Just a few lame thoughts straight from the coconut to the keyboard.
People in Paradise--My last several blogs come down pretty hard on humans. I make it sound like all Floridians are useless eaters and worthless douches. Actually, there are a dozen or so others in the state who, like myself, care a thimble about the wildlife (bears, panthers, egrets, gators) and even the tamelife (humans, dogs, cats, canaries).
Take today for example. On my daily bike ride, while crossing the north drawbridge, I spied a plate-sized gopher tortoise sauntering across the narrow sidewalk just like any human on a stroll might. This young sojourner was headed east and seemed to know exactly where he was going. Since we both were half way across the span, I leaned my bike on a rail and dismounted, determined to tail the tortoise and see that he did not step head-long into the bay below.
Well, half an hour later the tortoise finally made it across. The very first thing the critter did was attack some green grass like one who had just worked up a major man-sized appetite. I could have picked up Mr. Tortoise and easily toted him the hundred yards in a few minutes but these slow creatures of the sand dunes seem so scared of everything that I feared he might go into his shell and remain for a day or so.
And then, ha! Two or three miles further down the island, I saw a car suddenly stop ahead of me and a slim young guy jump out and grabbed something off the road. The object, of course, was another gopher tortoise, this one about twice the size of mine, or maybe the width of your computer screen. The young man placed the tortoise among the weeds and palms and raced back to his car. I just had to stop for a second and talk with the fella and share a laugh about our similar experiences. One seldom even sees a tortoise, much less two strangers in one day escorting them to safety.
Point being: As pissed off as I often get about the dolts among us, there is always some soft sort just around the next corner. God bless the "soft sorts."
Bad Way to Go, #97—Up at Jacksonville, early last Saturday eve, a stupid teenager was being a stupid teenager. Screeching his car behind the local Winn-Dixie, the dummy didn’t see the employee out emptying trash until it was almost too late. Swerving at the last second the idiot managed to miss the employee but not the dumpster. The huge steel box was sent flying like a kite. Unfortunately, a senior citizen, for reasons known only to himself, was hanging out near the dumpster. Whether too stunned to move or too slow to move, it doesn’t matter. He was sixty-eight.
Golf balls? Enraged otters? Add “Squashed by Flying Dumpsters” as another really bad way to go.
Growing Old Disgracefully—With the disgusting auto-erotic display of the sexagenarian in the last blog in mind, as well as other episodes of seniors-acting-stupid (“Geezers Gone Wild #2,” 11.10.11), I add the following:
While waiting in the Wal-Mart customer service line yesterday I stood behind a white-haired man. This was only the second time in two years I had a complaint to address and generally I have been more than happy shopping at Wally World. For some reason the lady at the counter soon left her post to check out something in the mammoth store. And as soon as she had disappeared the man in front of me turned and engaged in a passionate conversation. By his angry attitude and demeanor I quickly determined that the fella was a regular here at the "gripe and groan" counter. Apparently, he was engaged in some kind of World War III with Wal-Mart.
“You can’t get them to advertise their prices right,” the gentleman started right in. “It’s always something. . . . They’re always trying to slip something by you. All I want is for them to treat me fair and square.”
Foolishly, I feigned mild interest.
“Yeah, they quote a price in the newspaper and then they quote you another price here. I’ve been going through this for years. They don’t give a damn. Just don’t give a damn. They just want their money and to hell with the little guy. You can’t get anyone around here to talk to you. They want your money and that's all and I'm just sick and tired of. . . .”
The assault was so fast, furious and well-rehearsed that the man obviously had much practice; practice perhaps upon his poor wife, practice no doubt dozens of times upon the even more vexed clerks at Wal-Mart. From his rant, one might have imagined that the mega-billion dollar retail giant was on a mission, a crusade, a vendetta to get this one and only angry old guy and cheat him out of his ten bucks. According to the gentleman, Wal-Mart had been waging it’s war against him for years and years and would not rest until they had destroyed him utterly.
Oh, boy! I would have gladly moved to another line except that there was no other line. So. . . .
“Where you from?" I asked, hoping to steer the maniac away from his monomania and make the wait more bearable.
“Here!” he snapped.
“No, I mean before here.”
“Oh, well, Massachusetts.”
“Ah,” said I, seeing some hope, “I lived there for a while and loved every minute.”
“I lived there forty years and hated every minute. Too cold. That’s why I’m here. . . . “
The man swiftly returned to his Wal-Mart diatribe--getting screwed, his personal war, upset that the clerk had been gone for one or two minutes, etc.
Before I could say what I really felt--“If you hate Wal-Mart so badly and if they really are out to cheat you, why do you even come here?"--another line opened up and without adieu I moved there.
My bet is that the good folks at our local Wal-Mart deal with this type of nut—and worse—every friggen day. My feeling for these clerks is sorta like the feelings I have for our sanitation workers, viz., "Whatever they are making, it ain’t enough."
Body Art of the Day