There is a young fellow just across Moonlight Bay from us, over in Pitbullville, who is a spry and scrappy 105 years-old. Yep, that’s right. Older than rocks is this quiet gentleman and yet . . . no, not to worry, need not expect me to swing into my predictable anti-geezer hachet-rant with this man. Just the opposite.
John Asten of neighboring Englewood is still self-sufficient, still trim, still active, still alert, still works at his trade (cabinet-making and woodwork), and is still a cognizant, coherent and a rather charming old chap. John was born when Teddy Roosevelt (above) was president. The boy was five years-old when the Titanic sank. John is about the same age as John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow would be now had the outlaws survived the slugs of the “laws”; Mr. Alsten would have been just a bit too young for WWI and just a bit too old for WWII—thank God. John was born at a time when there were virtually no airplanes planing the air and only a few horseless carriages were bumping around scaring the hector out of farm animals. Thus, John and Henry Ford grew up together. Oddly, this man, even though he drove virtually every day of his life, and unlike virtually every other Florida fossil, voluntarily surrendered his driver’s license just a few years ago, recognizing his frailties and the danger he posed to others. Obviously, as far as the Florida DMV is concerned, people 150 years-old and up, and people bat s--t blind can keep their licenses and continue to kill the rest of us willy-nilly. No prob. Who cares?
When you are 105, I suppose the spotlight is really focused hard and fast on you. You are a celebrity. For instance, a man that old is something akin to a living museum; a window to the past; a living history machine, a talking time capsule that is available to pass on the past to we of the future. It behooves Mr. Alsten to walk the straight and narrow for many eyes will be watching him from now until his 200th birthday. Last thing Florida or the US needs is for Mr. Alsten to be busted for meth, or be bagged in a pedophile sex sting, or for this century plus-old dude to be arrested for beating up his poor mother. It would be weirdly prophetic, I suppose, if John were out taking his constitutional some morn over there in Pitbullville and he was attacked and killed by pit bulls.
I doubt seriously if we will hear anything horrible about this kindly old wood worker. He comes from a better time when men acted responsibly, and manly, and generally wisely, and set a standard for others to emulate. For instance, the sex-crazed douche bag Bill Clinton could not even keep his zipper up in the White House for a mere four years, much less for his entire life: This clown, our chosen leader, the "slick" president, lacked the necessary self-restraint to keep from degrading himself and the office, tho a billion eyes were on him and tho he was a role model for millions of kids. Imagine, blow jobs in the Oval Office by smitten twit interns!
John Alsten is certainly made of sterner stuff than such modern steaming dog piles such as Clinton, Bush and Obama.
Nob Nutz in the Newz—Nut case #1, Leonora Lance, of nearby Venice, was in the nasty habit of setting fires to her own home. Once Nora ignited some paper plates in the kitchen (less mess than washing them in the dish-washer, I suppose); on another occasion the 51-year-old crazy thought a fireplace would be a neat thing on her back porch so she started a raging bonfire there in the middle that nearly burned the house down. The most recent incident occurred the other day when neighbors spotted smoke billowing from the front door. Added to this “who-could-make-this-crap-up” moment was the woman’s husband who chose that moment to return to the house. Where had the husband been? Why, out buying batteries for the dozens of smoke alarms, that’s where.
Cops came and noted that Nora appeared “confused” (seems there is a lot of that here in Charlotte County). The fire was brought under control but not before two of the family dogs were dead. Ms. Lance was finally Baker Acted, which translates here in Florida as, “We have come to help you, Leonora. We have come to take you away for a nice loooooong rest. We are going to take you to a happy place where no one will hurt you and where you can play with toys and eat all the orange jello and cottage cheese you want. Come with us, Leonora, come with us.”
Continuing this pyropsycho thread. . . . Greg Turner of Port Charlotte decided to chunk some junk and instead of paying a fee to have it hauled off like normal folks he just pitched the mess into his back yard then set it ablaze. Problem solved. Well not quite. Fire folks soon arrived and informed Greg that,”Hey, you retard! Funny Thing! Burning a huge pile of garbage including ceiling fans, mattresses, car tires, and other unwanted crap is verboten in this semi-civilized State of Florida.” Angry that his Constit2shunal Rite to do anything he wanted was being usirped . . . usyrupt . . . yousirped . . . angry that his rites were being chopped off at the knees, Turner angrily refused to douse the flames. Fireman, John Jensen, grabbed a fire hose and made ready to earn his keep. With the line now drawn in the sand, so to speak, patriotic idiot and drug-addict Greg began acting like an even worse jerk than before, if possible.
With his Alamo moment at hand, Greg grabbed a shovel as if to clobber Jensen, like Davy Crockett of yore. The startled fire-eater quickly turned the hose on the human pit bull in an attempt to protect himself. Mostly, Jensen succeeded. One lucky blow from the shovel got through, however, and knocked the fireman as stiff as a mitten. Of course, the freedom-loving moron was quickly arrested and placed as a political prisoner in the local hoosegow. Cops described Turner as looking like someone “unhinged;” after seeing the wild-eyed mugshot for myself, I must agree, "unhinged" is the word, and "demarbled" is another one. Cops and firemen! Whatever they are making, it ain’t enough.
Meanwhile, move over “confusion”; seems like a lot of unhingement going around in old Charlotte, too. Case in point a comin'. . . .
Among the Savages—Continuing the cop thread, on Thanksgiving Day, North Port’s finest were called to a disturbance at a residence. Long story short: A whacked out 19-year old, one Vincenzo Niclos James Luisi, got hopped up on something then beat the holy hell out of his stupid girlfriend. Holing up in the garage, the maniac was finally tackled when the police burst in. Instead of just giving it up, however, Vince decided to fight. And, since it was T-giving, why not have a little white meat? Clamping his teeth on a cop’s arm, the cannibal began to grind away.
Fortunately for the eatee, unfortunately for the eater, the cop's partner pulled out his ray gun and let Luisi have it. And thus we have the stupid spectacle of this punk on junk doing the electric chicken dance on a garage floor on Turkey Day. The po'ed cops could not be blamed one bit, could they, if they kept the juice flowing for a bit longer than normal tazing cases, say 20 or 30 minutes longer, or, until the next whacked-out drug call. Gotta love it. Cops need a little fun and mirth in their lives too.
“Luisi told police he was hiding because he was afraid to come out,” ran the newspaper account. ??? Wanna run that by again. “Luisi told police he was hiding because he was afraid to come out.” Hmmmm. I guess I never thought of it like that. It does make sense. . . hiding . . . don't want to come out . . . afraid . . . don't want to be seen . . . hiding from cops . . . don't want to be found. . . . afraid . . . hiding. . . . It helps when you look at both sides of the situation carefully.
Sorry for the extra dose of crass cynicism today but sometimes I think I'm going crazier than I already am.