The first of the romantic comedies in the Live, Laugh, Love collection is The P-town Queen. If you’ve never been to Provincetown Massachusetts, you really ought to pack you bags. The beaches are spectacular, as are the dunes and the little village is chock full of tourist shops and art galleries and restaurants. There’s a vibrant gay community and a traditional Portuguese fishing community thriving among the tourists. It was the perfect setting for my romantic comedy, about a down on her luck shark researcher who has to move back in with her retired fisherman father and a Jersey chef who has gotten himself into trouble with the mob and decides hiding out in Provincetown and pretending to be gay might save his neck.
The most memorable scene in the book, or so readers have said, is the part where a dead whale washes up on the beach and the authorities decide it’s a good idea to blow it up with TNT. It’s true that truth is often stranger (and wackier) than fiction, and the whale story is based on an actual incident that happened back in the 1970s (Look up ‘blow up whale’ on you tube and you’ll no doubt find the footage. )
Here’s a bit of the scene, told from the hero Marco’s, who goes by the alias Parker Bench) perspective–
In my lifetime I have learned, among other things, not to overcook veal and never to forget a woman’s name the morning after. On that day I added another little ditty to my list: never blow up a dead whale with dynamite.
Max Groper had figured it for a horror show and so had washed his hands of the whole mess and stormed off to his van. Nikki, too, must have figured what would happen, but that woman likes trouble, I swear to God.
“We’d better stand back,” she said, with the same amused mischief in her eyes that she’d had at Good Vibrations. The cops had, in fact, already pushed the entire crowd back, so Nik and I went to stand in the front line, so to speak, right where the lot meets the beach in front of the first row of cars.
“I wish I’d brought the video camera,” Nik said. “I hope someone is recording this for posterity.” I looked around and noticed at least three video cams trained on the whale, which was now being wired for a trip to kingdom come. “YouTube bonanza,” said Nikki. “I’m surprised that the folks from Channel Four aren’t here.”
“Maybe we should go wait in the truck,” I said. I had this bad feeling that flying whale parts wasn’t going to be like the fountain light show at the Bellagio in Vegas.
The P-Town Queen is one of three comedies in the Live, Laugh, Love collection. You can buy your very own copy here
More about the P-Town Queen here