Bad News, Good News. First the bad:
According to an article in the local paper, there are indeed a boatload of blind and batz drivers here in Charlotte County. The good news: There are fewer than my over-active imagination imagined. Currently we have135,000 registered drivers in this shire; only about a thousand of ‘em, however, are between the ages of 90-100 . . . only. Still, this means that on any given day there are a thousand terminally “confused” folks out there, sharing my road, driving two-tons of metallic momentum with only the vaguest idea as to where they are, where they are going, who they are, or even what they are. Way more scary, I allow, is the fact that there are 30K here in old Charlotte between the ages of 70 and 90 still slipping behind the wheel! The lower range bothers me only about half as much as the upper range does. Seems that figure adds another 10K or 15K to the murderous mix above. It is with these chilling thoughts that I saddle up for my daily bike torture fest.
I have made some simple observations on old folks in the past, mostly while they are behind the wheel constantly confusing the brake for the gas and plowing into buildings, mowing down mail boxes or rocketing off piers. On my last sea cruise, I made note of old folks in the large buffet room. Seems that the geez act pretty much the same at sea as they do in a car on land.
In the buffet line—breakfast, lunch and dinner--there is a certain protocol or decorum one is expected to obey. Mostly, one does not stand and block the aisles, or engage in more than a few words with the staff (chefs, cooks, help), nor does one make sudden, or unexpected turns to the right, left or rear with one’s plate full or one’s coffee cup brimming since one generally has a ten-ton fire-breathing food dragon bearing down and woe to the human who gets between these gluttons and their ferocious appetites.
Just as they do in cars back home, I’ve noticed that most oldsters on these cruises just never make the above connections. They creep along, taking up both sides of a passage way, oblivious to the fact that there just might be someone behind them who might like to move just a bit faster than a slow snail or slug. Many pretty-far-gone geezers stop right in the middle of moving crowds as if they had suddenly forgot or remembered something, forcing all to squeeze around and bump into others who are squeezing around. They never seem to understand, or care, that by stopping in the buffet line to ask a clueless chef where their husband has gone or pausing to reminisce to a total stranger about how much better life was under Calvin Coolidge way back when, that they are holding up others; or that by blindly veering to the right or left causes thrills, spills and mucho food accidents. This common sense stuff just never seems to reach the top floor of these old folks. They act on day twenty-one of a cruise pretty much as they did on day one. Although the mentally challenged in other age groups are equally guilty of the above, geezers are the biggest malefactors.
Hence, when seniles mistake the gas for the brake or run over and kill cyclists because they never see them, they are just repeating the same behavior they do at sea, although with much more disastrous and deadly consequences.
Fat Man Dying, Boss!—Let’s file the following under the “Hard to Make this Crap Up” category. Way back before most of you or your parents were born, Ron Post murdered a hotel clerk in Ohio and was sentenced to death. Now, nigh on three decades later, as the rusty gears finally start creaking to murder this murderer, Ron insists that killing him is not right; not fair; not cricket; is the height of “cruel and unusual.” Seems Post has laid on a little lard while laying around on death row and his feeding at the taxpayers' trough has allowed him to add 300 or more pounds. As a consequence, the condemned man’s attorney insists that the lethal injection process is a beastly thing to put poor Post through; that it was never intended to shuttle a man of Post’s impressive proportions off this earth. Not only would it be nearly impossible to find a willing vein down in all that fat encompassing his arm, but a 500 pound man would probably crush like a beer can the gurney used to wheel the killer around.
“Indeed,” whined Post’s paper-pushing pleader to the court, “given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death.”
Questions: Who allowed this human shit factory to eat his way out of a death sentence? Who in hell is the so-called warden there running this fat farm? Serious physical and psychological pain? Hey! Hello! Yoo Hoo! Is Ohio is, or is Ohio ain’t, trying to remove Post from present tense to past-tense, for crying out loud, and not tuck this obese killer into bed with a goodnight kiss on the forehead? If the job is done right, or even if it is done wrong, Ron will have absolutely no memory of serious physical and psychological pain, or memory of any other things, trust me. Torturous and lingering death? Sorry, but missing a vein or two and fifteen minutes of probing and mild discomfort (I went through that once for a minor operation) is not a “torturous and lingering death.” In Amsterdam, Michelle and I visited a museum devoted to medieval torture. Now back then, having spikes slowly driven into your head or experiencing a red hot poker poked up your rectum was some SERIOUS torture and pain. Besides, if they cannot put this fellow down with lethal injection, what else?
Since a rope or the gallows themselves would break, hanging is out. Electric chair? Forget it! Electric sofa would be more like it. Wonder if a high-powered rifle slug would reach the condemned man’s brain? Wonder if a sharp guillotine could cut through a two-foot neck? Or how about punishments to fit the person? How about some good old time African starvation for this quarter-tonner? Screams for food? Agonizing wails for bread and mercy? Sorry, I hear the cries of mercy from the victim, not this wretch.
Ho-Hum . . . Yawn—There are few absolutes in this world but down here among the South Florida savages there are three things we can always count on—pitbull attacks, geezers boring breezeways through post office walls, and internet sex stings. Another rich haul of steaming dog piles were shoveled up the other day here in Charlotte County, caught trying to have sneak sex with children. True, it had been a whole month since the last roundup occurred and thus, I suppose, many of these characters—with the attention spans of gnats--had simply forgotten. Or perhaps, since most of the earlier hauls were released after a day or two of cruel and unusual in the county clink, maybe these are the same people who are being netted over and over. Since our judicial system seems so charmed by these lovely individuals, perhaps citizens should just mete out the punishment themselves and skip the middlemen altogether. Whatever Florida's grand “plan” is now, it just ain’t working.
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