Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fun with Names

Yet another person was killed by a train here in Florida.  When?  Last Saturday night. Where?  Where else?  Lakeland.  Who?  A homeless hobo. 
Either there are a bunch of trains up there at Lakeland, or there are a bunch of homeless hobos, or there are a bunch of suicide-seeking suiciders, or there are a bunch of all three.  What else can explain the large number of railroad deaths?  Coincidence?  Not hardly (“Fun With Death”, 2.26.13).  Given the fact that Florida, compared to other states, has very little mileage of railroad tracks and given that most of these “accidents” occur when trains are moving very slowly, what other conclusion can one come up with other than death-by-train is gaining ground as one of the preferred ways of departing this beautiful blue ball among the happiless hobo homeless?
Early last Saturday night, a train engineer spotted a man lying on the rails; there was no way, however, to slow so much momentum in such a short time.  Cops later found the victim dead on the tracks with his back pack, ball cap and glasses neatly laid nearby.  The man was found “with injuries to his legs and upper torso,” ran the report, which was a tidy way of saying that the victim was not just cut in two, but was cut in three. Upon learning his identification it was discovered that the fellow was a wandering drifter who had ridden the rails these past ten years.
Ironic Names Hall of Fame
Robert Rider, 48, Joplin, Missouri (rail rider)
Incongruous--Shelly is my friend and, I suppose, something of a business partner.  From her cute coffee and gift shop over on fashionable Dearborn Street in palmy downtown Englewood (not to be confused with ratty, drugged-up Pittbullville nearby), Shelly sells sea shells, Shelly sells seashore scenes, Shelly sells mocha java and café frappes, and Shelly sells beaucoup copies of my books.  As a result, I have come to know this thin-as-a-skate-blade blond shop owner with the sunny disposition fairly well.  Her last name?
Mis-Names Hall of Fame
Shelly Stout, Manasota Key, Florida (rail thin shop owner)
Coward of the County--I reported on the death of 82-year-old Bob Coward last month over in Punta Gorda (“Fun With Fame,” 3.14.13) and it was mentioned that the deceased had wisely named one of his children “Butch.”  Any one out there have any doubts that Bob named his son thus in hope that such a masculine moniker might ameliorate that millstone of a surname that Butch would carry around his neck for the rest of his days?  Me neither.
I neglected to mention that Bob’s boy, Butch Coward, is a fully grown adult in his fifties now and that he has a son, also a young grown man.  Thus, this most recent addition to the Coward clan is what you might call “a real son-of-a-Butch.”
Sorry.  I apologize.  Just had to.  Forgive me.  Please.  Not funny, you say?  You can’t forgive me, you say?  You won’t forgive me, you say?  You hope I die?  You hope I am run over by a geezer and crippled?  Well skrew you!  And your dog named Blue, too!  I hope you also die, NOW!  I hope you win the lottery one minute and die from a heart attack the next.  I hope you fall down a sinkhole or drown in a canal or. . . .
Oh, whatever, you’re right.  It wasn’t very funny.  I'm sorry.  [Sigh]