Monday, June 06, 2011


On this quiet Monday morn in southern Florida, I decided to pedal over to the mainland and drop off two DVD’s at the library.

Biking through downtown Englewood I spotted a sign advertising “Harms’ Chiropractic.” Hmmmm. My grandma’s doc down in southern Missouri was also named Harms. Man, you might think such folks would just forgo the surname and advertise themselves as “Dr. Bill” or “Dr. Ed” or even “Dr. Duck, the Quack,” and leave off the tags like “Dr. Harms,” or “Dr. Malpractice,” or “Dr. Death.”

“Hello, I’m Doctor Harms. How can I harm . . . er, ha, ha, I mean, how can I help you?”


“Hello, my name is Dr. Help and I’m here to harm you.”

Or how about those poor people with impossible last names? Names like “Pigg.” Why in God’s name do these people not change such names? For all intents and purposes, they might just as well have been named Bigfatdirtyglutton. . . . Bob and Marsha Bigfatdirtyglutton. Yes, I know that a long line of Piggs have accomplished great things over the centuries but you know, during each and every generation some little Tyler and Megan Pigg must refight the playground bully battles anew.

“Hey, you fat pig, go grub some more slop!”

“Oink, oink, oink, here comes Porky Pig!”

“Ha, ha . . . I bet your mom is a big, fat sow and your home is a real pig sty.”

A little later I sat on a bench at Indian Mound Park and watched the mullet leap out of Lemon Bay. These long, silvery fish really make some spectacular jumps and my guess is that they often clear the surface by two or more feet. Best of all, they seem to do it for sheer fun’s sake.

A hundred feet of sun scorched sand behind me, a man and woman were talking on a shaded picnic table. Their loud voices seemed unnatural and unnecessary in the otherwise silent park and a whiff of drugs sifted through my mind. The couple were energetically discussing some concern and it had not yet developed into an argument. I could tell that the two were talking steadily in my direction and I fully expected one of them to saunter over soon and bug me for a handout. I carry not a pence.

As I saddled up and left, I recalled a story in the morning paper about four panhandlers being arrested here yesterday; they had been bumming money from folks at intersections; the men said they were seeking donations for their church “back in Indiana.” The scam might have floated had not this area just recently passed through something similar when a motley group of men clad in a hodge of military uniforms were run out after panhandling for “veterans” groups.

Michelle and I weigh the pros and cons of going to Greece and Egypt in two weeks. Both countries, of course, are in wild turmoil. One side of us whispers, “do it.” Another side of us screams, “WTF ARE YOU THINKING?”


Art of the Day