I have a dentist appointment today. I am sitting in the doctor’s office now. What a drag. Bad enough to face a morning of needles and drilling, but then to sit here for half an hour trying to look dapper and dignified in blue jeans and indifferent and devil-may-care to the oral torture to come. Bummer. Dread rhymes with dead. But . . .
. . . as I sit here alone, trying to feign interest in a magazine that I’m holding upside down, I notice something on the seat two over from me. It appears to be a fat man’s billfold; rather, it appears to be a man’s fat billfold. Hmmmm. I could always use some manna from heaven, think I. Do I take it? Will I get caught? Obviously, any one so stupid as to walk off without their billfold deserves to lose it, reason I. There might be a hundred K in that wallet. But then, the do-gooder hillbilly angel on the other shoulder says: "It ain’t yours, Mike. That there person may need them dollars a helluva lot more than y'all. It ain’t yours, Tom. That there person may have brain cancer or have a young'un that is a drug-addicted mess and losin' that billfold will be the straw that breaks that parent’s back. IT AIN'T YOURS, sez I. Pick it up Mike or Tom or Alessandro or whatever y'all are calling yerself these days, and give it to that nice lady at the desk."
Well, the above scenario did not happen to me (other than the sitting-at-the-dentist’s-holding-a-mag-upside-down part), but that tug of war between devil and angel may have occurred to one Vince Serino the other day as he sat in a Port Charlotte doctor’s office. In that case, however, Serino's devil bowled a 300. "Take it . . . it's yours now! Don't be a sucker, don't be a sap, don't be stupid!"
With his new found wealth, Vince went on a shopping spree, buying whatever tickled his criminal fancy, including a stop at something called “Bed, Bath & Beyond” (won’t even ask what the “beyond” part is about). Technically-, as well as ethically-challenged, Vince never once noticed all the cameras following his every move as he stopped to make credit card transactions, and so, it weren’t long before our mastermind was behind bars.
So ends another episode in the never-ending saga I call, "South Florida--Growing Old Greedily, Criminally and Disgracefully." It ain’t as if 71-year-old Vince was poor. Hell, he has a new white Cadillac and a great home. Maybe the same UFO radio signals that compel oldsters down here to walk into canals also scrambles their brain patterns and causes them to drive through post office walls, write idiotic letters to the editor, and steal billfolds that they don’t really need.
Names That Suck, #472--Bob Coward, 82, died the other day up the bay at Punta Gorda. Now, there are some really horrible surnames, but what self-respecting straight would want to tote that millstone all his days?
“Yep, old Bob is truly the “Coward” of the county! Hahahaha!” or, “I’m a real chip off the old block, I am. I come from a long line of Cowards. There’s big Cowards, little Cowards, Cowards that squat to pee, all sorts of Cowards in our family.”
Since Bob was in the—not makin’ this up—in the flower biz all his life—growin’ ‘em . . . pickin’ ‘em . . . sellin’ ‘em . . . smellin’ ‘em . . . dancin’ ‘tip-toe through the tulips' with ‘em--he must have led an “interesting” life, to put it mildly, full of foot races as he was chased home from school each day, bully beat-downs when they caught him, and frustrated girl friends always trying, but failing, to provoke Bob into bar fights because some guy was looking at her lasciviously. Bob at least had the good sense to name one of his sons, Butch. The other three sons, however, Lily, Iris and Rose, were on their own, I guess. Perhaps, since he had nothing more than flowers to give them as a legacy, perhaps it was just Bob’s way of passing on “tough love” to his kids, sorta like the old drunk who named his boy “Sue.”
Me Man, You Victim--“Man Threatens Woman With Shotgun”. . . . “Man Chokes Woman On Sidewalk” . . . . “Man Runs Over Woman”. . . . “Man Punches, Slaps and Kicks Woman.” Judging by the headlines in today’s newspaper, looks like maybe “man” should be treated to some serious volts of attitude adjustment administered by sadistic cops who first taze "man’s" woman-beating ass for about a week, then jug "man" for a year or more in the same cell as some hardened thugs with long mop handles, or at least until he settles down a tad. Or perhaps maybe “woman” should get out of the man business altogether and enroll in the Sanity & Sobriety Society for a few.
The Hero Biz—Everyone wants to leave a mark; everyone wants to be something in this life; everyone sees “heroes” honored; everyone wants to be one. Unfortunately, at any given time there are only a few hero positions open for willing applicants.
Way up on the Suwanee River north of Tampa, two men saw an eight-year-old making noises like an eight-year-old makes when drowning. And so, when one would-be hero jumped in, the other would-be hero did the same. Pretty quick, both would-be heroes started making noises like would-be heroes make when would-be heroes are drowning. And so. . . .yep, in jump two more would-be heroes. Had this gone on much longer one might easily image a river full of drowning would-be heroes. But somehow, in all that drowning, the eight-year-old managed to make it to shore.
Alas, although it seems that the original two would-be heroes did indeed drown, it also seems that every other would-be hero did manage to escape this lovely, lazy river-of-no-return
Maybe it is not just geezers and canals that are the mystery down here in the Sunshine State; maybe it is Floridians in general, and water in general, and drowning in general, and inability to swim in general, and safety, or lack there of, in general, and drinking in general, and drugs in general, and . . . who could make this crap up?
Pisces Pay-Back--Down Jamaica way, George Facey was doing what he loved best, viz., spearing fish for supper. Since the diver in his long lifetime had probably killed and eaten maybe a million fish, it was probably just about time that old George was himself killed an eaten. Thus, when a 16-foot hungry tiger shark showed up on the scene, it was not more fish on the menu, but a tough old human. George is now sixty-eight forever. Live by the spear, die by the shark.
On Cue—As if to buttress, bolster, back up, and beontify what I wrote the other day about Bad Elvises, or Bad Elvisi, popping up here, there, everywhere like rotting mullet on the beach, I give you an ad in this morning’s fish wrap:
ELVIS AARON PRESLEY JR., performing at Porky’s Roadhouse, 4300 School House Square, Port Charlotte. THE ACTUAL SON OF ELVIS PRESLEY! Yes Elvis did have a son who was born Dec. 24th, 1961 in Gary, IN and immediately given up for adoption by his mother, a young actress in the movie “Blue Hawaii”, to a Yugoslavian couple who were circus performers in The Ringling Brothers Circus. Elvis Jr. was kept a secret for decades!
There you have it--almost as if it had been torn right from the front page of this week’s National Perspirer--orphan, circus, Yugoslavs, Elvis, the gamut. Thereupon follows a wordy pitch in the ad to hustle the hicks into this sideshow tent where they can hear and see this “once in a lifetime performance.” There is also a description of what “Elvis, Jr.” has been doing during his long and supposedly secret life, including work as a circus clown, lion tamer, and of course, a singer, musician and shake-down con artist. Elvis may have left the building, but “Elvis, Jr.” has entered it!
I think the odds of this huckster being the late "King's" son are about the same as a working coal miner being hit in the head by space junk, but even if he were legit, talk about a brazen attempt to ride your dear dead departed dad’s "Viva Las Vegas" coat tails! Trying to hide the fact that he was the illegitimate child of Elvis Presley? Please! Whatever, there must be at least a million Elvis impersonators out there and I’m sure a really bad, boring book could be written on the subject.