A quick rodeo roundup of news items from our daily fish wrap. . .
Seems that this most invasive of invasive species, the Burmese Python, is set to make a slam dunk of Florida . . . rather, set to make a slam gulp. Wildlife and Game brains here in the Sunshine State state that the hideously huge snake threatens to eliminate ALL our native mammals in the Everglades. No more squirrels, no more beavers, no more deer, coons, or armadillos; no more bobcats, no more coyotes, no more fox, panthers, rats, muskrats, bears, rabbits, and . . . well, just no more everything. Although they didn’t mention marsupials or reptiles, I’m sure that the possums and gators are goners too. Nice. Ain’t an interconnected world just swell?
Sarasota cops made a second arrest in that beheading incident of last month (“When the Fit Hits the Shan,” 1.9.12.). Seems that a “friend” of the homeless, headless victim, one Donald Wayne Mann, may have had a hand in this head case. If readers can remember back that far, the three gentlemen in question were drinking stolen rum late one night and grilling stolen steaks on a stolen grill at their jungle lair near Sarasota. When one of the drunks accidentally kicked the grill and dumped the sizzling steaks onto the sand, the fat hit the fire, literally. Within seconds the clumsy drunk had not only kicked the grill but he also kicked the bucket when a very drunk, very hungry, and very angry Ricky Leer grabbed a machete and chopped off the awkward man’s head. No trial date set.
Down the coast from here a bit, at Cape Haze, Gary Ray Hickman, 59, faces either five years in the hoosegow or $5,000 for shooting an endangered species, a Snowy Egret. Seems that the bird in question alit on Gary Ray’s prized possession, his boat, then--as birds are wont to do--the egret let ‘er rip. It is believed that Hickman is a serial bird killer and has also blasted other rare fowl who dared foul his precious craft. I wonder if this scrotum ever considered just buying a cover for his boat, or perhaps storing it, like normal people do? What ever, please take him, jug him, fine him, keep him—Florida wildlife is already under enough pressure without bozos like this adding to it.
Car wrecks . . . pit bull attacks . . . geezer on geezer crime, World War Three on the horizon. . . . But anyway, as witnessed in the “Letters to the Editor” section, what’s really on the minds of Gulf Coast Geezers?
Several crotchety folks are griping to the editor about medicare, social security and crooked politicians—Hmmm. . . . that seems strange. Another writer is bitching about an overgrown lot next door with poison oak and other noxious weeds that the city refuses to do anything about. According to the lady, the weeds are really raising hell with her step-father who seems to have contracted a hundred life-threatening contagions as a result, including a right smart case of staph infection. At least one letter-to-the-editor seems from a truly demented fellow who may have just recently crossed over that line between sense and senility. Writes this gentleman:
Recently, I have noticed a growing interest in smells. I mean the effort to make everywhere we go smell nice. Many companies want our homes to smell like fresh linen, springtime, gardens, lilies, roses, lilacs, the country, farms, meadows, laundry drying in the sun, clouds, fluffy feathers, and apple pie in the oven. Oh, and, of course, lavender.
Then, after rambling on and on about bar soap, laundry soap, candles, and bath salts for what seems like ten thousand words, old Chester somehow manages to wrap things up.
In the future, personal attraction might be based merely on smell. Say a woman is attracted to a man because he smells like open meadows and he is attracted to her because she smells like pillow cases on a clothesline in the sun. Boing! Love at first smell. Ain’t smell grand?
Something tells me that Chester’s wife, Bertha May, put the old fool up to this by telling her husband what a great writer and wit he is and what a wonderful subject “smells” would be for the newspaper. Also, my bet is that the original letter was three or four times longer than the published version and the “lucky” newspaper editor had to deftly trim this “masterpiece” down to keep this subscriber on board and happy. And so, jammed in there between murders, kidnappings, beatings, beheadings, and World War Three, there is Chester and his smells (sometimes when I find myself mindlessly reading these things I think I am going nutz).
Phuny for the Day