crabs that jump 12 feet

big joe, a trip to the puzzlemaster, and watch out in the public restrooms

So, I went to Boston yesterday for a late afternoon appointment at Mass General to figure out if my odd symptoms were connected and if so what that might mean. Nobody up here could say much, and I figured I might as well go to the experts. I got to my brother Paul’s, near Haverhill, a little after noon. He drove me to see the doc, but we needed a quick lunch.

I was thinking on the way down about an Italian, like I could never get in NY, PA, or ME, and was Big Joe’s still open? Didn’t say anything to Paul, but leaving his house, he said “what do you think about Big Joe’s?” All I can say is we were destined to go in.


On entering, Joe told us he gets royalties for all photos taken on the premises. OMG, he was still there????? Yep, 90 and still making sandwiches.

Paul immediately saw the Jaws photos and asked Joe about it. I thought Joe played a construction worker that walked past the camera for 0.7 seconds or so, but he says he was all over the movie. This was such a big deal for Paul, because he’s a huge Jaw’s fan. Who knew? And then we heard all about Joe’s boxing, wrestling, and movie career, his $5 million dollars and 100 houses, and how the ex got it all. He even brought out one of the old scrapbooks, just like the reviewer said (see the Big Joe link above).

Paul got a meatball, freshly made that day. I got the Italian, cold cuts sliced on the spot. With chopped tomato, pickles, and hot peppahs, but no onions. OMG, they were so fantabulous. There were no prices on the old menu board, the place was small and cramped, the front area (about 50 square feet?) hasn’t been changed or maybe even cleaned well in, oh, 30 years. But the food prep area was clean, the sandwiches were incredible, and Joe was certainly worth the visit.

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Joe and Paul


This would be Misha Pless at Mass General who was able to definitively tell me that my vision issue is not related to the smell issue. That he suspects it is a congenital thing that was never picked up until recently. Meaning: I was born like this. I have thin optic nerves. But I don’t have glaucoma, I don’t have a hidden brain tumor or encephalomalacia (isn’t that a great word?), and I don’t have MS. If nothing changes, it’s just what it is. And nothing has changed in 2.5 years of knowing about it, so here’s hoping.

YAY!, no?

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Paul in the waiting room, googling Big Joe…. and the view showing I really was in the big city.

It’s such a good thing Paul took me… I could have made it in, but would have missed that easy peasy parking he knew about. No way I could have made it home. I got an ocular migraine while waiting, and it got worse during the exam. It was better by the time we left, but they leave me tired. And everything was fuzzy and hard to see because of all the different drops. Add traffic and bad weather, and it just would not have been a good scene.

stories you learn

Paul, the youngest of us three, and the self acclaimed Golden Child, the baby, the spoiled one… told me that he thought this building used to be a donut shop.
wilmington_supposed site of donut travesty
I didn’t really remember. But he did. Because Grandmother and Grandfather took the two of us there, to get me a glazed donut because they wanted me to try it. He asked for one too. But was told he couldn’t have one. neener neener…. (I’m a meanie, eh?)

crabs that jump 12 feet

I talked with my other brother, Scott, for a while, and told him about the lunch. (Lunch must’ve had 12 pounds of salt and preservatives in it because I drank gallons of water afterwards.)

It was the first time we took the train into Boston by ourselves, to get on the T, to go to Cambridge, probably Central Square. To go to the used record store to spend our hard earned cash. We were in the kitchen, getting ready to go, when Grandmother admonished us to be careful in the public restrooms.

Grandmother: Crabs can jump 12 feet you know.
Mom: Jesus Christ Mama! Kids, don’t listen to anything she’s telling you
Me: giggling
Scott: What are crabs???????
Mom: Never mind…

Apparently I straightened him out on the train.

my new best friend

Shhhh! Don’t tell my girls.

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Daisy, Paul’s boxer, who kept me warm all night!

7 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Melinda said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    Glad your appt. went OK and it’s nothing life threatening! What would I do without my Knitzu? Daisy is adorable and so is brother Paul. Hubba! :-)

  2. 2

    gramily said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    Glad to hear your life is not in jeopardy, Lisa! Way to go. xx, E

  3. 3

    Dave D said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

    Glad yuo’re “ok”.
    And you must have heard that old rhyme? “When in Boston, don’t bother to sit on the seats. The crabs in Boston can jump ten feet!” True story. Ask Joe.

  4. 4

    Mom said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

    Answered prayers – thank you God!! I loved your posts – especially about the 12′ jumping crabs. Grandparents left us a legacy of much, including much laughter. Why do we appreciate people more after they’re gone? Love you more than I can tell you, AND your brother Scott AND the “golden child?” Mom
    PS – I still think you should do a book about your blog! You are so interesting, Lisa, so intuitive, so entertaining, so in the world you live in and share with others. More love, Mom

  5. 5

    gale (she shoots sheep shots) said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Whoa, that was a real trip. I mean it both ways.
    And very glad you’re OK! Great post.

  6. 6

    kmkat said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

    What a relief to know that everything you have is just a part of you and not something you need to worry about. Good news! And now I am hungry for Italian…

  7. 7

    Chris said,

    February 9, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    That’s really the way to do a doctor’s appointment in style – wrap it into a fun day! So glad that it just seems to be one of those things and not scary.

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