Your Attention, Please: This Is an April Fool’s Column


April Fool

Happy April Fool’s Day!

The official closing on my beloved antique house on outer Linebrook Road took place this past week; we’re moving to Wyoming.

We’re going to be cowboys.

We handed over the keys to the new owners. Chicken farmers. From Rowley. With a pet fisher cat.

See what fun April Fool’s can be?

Of course this is all an April Fool’s joke, because in reality, I could never leave Ipswich. Especially not now. This would be a terrible time to leave Ipswich. Why? you ask.

First: There’s a hot selectmen’s race under way, with four people (so far) vying for two available seats. This is the Ipswich equivalent of Survivor, although without the nudity, thank heaven. I would hate to miss this.

Next: There’s the school budget override. The battle over this Article on the upcoming Town Meeting warrant is being played out in letters to the editor (some crisp and concise, others not so), and snarky Facebook rants (some in need of auto-correct, some more amusing without it), and slurred lectures at the bar in the Choate Bridge Pub (complete with finger-wagging). All over town, you can hear the metallic kreek! kreek! kreek! screeching of nervous voters screwing their wallets closed to keep from somehow, God forbid, contributing to the Town’s future. If the townspeople fail to support the schools, and young adults of Ipswich decide to locate elsewhere instead of raising their children here, I imagine coming back from Wyoming to visit Ipswich, 20 years from now, and having a moment of panic where I gulp, “Wait — am I in Saugus?”

Finally: There’s spring. I would miss spring in Ipswich. Spring in Ipswich is a wonderful thing. It’s entertainment. You don’t need cable. You don’t need Netflix. All you need is to look out the window. A neighbor straps on cleats to navigate the ice between his front door and his mailbox, only to sink up to his ankles in mud. A pretty woman in very fine workout gear is happily running her Rottweilers when a sudden snow squall sends her sprinting for the sanctuary of someone’s side-yard chicken coop. A squirrel jumps from a tree limb, aiming for a bird feeder, then finds himself blown by a 45 mph gust into the clapboards of your garage. Spring is awesome.

If this were not an April Fool’s joke, and this was in fact my final “Outsidah” column — which assumes, of course, they don’t need an “Outsidah” in Cheyenne, Wyoming — then I would finish by saying what an honor it has been to be a part of this community; and I am really sorry about the lawsuit which necessitates my sudden departure; and my apologies to anyone who never understood the secret coded messages I built into my previous 147 columns; and to that waitress in Swampscott: Please, forgive me, but the answer is still no. And finally: I hereby bequeath my catch-and-release clamming license to Nat Pulsifer.

However, this was all just an April Fool’s joke. Let me repeat: This was all a joke. Please don’t bump into me at Zumi’s and ask, “When ya leavin’?”

Also, just to be clear: I will be hanging onto my catch-and-release clamming license.


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