Saturday, September 10, 2011

Geezers Gone Wild

There has been precious little sun in the Sunshine State during the past several weeks. Maybe that explains why old folks down here are acting crazier than normal.

Went for my daily bike ride today and was caught in a tropical deluge. Too far along to turn back, not far enough along to find shelter. And so, I just gutted it out and hoped like heck that all vehicles could see me clearly. One individual saw me all too clearly , I allow, and he could not resist the great temptation to hit a large puddle just as I passed. No big deal really--I was already drenched--and what’s a few more buckets of water, more or less? I did, however, give this mirth-minded miscreant the universal symbol of contempt and disrespect. Cold comfort. The good news: Although the road was filled with puddles, everyone else I encountered went out of their way to avoid splashing me.

Getting caught by an act of nature is one thing; getting splashed by an act of a moron is another. Both, however, are nothing compared to what happened to one old bucko just down the road.

Over near Punta Gordo (“fat point,” in Spanish ), 75-year-old Raymond Haskell was riding his bike back one evening from “bingo night” at the American Legion. Unfortunately, about the same time as old Ray was saddling up, eighty-four-year-old Irene Flora was also calling it quits at the same bingo parlor. Of course, with a combined age of 159 years on the narrow road, a recipe for disaster was already in motion. As soon as Irene got her car moving the first thing that she did was run over and kill poor Raymond.

Ray Haskell, who had just recently given up driving (mercifully) and opted for a bike to save some dough, “was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident,” sniffed one sanctimonious little reporter. For the young lady’s benefit, it might be added: “Nor was old Ray wearing a coat of chain mail and a full suit of body armor that night, nor was his bike equipped with an air bag, nor did the bike contain a Buck Rogers ejection seat like those used on fighter jets. A helmet looks pretty silly, my cheeky dear, sitting up there on one’s totally undamaged knot when a two-ton car has just crushed one’s ribs, one’s chest and one’s pelvis and when it has also just squashed one’s liver, one’s spleen, one’s lungs, one’s kidneys, and one’s heart. Not wearing a helmet. . . !”

But anyway, about the same time, up the road in nearby Nokomis, 77-year-old Walter Crosby was boiling with a red rage. Seems a former friend’s wife had stolen--or criminally borrowed--a bracelet from Walt’s wife. Sitting in his trailer, ready to explode over the incident, Crosby finally grabbed his pistol, pointed his wheelchair toward the door, then disappeared into the night, rolling away for some old time revenge. Walt Crosby was coming to town . . . and hell was coming with him. To Walt’s Old West way of thinking, sometimes a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do and sometimes he has to stand up--or in this case, sit down--for what he believes in. One can almost hear the theme song to High Noon wafting in the background.

Rolling his wheelchair up to the wretches’ house, Walter, in no uncertain terms, angrily demanded return of the jewelry. When the accused mocked the old dude and refused to cough up, Crosby whipped out his pistol and began blazing away. Between steering his wheel chair through the house and trying to aim at the flying targets, Walt missed his marks every time. When cops finally arrived on the scene they arrested Walter “Hell-on-Wheels” Crosby without incident. The culprit now sits in the county calaboose without bond.

Meanwhile, over at nearby Englewood the other day, a 77-year-old woman had just received a new bed. When the deliverymen cleared out, it finally occurred to the old gal that she had hidden several envelopes filled with $8,000 between the mattress and box springs of her old bed. Moving as fast—or, in this case, as slow—as possible, she checked under the old bed and realized the money was gone, gone, GONE. Calling police, the woman said that the deliverymen did it, adding that the two had “left in a hurry.” When cops contacted the men, they denied even seeing, much less stealing, any such envelopes.

But really? Just a moment! If a person is so addled that they forget they even had eight grand hidden under a bed, can they really be trusted to remember anything? Did a thieving neighbor, a treacherous relative or a trusted “friend” get to the money first? Did the bonkers old bag remove the dough long ago and give it to the first drug addict she met because little green men in space suits were coming to take her away to the planet Zydron? And if the deliverymen “left in a hurry,” as the woman stated, well hey, yoo-hoo? what deliverymen do not leave in a hurry? Every deliveryman that I have ever seen was in no mood to loll around, have a long smoke, maybe swap yarns and reminisce with a total stranger after their business was done.

The above mental case reminds me of yet another senile senior down here who fell for the old phone scam a few days ago of wiring money to a bogus address to get her dear, dear grandson out of a Mexican jail. Only when the fool lost her first few thousand did it even occur to her that she might CALL her grandson to find out the truth for herself. “You did WHAT, Grandma?” From that point on the irate lady was on the phone hourly, cussing and hounding the cops to get her money back for her!

What a place! With dumb suckers like the above, no wonder Florida has such a crop of greasy scammers and oily con men crawling all around.


Bobblehead of the Day