Over near Orlando, 32-year-old Keith Richardson called his mom and told her goodbye; he was clocking out. After yet another fight with his girlfriend, the drunken cyclist hopped on his bike and went looking for death. Keith found it when he swerved into the path of a car driven by young (and weirdly-named) Vonterrious Latron.
Closer to home, in North Port, a sixty-five year-old grandfather was out on his bike Tuesday night when he was struck and killed. Helmet? Check! Head light? Check! Tail lights? Check! Light-colored clothing? Check! Obeying all the rules of the road? Check! Bottom line? Didn’t matter a dime! All those checks counted for nothing when the twenty-one-year-old numbskull, probably drunk, perhaps texting, simply didn’t see the cyclist.
There are tens of thousands of bikers here in Florida and yet, the best this state can offer is a narrow lane that separates we hanging-out-to-dry bikists from tons of speeding steel solely by a thin line of white paint. These lanes are mere death strips. A two-ton car driven by a drunk, a crazy eighty-something or a teen texter needs to veer just a smidge to the right and we have one or more dead cyclists. Though I note that many bikers use these kill lanes, they must have more air between their ears than brains.
Michelle mentions that she was behind a young lady just the other day who was texting. No way did this driver notice if anyone was in the bike lane, which she was swerving in and out of more often than not.
Some weirdo from Jacksonville tried to cause a sensation by telling authorities that a Black Mambo, the world’s deadliest snake, had bit him and he had somehow managed to survive. Now, since the reptile had supposedly bitten the blighter in south Georgia, this touched off a massive snake hunt in an all-out effort to catch the thing and prevent any more invasive invasions, as per the pythons in south Florida. Turns out the story was a ruse, a hoax, a lie, and the crafty creep was simply trying to garner some glory and a spot in the spotlight. Whatever, he is now on trial this week for making false statements to officials, something definitely not covered by the First Amendment, as we can be assured he tried to argue. His shyster-ambulance-chasing lawyer is arguing that his poor client was out of his mind when he concocted the tale, merely delirious when he made the false statement and therefore should not be held accountable. Why outta his mind? Why delirious? Out of his mind and delirious because he had been bitten by another snake, of course, this time by a cobra!
Unbelievable. Put ‘em both in priz, sez I, and make it the same cell and make it fer life.
Postscript--I mentioned in the last post that the Panhandle is a nice, nostalgic place but always ten degrees cooler than Sunshine State South. Since two emails from two people disputed that singular statement, I present, without further comment, the chart below on this, this Happy Hearts Day warm morning in 2013.