Ode to Hampton Bays

Written By: Larry Warshaw

ODE TO HAMPTON BAYS I am a weekender fairly new to Hampton Bays. Truth be told, I never thought that I would be a Hamptonite. Really, moi? Way way back when my friends were doing summer shares, I was elsewhere. But, mi esposa is wise in the ways that the world can turn. She had spent a lot of her youth doing house shares with a margarita in hand and wanted to come back. What am I saying: make that margaritas in both hands. We chose Hampton Bays. We like the town and the people that we’ve met. I also like the fact that I can beat the week end traffic going east because it starts just after I turn off of Montauk Highway past the diner. Hampton Bays is a good fit. Our place is dog friendly. We ride bikes and I can hang out in the local guitar shop. But, besides liking the town and hitting the happy hours, our dog, Merlot, loves to fetch a stick and swim in the bay near our place. He doesn’t fetch anything in the city. He just looks at you like DeNiro in Taxi Driver. So, it’s camp for all of us. Who knew. Not to worry about the dog. Of course we wait at least half an hour after he eats before we let him swim. Having dog friendly beaches is also a big plus. The waste bags they provide at those beaches are the icing on the cake, or, from Merlot’s point of view, the rub on the stomach. However, as nice a place as it is, I’ve seen something that needs discussion. I can’t help to notice that there is a BIG DUCK : make that a REALLY BIG DUCK standing guard along the highway approaching the town. I am told people have actually entered the duck. But, I have never heard of anyone exiting it. What’s up with that? I wonder if the duck is searching for a really big pond or waiting for a mother mallard to land to give the word and exchange those poor bastards who never made it out of the big duck for Richard Dreyfus. None of this was disclosed before we closed and I believe that our GPS was rigged to avoid route 24 until after we were in so as not to scare us off. There is definitely something to this. Why else would there be Air Force and Coast Guard bases nearby. I’ve spoken to a few of my neighbors about this and the response is always the same “what duck?” Is it me? Haven’t the locals seen it ? After all, isn’t a wink as good as a quack to a blind horse? It’s white and the size of a house. I suppose it provides Hampton Bays and surrounding areas with a sense of security from what ever it is that only really big ducks can protect you from. But, so far, no one can or will tell me what’s going on. I will get to the bottom of it. I plan to leave a trail of some really big bread crumbs along route 24 and wait with my camera. Then, they’ll see what duck. But until that happens, when driving near the duck, I will continue to speed up, pedal to the metal. My wife thinks its cute, but as we speed past it, I pull her down in the seat and tell her to never look back if she wants to live. It wouldn’t be the first time that sort of thing has happened. She could turn into a down comforter, an eternal parable for others. While all this is happening and we pass the really big duck, Merlot sort of raises his head towards the window and juts out his snout. You can see his wheels turning and tail wagging. But, he never gets a really good look . Maybe he thinks he’s some how related to it. We get past the duck safely and finally exhale. My wife finally sits up and opens her eyes. After a close call like that, we could sure use a drink. Actually, many drinks. But, the drinks have to wait. As we get near our apartment, the dog has to be walked and I am instructed to be sure to pick up some fresh milk and a DANS. Maybe some cheese too. I eventually return with this treasure . Then we fire up the grill and open a bottle secure in the knowledge that we are safely ensconced in Hampton Bays. A nice place with a lot to offer. We sit on our deck, breath fresh air and at night see a billion stars give or take .