Because Christine O’Donnell, the Republican candidate for senate in Delaware, refuses to be interviewed by Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show, Ms. Maddow is taping at the Deer Park Tavern tomorrow night and I’m overjoyed. It’s in a funky little town–Newark, Delaware–and this establishment is near to my heart. (A much better choice than Klondike Kate’s, not for space but for that je ne sais quoi.)
My grandparents on my mom’s side lived in Newark (pronounce Noo-Ark with two syllables as opposed the the elided Newark in the Garden State) until they passed away ten years ago so I spent a couple weeks there every summer growing up. My parents met at the University of Delaware (home of the Fightin’ Blue Hens) and I put in a good deal of time at Captain Blue Hen Comics and Wonderland Records.
The Deer Park is a bit of a legend. Or full of them. Originally it was the St. Patrick’s Inn and built in 1747. They boast that Revolutionary War soldiers stayed at the inn, including one Mr. George Washington. They also claim Messrs. Mason and Dixon put in a couple nights there with a plucky, smallish live bear and drank lots of brandy while they were doing the surveying work to separate the free and slave states. Edgar Allan Poe apparently fell into the mud in front of the tavern and put a curse on it. The inn burned to the ground and was opened as the Deer Park in 1848.
My cousin Jimmy told me of a Blue Hen tradition called a Shark Fin, which I heard happens with frequency at the Deer Park. This involves several jocks imbibing many drinks after a good game. One then announces, “It’s time for a Shark Fin,” and promptly drops his trousers to the floor. At this time a piece of cardboard is wedged in his ass crack. The “shark” is then hoisted above the other jocks’ heads and passed around the room with the cardboard set aflame.
I have not heard how the Shark Fin is concluded, but I have a few guesses.
Maddow is going to interview Chris Coons, the Democratic candidate for senate in the First State and potential Kurtwood Smith head double, but it isn’t clear if the former dabbler in witchcraft will make an appearance.
I don’t know of any reason why she would. She has a spotty past at best and has said some stuff publicly that is CRAZY. I can’t believe she is still running for office. She should take her experience in front of the camera and start doing professional impersonation appearances as Rachel Ray or Elaine Benes. But is she still wants to play politics, she could play a decent Sarah Palin with a little help.
I apologized for my use of the masculine pronoun when describing the technique of performing a Shark Fin. I have not as yet heard of a woman doing a Shark Fin and hope Ms. Maddow corrects that while appearing at the Deer Park. Just in case it doesn’t go as planned, Rachel, I recommend having the 1/2 Pound Peel and Eat Shrimp for $9.99 first.