Something happens to the locals in a summer resort as the summer ends. A new summer friend called it August-itis but the fever peak is clearly Labor Day weekend. I can remember the deli counter lady at the East Hampton Stop & Shop years ago openly invoking the later days of September when “they are all gone home”!
It takes nerves of steel to traverse the length of Provincetown’s quaint Commercial Street at the height of a Labor Day weekend Saturday. The ferry has arrived, ‘another hundred people’ wheel down the asphalt with luggage, sun hats and baby strollers. A wedding party in pedicabs dragging just-married tin cans parades past Town Hall to applause and shoppers step out without looking for cars, trucks or bicycles. A townie yells to her friend dashing away from MacMillan Pier, “I’m done for the day. I can’t wait to get home and shut the door!”
But perhaps the most telling sign of August-itis seen was the local honking her car horn, yelling expletives at the bicyclers, cars and a couple with a baby stroller–all moving too slowly for her. Of course she could have easily driven parallel on Bradford Street to avoid the ‘renters’ and other non-locals; the very people who give Provincetown its primary source of income and tax revenues.
“Get the fuck out of the way! This is a road!” It must be a disease: prominent among her righteous assortment of bumper stickers was: