Our Man In


Our Man


a column by

Douglas Hoyt

Douglas Hoyt, fugitive from a Vermont kale gang, must stay steadily on the move, but is driven to compulsively post about his whereabouts:  sometimes out of ardor;   sometimes out of perplexity;   sometimes because - - gee willikers - - get a load of THAT;   sometimes just for the love of great pizza;  sometimes in a wistful longing for loves lost,  loves gained, and for potential loves spotted in the windows of passing cars while slinging manure on the Molly Stark Scenic Byway. Oh yes, and other times just to taunt the deppities, and the deppities’ dawgs.



Ich bin weit gegangen

aber ich blieb doch gefangen.

Show me the way to Amarillo.

I've been weeping like a willow.



Ich hab viele Sorgen

Dennoch freu ich mich auf Morgen...



Is this the way to Amarillo?

Every night I've been hugging my pillow.



Just beyond the highway

There's an open plane and it keeps me going

Through the wind and rain.



Ich träum nur noch von Amarillo.


My sweet Marie vergesse ich nie.




“Trudging slowly over wet sand ...

In the seaside town

That they forgot to bomb"   ~Morrissey


"It's supposed to be a seaside resort — more like a seaside last resort if you ask me." ~ John Cleese


"Everyday is like Sunday

  Everyday is silent and grey ...

  This is the coastal town

  That they forgot to close down

  Armageddon, come Armageddon!  Come!"   ~Morrissey



"The Germans bombed Weston-super-Mare in 1940, an event which has baffled historians ever since as they have toiled with the question... Why?”  "I despised Weston so much in fact that I once wrote a little poem about it:  'I do not care for Weston-super-Mare and so I'm glad that I'm not there.'”    ~ John Cleese


“Just look at this freakin’ fish.    Man.   I can’t believe it.    It is a cod,  the size of your arm.”   ~ Douglas Hoyt



I travel light. To stay two steps ahead  (not like a head of kale — kale does not form a head) of the Vermont Kale Gang Escapee Deputees, you can't afford to haul tent or leave scent.

Everything changed, though, in Belgium. For one thing, the food. At the train station they have meat on a stick for 3€ . In Belgium, it is a wooden stick. Changing trains in Hanover, though, the meat had come with the original stick, still stuck in the hock (4.80€).

What they also have in Belgium is beer. It is said, there are as many different styles of beer in Belgium, as there are brands of beer. I could not establish that definitively in Bruges in just one evening. But not for lack of trying.

Moving on, quickly, to Ghent, the allure became overwhelming, and many useful items and warmer clothing were jettisoned (may the deputy's dogs be ever confused), in favor of suds, which had won favor after cruisin' the brews in Bruges, such that many a cent was then spent in Ghent.

A neat fit in the wheelie it was, the three dozen darlings. And the orange peel & coriander in the Belgian Tripels would sure to be as sneezemaking to the otherwise canny canines as the plums in the geuze and the oak in the Quadrupel aged in peated malt whisky barrels, and the rhubarb in the farmhouse (ale).

Before slipping off undetected from Belgium, there was just enough time for a big meatball filled with mushroom (truffles/champignons).



I am a deliberate and studied sun hog. I plan my trips around sunshine, to keep the blush going, and check the weather report, which shows the variations hourly, to plan prime moments.

Though pushing the cart through Whole Foods in Madison after a week in Puerto Vallarta,  I feel like an alien life form, all glowing and cheery - - and everyone you see is truly ashen, and truly, I mean truly,  grim. (And they don’t have “Midwestern Nice” in Madison anymore - - people don’t look at each other, and find it weird if strangers say anything to them - - that is a big change over the decades).


Yesterday the sun came out in Kilkenny.

So at a prime moment in the day (early afternoon when the sun is strong)  I just sat on a bench for half an hour. You have to plan this sort of stuff, and seek out the opportunity when it arises.


And here in the Kilkenny countryside is where they grow the Guinness.  The ripe cylindrical guinesses  (guiniii?) are delivered directly to pubs from the field, where the sap is then tapped farm-fresh.