Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Under the Rainbow

Yet again, yet another person tried to stop me in the middle of the road today, on a dangerous blind corner, to ask for directions.

And yet again, the driver seemed PO’ed when I just blew right on by. Now, this individual with his large dog sticking 3/4 out the window, surrounded by two tons of steel frame, an air bag and a seat belt, may have felt entirely safe stopping dead in the road and he may have known that there were no cars coming soon behind him but I, hanging out to dry on a frail bike, had no way of knowing. So sorry.


'Til Jail Do Us Part—A local homeless couple—let’s call them Mork and Mindy--do their grocery shopping in the predawn hours. They walk into a Circle K or 7-11, pick out what they want, stuff it under their shirts, then mosey back to the van where dinner is served. It usually works. Yesterday morning, however, as they were shopping for expensive power drinks and cheap honeybuns, security cameras caught the couple in the act. The vigilant clerk called the county and advised them that the van in question had pulled into the gas station just a block down the street. When he saw the po-po drive up, Mork made a break for the palmetto jungle behind the store. After a two hour manhunt with dogs and helicopter infra-red, the quarry was finally flushed from hiding. And, following a brief chase in which some serious voltage to the posterior zapped him off the wall he was scaling, Mork gave it up. Together he and Mindy were escorted to jail. Since Mindy had warrants, she clearly could expect three hots and a cot for considerable. Her hub, Mork, though, seemed more interested in his own empty belly than an extended separation from his wife.

“Thank God,” said the starved thief when told lunch would be served in a few hours. “That’s all I did was steal some honeybuns because we wuz hungry.”


Ain’t Enough—Apparently, Florida has made some feeble attempts to reduce the number of DWS’s (Driving While Senile) by annually revoking twice as many licenses for age/medical reasons as they were doing ten years ago. Well, good. Taking even one crazy and/or blind person off the roads is a net gain of one. But really! We here in Charlotte County alone have hundreds, if not thousands, who are still plowing through post office walls or driving off piers, yet still hanging on to their coveted driver’s license to crash and kill another day.

Right now, state law requires that a driver age 80 or older must have their eyes tested every six years. EVERY SIX YEARS! What kind of a friggen law. . . ? With the rapid decline of the body at that age, a person could go from passable vision to being blind as a bat in two years or less. EVERY SIX YEARS! Give me a break!

And as for dementia . . . ha! One Florida woman’s case is typical. Her husband, a former professional, is deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s. Although she has tried to get the attention of the state, the wheels of bureaucracy creak slowly at best, or fall off completely, at worst. Recently, the husband plucked the car keys from his wife’s purse then drove to a nearby hardware store . . . in his underwear. As of this writing, the man still has a valid driver’s license.


For Example—Last Sunday was a gorgeous day and 65-year-old Bob Schneider of here in Englewood was enjoying every minute of it. Normally Bob’s wife, Mia, would be with him on the big Harley but today the loving “soul mate” was busy at home. She expected Bob back by six. Up the same road a piece, 89-year-old Evert Gustafsson pulled up to a stop sign. Since he didn’t see any other cars coming Evert pulled out into both lanes of the highway. Of course, the elderly driver didn’t see the motorcycle. Of course, the motorcycle slammed into the car. Of course, Bob didn’t make it home that evening. Of course, Mia Schneider is now a widow. Of course, the driver of the car and his 86-year-old wife were uninjured. And, of course, that’s the end of the story.

For what's it worth, Bob was wearing a helmet.


Historical Headwounds: Abe “Bullethole” Ellis