Ah, those good old Cape May days… by Jackson D’Catur
I remember when all of this was trees. There were trees where Congress Hall is, trees where the boardwalk is, trees where the beach is. There were even trees where the trees are. But they were grand trees, not like the flimsy arboreal wretches we see around us today. They were redwoods so huge the word ‘giant’ didn’t apply. They were ginormous. And they were so red that word was in no way able to describe their color: they were russet. Our Ginormous Russetwoods stood 300 feet tall, and it would take a man a half-day to walk around the base. Giant bears lived in the bases, then whole colonies of sloths and Indians in the lower branches, then millions of squirrels and, finally, colonies of eagles.
Of course, they were just the thing needed when we decided to build The Great White Elephant Wonder of Cape May. Modern histories have gotten this all wrong, and describe a humble wooden pachyderm on a little hill. The true Elephant took us 30 years to construct, from the felled trunks of our russetwoods. When complete it was a mile long and twice that in height, and only the sturdiest of Lenapes could brave the temperatures and lack of air when finishing the very top and putting the burnished copper tips on the tusks, each of which was made from the ivory of an African nation, and long enough that the Cape May Winter Olympic ski team used them to practice on.
When done, we realised that the inside was so spacious that we had a few options. We held a public ballot, the choices being: (a) the entire city could be relocated inside; (b) a World’s Fair would be held; (c) we would punch oar holes and prepare for the day The Deluge came and we would all have to sail for safety; (d) lure the citizens of Wildwood inside with promises of candy and trinkets and seal the door forever.
As it happened, on the night of the vote, a poorly fashioned lock on the cage housing my African Wood Boring Beetles decided for us: I had been training them to eat timber to orders, allowing me to create perfect tiny wooden sailboats and incredibly detailed whittling work. They would be handed miniature plans, writ on tiny pieces of slate using a needle, and carry out the work.
In this instance, lacking a plan, they merely ate and ate and ate. To my chagrin, all that was left of the Elephant by morning was a colossal mound of sawdust and a dozen house-sized beetles.
Well, we were less than happy, but we Cape Marys have always prided ourselves on making the best of things and so we had us a barbecue of unimaginable proportions and used the sawdust as foundations of what is now The Point.