, everything turned out juuust fine. 

The parlor. 
The Library. 

The Stove. Boiling Water. For those Frosty nights.  On a roll, today. 
The Foreman Grill.

The Boudoir. 

Literary history: where Frost did some of his best work.
Sorry, that was just cheap. I couldn't help it. I'm better than that.  Right?  

And this is the man who told me about Robert Frost's adulterous ways.  
In his words, "When Homer Noble went to plow his fields, Robert Frost when to plow his wife." 
He is a literature professor with a beard and glasses which means two  a) you have to believe everything he says because b) he's an Alpha Kung Fu Nerd Master. He just chopped your nuts off with his brain.  

And that's the walk to the Frost Cabin. So the next time you find yourself on a Mountain in Vermont reading one too many Victorian novels, or having one too many late nights, or seeing too many familiar faces eating the same food day in and day out, don't fret. Don't let the English Nerd blues get you down. Take a deep breath and head down the road sparsely traveled. It'll do you some good. 

Christian Patrick Clarke
Front Desk Novitiate, 2012
Hic et Ubique 

And for today's installment of Edward Insults Me: Recently,  Edward was discussing  a poem about death by Ted Kooser. I remarked that I'd prefer to die in my sleep. Before I could finish my thought, Edward interjected, "Okay." Okay what, I asked. "Okay, I'll do it tonight for you, it's not hard."  

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