Our local paper may or may not be the “best” small town fish wrap around, as it so boldly claims, but it truly is an entertaining scribble.
On cue, the Sun reports that day before yesterday some “elderly woman” pulled into our local post office parking lot, became confused (natch), mistook the accelerator for the brake (nothing new here either), flashed forward like a drag racer, hit the curb, flipped, and. . . . The only difference as I see it between this event and the one in Santa Monica, California--of which I reported on several blogs back--is that the curb stopped this octogenerial menace here in Florida, and not ten flattened bodies and scores of injured as in the California case. Additionally, Instead of being shaken up, apologetic, tearful, and/or thankful she had harmed no one, including her own self, the “ornery” old fool quickly began yelling and ranting at would-be rescuers to hurry up and tip her car back over and get her out of the vehicle, as in “RIGHT NOW.” Truly, ‘tis sobering to think that me and my frail bike share the road with this individual, and hundreds just like her. Lost in her fog of madness, does not this woman need her engine removed? With that done she can then get behind the wheel of her vehicle anytime that she wants as it sits safely in the drive-way; she can play like she is driving somewhere; she can step on her accelerator any time she wants and she can confuse it with her brake pedal to their hearts’ content . . . and no one gets killed. This woman and the others will never know the difference.
But anyway, I file this rambling report as I sit 'neath a stubby shade tree with large round leaves, here at Manasota Beach on the half way point of my daily bike ride. For a moment, I think I am back in my native north land as I hear a bell go off at a railroad crossing. But no, it’s not a train coming, it's the warning signal from the nearby draw bridge as it rises to allow a tall-masted boat to pass beneath on Lemon Bay. The beach on the Gulf side today is busy. Lots of colorful umbrellas are planted in the sand for those who have plopped themselves in an all-day stay. The differing sizes and shapes and conditions of these Americans, Canadians and Europeans gets me thinking. . . .
We have all read, perhaps even experienced, that certain such phenomena in which animal instincts presage natural calamities such as earthquakes, forest fires or tornadoes. Whether it’s an extra coat of fur indicating a colder-than-normal winter ahead, or the movement of animals up, up and away to escape some unseen thing down, down, below, we put much stock in such behavior. We find it strange and mysterious. We assume that these actions are limited to the animal kingdom. Since man is technically an animal, however, I wonder. . . .
Certainly many of those instincts which served us so well over the eons have been short-circuited in this modern world. Some have been deliberately dumbed down, I think, by a Big Brother federal government and his ugly bride, the mainstream media—e.g., convincing us that bigger is always better, difference is good, ugly is beautiful, etc. But most instinctual loss is, I fear, our own friggen fault. TV and our lazy, herd-like living habits have numbed us. Our instincts—the most valuable assets we possess--are still there, I’m sure, but we have forgotten how to “hear” them. And if we cannot hear them, we cannot heed them. But I digress. . . .
I wonder if all these diet crazes, lose-lard-fast schemes and tedious survival shows are not man’s instinctual side warning him to get ready; to reduce himself to a fighting trim, and powerful quick too. We are staring down the barrel of terrible times, our instincts may be saying to us, times of famine, hunger and death. In such a world, no way will any of us be allowed to eat five times our rightful share when others are starving. And this mad mania for almost non-stop exercise and muscle-building? I personally find it grotesque, but Is it not also a sign that truly terrible times are ahead; times in which only the very strongest will have a chance at survival? Are these signals? Are they man’s primal instinct reasserting itself in an attempt to stave off extinction? Whatever. . . .
I was at an “artists” party the other night in Sarasota. Among those I spoke with were several young filmmakers in town for the annual film fest. I have pretty much decided to fast track a script, hire some expertise, and make a low-budget, high-impact movie myself. More later.
For now, it’s back in the saddle for a five-mile dash down the island to the Banana Cabana where, if the crazy coots don't run over and squash me, a shower and “lunch” of popcorn awaits.
Art of the Day