Friday, February 24, 2012

The Beach Bully Blues

Time flies when you’re having fun, or so they say.  If this be true, then time may actually be marching backwards for some of the two-legged growl dogs of this world.   Take Manasota Key for instance. . . .

Juanita Schultz, 76, lives down the strand from us half a league or so here on Manasota Key.  Known locally as the “Beach Bully” because of her tireless rants and ant-like efforts to keep unwitting swimmers, joggers, shellers, happy children, and squawking seagulls off “her” beach front (high-tide line to Mexico is open to anyone), Ms. Schultz made more news this week when she was found guilty of ripping up the stakes and yellow tape that mark sea turtle nests. 

A witness also alleges that Juanita and an equally demented henchwoman destroyed the nest and eggs of the endangered loggerhead turtles.  Why?  Who knows.  But if one might for the briefest of moments enter Juanita’s fevered brain, they might discover that she did this because 1) the turtle was trespassing when she laid the eggs and when the babies hatch they too will be trespassing when they struggle to reach the sea, or 2) because volunteer turtle workers had to trespass on her property to stake out the nest site, or 3) any other reasons someone in her whacked mental state could conjure.  A normal person would count themselves blessed to have a sea turtle nest nearby and would consider it a modern miracle to witness the tiny jailbreak as the babies hatch and flip their way to the waves.  But not the Beach Bully.  Turtles are trespassing on private property, no exceptions.

Now, in partial defense of the guilty woman--and much like those lost souls who only need be accused in the press of sex crimes against children to be tainted for life--Juanita could have been charged with many other crimes, including multiple murders, and it would not have looked half as heinous as screwing with endangered sea turtles at such a super sensitive eco-friendly island like Manasota Key.  

Alas, the malefactor also has a face to match her nasty nature.  Frankly, Juanita has a kisser that would scare a flock of starving vultures off a fresh cow carcass.  Never met her—thank God—but I have seen photos of the hatchet-faced woman in her ill-fitting wig and she certainly looks the part of some crazy old sea hag screaming hysterically into the teeth of a howling hurricane while tied to the mast of some ghostly windjammer. 

Between that drunken nut sack shooting endangered herons down at Cape Haze the other day and the invasive species eating up our native animals (“Nothing But News,” 2.3.12), and this Juanita head-job, Florida wildlife simply does not stand a chance.

Penalty phase for Schultz arrives March 30 and carries a max of five years and a 5K fine.  Although the woman will probably slide with a slap on the wrist, a public dunking down at the harbor slip or a week or more in the public stocks would work well for me.  The really bad news, I suppose, is that while Juanita is clearly off her nut mentally she looks to be in very good shape physically.  Thus, t’would seem Manasotans may look forward to the Beach Bully’s trespassing tirades and her slaughter of sea turtles for a few more decades, at least.


If It Weren’t For Bad Luck. . . . Much news is made by those unthinking dolts around us who take up space and who leave kids or pets in oven-like automobiles while they go in and take a few grins at the local lounge or stop off at the local Wal-Mart to filch a lunch of beef jerky and Hersey bars.  But what about the other end of the spectrum? 

Down at Coconut Creek this week, Mary Holly was feeling lucky.   And so, the 54-year-old caretaker left her ancient charge, Belle Sapstein, sitting in the car while she slipped into the Seminole Tribe Casino to feed the slots and pay off her fair share of the white man’s tax. 

Well, Mary didn’t have a lotta luck inside the casino and she had even less luck outside the casino. Cops, tipped off by some snoop, were waiting and two hours after she arrived Ms. Holly found herself in cuffs, charged with one count of neglect of the elderly.

Taken to the hospital for observation, the 95-year-old Ms. Sapstein could not answer even the most basic questions about herself, such as where she was, who she was, or even what she was.

Look for a ton of this type of senior stuff in the years to come as we “Baby Boomers” lose our minds and more resemble used furniture than humans.


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