This past weekend, for Independence Day, my father’s relatives got together in Hilldale, Pennsylvania, as they have ever since 1961. My cousin Vinnie, originally from Buffalo, New York but now living outside Raleigh, North Carolina, was there. He and I, as always, got into one of our more seriously obnoxious moods, rehashing several incidents from our long-ago past. Ever since we were kids, he and I have shared quite a long series of misadventures every time we’ve gotten together. Over the course of our lifetimes, we’ve accumulated quite a supply of inside jokes and catch phrases. Long ago a girlfriend of his claimed that we speak our own language entirely. We spent the entire past weekend reminding each other of things like the time I side-swiped a school bus on the way to the beach, my polka-dotted jammies, and Lydia and Delfina, the eccentric sisters who, for decades, owned a most unusual candy store on Farrell Street in Hilldale. Lydia and Delfina are entirely impossible even to try to explain to someone who never met them. Their store was quite a one-of-a-kind fantasy land, in a world entirely its own. Even the very best of writers couldn’t possibly even so much as try to invent characters of their ilk. Vinnie and I did quite an admirable job of revisiting their world and relating all their rollicking misadventures. Since Vinnie and I have known each other for our entire lives, and our escapades have been in New York, Pennsylvania and Canada, we did quite a significant amount of very intense laughing about all these bygone things, people and circumstances. Anything that happens anywhere near us inevitably turns, by definition, into fodder for something inexplicably humorous.