There I was, on a date, in a movie theater in the mall in Jersey City, watching M. Night Shamalayan's (or whatever his name is) Signs. The opening titles, and then a pan of a field of corn, and in block letters down in the corner, "Doylestown, Pennsylvania."
My popcorn went flying, I made a noise something like "Aaaack!" My date was alarmed.
"I'm from there!" I explained to everyone sitting near me.
And indeed, the movie was filmed in good old Bucks County. In fact my sister-in-law, determined to get as close as she could to Mel Gibson (he was a 'phobe before he was an anti-semitic nutjob masochist), ended up driving onto the set during filming at the farm where the shooting took place.
But here's the thing. In the scenes shot "in town," the part of Doylestown was played by Newtown.
I had never been to Newtown. I felt cheated.
Originally, Newtown was going to be the county seat. But back then, you had the english settlers who lived in the lower part of the county and the german settlers who lived in the upper part of the county. The Germans complained that Newtown, which is southerly situated, was deep-in-the-heart of the english portion of the county, and they felt excluded. Thus, the seat was switched to Doylestown, that City On A Hill, which was roughly where the two factions met.
Even though it's about sixteen miles south of me, I never had any reason to go there.
Or so I thought.
Tonight, I helped out the married couple with the cleaning business I met on a Hard Labor Ready gig a few weeks ago cleaning the awful furniture store run by the most miserable people on the planet. (Even though they were cleaning to prepare for their Grand Opening Celebration, you could just smell failure in the air. I don't doubt they have their Going Out Of Business signs up by now.) Tonight's cleaning gig was at a soon to be doctor's office under construction in an office park kind of place down there in Newtown. After my duties were done, I couldn't resist heading into town to check out an as yet unvisited Starbucks.
It's kind of like Doylestown on speed. Or New Hope on tranquilizers. If preciousness, charm, and all things quaint are your thing, head to Newtown. People there seem so scrubbed. And happy. As I walked the thirty paces from where I parked my jeep to the Starbucks, two people said "Hi!" to me in tones and manner akin to what you might hear in greeting from a game show host to Our Next Contestant. I was, however, rewarded with the awesome spectacle of the young man working the cash register who was very hairy, his arms covered by a dense pelt and bouquet of black fur coming out above his uppermost buttoned button on his shirt. They may be scrubbed in Newtown, but thankfully they don't seem to be manscaping.
The Baron and I have talked about a field trip to check out Newtown, and now that's a definite. We'll stroll the sidewalks dressed in holiday style (all the trees in town have these big red ribbons around them) and stop into Kate's Kountry Kitchen Kollectibles and such. No doubt All About Throw Pillows has a store in Newtown, although instead of being staffed by SingleTails sometime correspondent Tim, no doubt there's a blond young woman named Ashley or Sarabeth to help you pick out some nice ones for your chofa.
After my small but potent sugary taste of Newtown, I look forward to returning to the Land Of The Toolbelts tomorrow. There's no Ho(t)me(n) Depot in Newtown, although they do have a Bed Bath & Beyond.