On my daily bike ride yesterday . . .
. . . an elderly lady insisted on passing your dear dedicated blogger while he was negotiating a narrow road with zero shoulder. She, in her wisdom, also decided to pass while said blogger was peddling up a slight hill that sat squat on a blind curve. She was also speeding. Well, at that precise moment, guess what? A motorcycle was coming in the opposite direction down said slight hill and around said curve. Could it get more interesting? Yes. Add to this situation not one, not two, but three sex-crazed squirrels who chose that exact moment to dash right in front of all of us, all in a row. This could have, and perhaps should have, ended very badly for all concerned but, because all of us—with the exception of the squirrels—kept our wits, did not panic, did not swerve—it passed without notice. Truly, this island road is a perilous place to pursue my passion of pumping pedals for phun and phitness.
Manatees are breeding on the Lemon Bay side of this little island. Now, unlike squirrels, I would hate to get between these great beasts and the object of their pursuit. They seem very gentle and passive most of the time but I suspect when love is in the air, or rather, when love is in the water, that one will end up looking like a day-old beer can looks after a day on a busy street should one get between two manatees and their mating mania.
A seventeen-year old kid lost his arm to a gator this week while swimming in some nearby Indian-named river that is hard to pronounce and impossible to spell (Castahatahoochee?). Unlike the rest of the country, kids down here seem oblivious to the gators in fresh water and the sharks in salt. Right here on a little bridge spanning our key and Sandpiper Key, and tho it’s against the law, teens—male and female-- line up to jump into the deep green water below. Since that water is “brackish,” or half freshwater and half salt, that means it has both gators and sharks! Kids from anywhere else in the States would say, “Not me! Nooooo Way! Like, are you kidding?” But having lived around these perils all their lives, these kids here seem utterly indifferent. Alas, like the young chap above, every so often one of these bold teens pays the price. As my old grandma might say, “Heal up and hair over, young feller!”
Michelle and I watched a two-hour program the other night on the abduction, rape and enslavement of an eleven-year-old girl. She was held not for a day or a week, but for eighteen years. The individual that held her had been let out on parole and seemingly only received some once-over-lightlys by probation monitors. Hence, he was almost free as a bird to go about his deviltry and this child grew to womanhood while acting as his virtual sex slave (which included having 2 babies by this creature).
Yesterday, on the same beach where I take my daily plunge, a 37-year-old registered pedo was caught by an alert deputy sheriff just sauntering along with his "toy," a 15-year-old boy. He was, of course, arrested and jailed. Today, however, this fellow is out and free-as-bird to continue what he does best. His bond: A whopping $1,000. Really, what kind of civilization has “laws” like that? What kind of civilization just turns these predators loose after they are caught? The answer is, of course, no kind of strong, decent, healthy “civilization” does this.
These crimes are so ruinous, so despicable, so pervasive, and seemingly so incurable that, rather than thousand-dollar bonds, I propose we involve some serious risk element to the game: Three strikes and you are REALLY out; First strike--ten years in lockup, minimum; second strike—castration; third strike--bye-bye.
Or maybe, since nothing else is working and since judges let them go the minute they are caught and since they seem to outnumber the rest of us anyway, maybe we should just surrender and say, “Okay, you win. We give up. You are free to do your worst. The rest of us are moving to Greenland where you can’t get our kids. Should you follow us there we will kill every one of you the very instant you step off the boat!”
Despite little more than reruns over the past decade, Cops remains one of my all time favorite TV programs. Well, tomorrow night I get to play out my role of caped crusader when I do a ride-along with the North Port Police Department. Since North Port seems to be ground zero for the majority of violent crime in this here region, the evening should be an eventful one. A full report coming. Stay tuned.
Phuny for the Day