“Beggar” the dolphin died the other day. He was a star attraction down here among visitors who rent boats, kayaks and jet skis.
Beggar, of course, earned his name because he mooched food from anyone and everyone who passed near Venice Beach. While he was photographed a million times by gaping tourists, and while a dolphin’s peculiar nose and mouth make him appear to be a fun-loving clown who finds all life one big ball of mirth and hilarity, Beggar was anything but friendly. Indeed, because he was addicted to a junk food diet of beer, pop, chips, hot dogs, and whatever else garbage stupid humans could offer, Beggar, like any other addict, despised his pushers and suppliers. “It’s okay to provide me with dope,” his chatter was probably saying, “just don’t get personal and by the blood of Flipper don’t touch and don’t pet me!” Beggar holds the Guinness Book of World Records for most times an animal has “Bitten the Hand that Feeds It” (aquatic category). Those tourists who didn’t get the message the first time certainly absorbed the message the second time as they sat in the ER.
Through our human filters of what is cute and what is not cute, however, a “smiling,” chirping, begging dolphin is irresistible. One woman, overcome with Kumbaya nonsense and visions of a kinder, gentler world, just jumped into the water with Beggar to “become one with nature” (much like that loon who jumped into the tiger’s cage the other day up at the Bronx Zoo--“to be one with the tiger”). Well, when Beggar and nature had finally finished with this gal, she looked like someone had turned a couple of heavy duty weed-eaters loose in her bikini bottoms.
Anyway, underweight, angry, scarred, and busted up, Beggar is dead, his painful life cut short by idiots.
Lost Limbs—T’would seem it ain’t a normal day down here unless there is at least one report of a senile citizen boring a hole through a post office wall or at least one senior losing an arm or a leg while walking along a canal. Other than confusing gas pedals for brakes, it would seem that most Florida old folks spend much of their time walking along gator-infested canals.
Over at Lake County, an 84-year-old woman was wandering around yesterday in the predawn hours beside the canal that borders her trailer court. A neighbor was startled from his coffee when he heard the lady “flailing around” in the water. The hero ran to the rescue and spotted the woman in the murk.
“It wasn’t clear how [she] ended up in the water,” said the goofy reporter.
“Gator,” gasped the woman to her rescuer. “Gator. . . .” (it would seem that the reporter might just have picked up on that a wee bit)
The neighbor dragged the lady onto the bank and noticed that her entire right arm was missing. The woman was slowly hauled to the nearest hospital by an ox cart (just kidding--the woman was, what else? rushed to the nearest hospital in an ambulance) where she remains in critical condition.
When it got light, an alligator (any alligator would do) was soon tracked down and a cross-eyed deputy sheriff managed a couple of shots at it. So far, no gator, no arm.
“It was not clear how she ended up in the water,” the clueless reporter repeated for the second time. Lord! Live dangerously, young lady! Go out on the limb a bit, for once in your dull life! It is Florida. It is a canal. It is an old person creeping along said Florida canal. Repeat: IT IS FLORIDA! IT IS A CANAL! Is the reporter hesitant to besmirch the good name of an innocent alligator because the victim just might have been attacked by a human she knew named Billy Joe Gator and hence her cries of "Gator . . . Gator?"
Same day, same state, here in Charlotte County, a dude on his Harley (let’s call him “Harley”) was being an idiot on I-75, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, flipping the bird in the face of the Grim Reaper. Harley lost control. Harley hit the grassy median. Harley's Harley crashed. Harley's body hit the highway separation barrier. Harley had his arm severed just as neatly as a gator might do it (which is not neat at all). Harley survived. Harley's Harley was totaled. End of story.
Progress--T’would seem that the US Congress and the Organization of American Governors are reading my blogs and now beginning to act on my persistent demands. There is a large article in yesterday’s paper about attempts to take the car keys away from seniles, not just here in Charlotte County, the capital of unwanted post office breezeways, but around the country. As the above gator article would suggest, however, crazy oldsters will find ways to cause trouble even if the keys are hidden or buried or melted into plow shares.
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