Friday, June 21, 2013

The Life of Death

In my hurry, haste and hustle to post the blog yesterday, I left out a few details re that retarded argument with the biking geezer. 
It seemed that no matter how hard I tried to defuse the situation, nothing worked.  It was as if my attempts to calm the guy down and get on with life were seen by him as weakness.  If I said “I’m sorry . . . I should have yelled ‘On your left!’ louder,” the man would ramp up, “You’re damned right you should have!  You’re a menace.“  If I calmly pointed out, “You know, bike trails are like roads, we should stay to the right unless passing,” with a wild wave of the hand he would snap, “There is no law against riding in the middle,” and so on.  Again, I might have stoked the fire a dozen times by adding that it is just common sense to stay to the right, and so on, but again, I was hoping to de-accelerate the situation so that this geriatric nuisance would leave and let me sweat in peace. 
I suspect this angry gentleman was a road-rager in his youth but is now mostly retired, wisely limiting his outbursts to just his wife and a random cyclist or two that he imagines he can bully.  As I have noted from close observation: Stupid, angry people don’t seem to get smarter or less angry, they just get older.
Down over Charlotte Harbor at Fort Myers, seems Calvin Crow had just about had it with his step-son, Craig.  Not only was the lad a total debauched drunk, but he was a self-inflicted lazy loser--a “damned moocher,” said not-so-cool Cal.  Seems the young wastrel did little more than lie around, eat and hit the jug.  And so, one day, during a hyper-heated argument, Cal just pulled out a pistol and busted a bunch of caps at and into Craig. 
Cal’s days as a free man are over, of course.  Even if he gets a mere slap on the wrist—say a year or two--Crow will probably never play bingo or catch that early bird special again in this life since at age 87, Old Cal Crow (sorry) pretty much has both his feet and half his body already in the grave.  And as for the step-son, the good news, I guess, is that the boy will survive.  Here’s hoping that at age 66 he sobers, gets a job then turns his life around.
Lord!  Such is life among the seniles and the savages. . . .
As I rested from my sweat fest on Lemon Bay today, dealing with 90 degrees at 9AM, a lady passed by the shore staring at me. 
“Aren’t you the ‘Bandana Manna?’ ” she finally asked. 
“Excuse me?” I shaded my eyes.
“Are you the guy they call the ‘Bandana Manna?’”
“Ha!” I smiled.  “I’ve never heard that before . . . but I suppose that’s me.”
When I rest at the various parks on my bike rides, I usually take off my sweat-soaked bandana.  Today I had left it on.
“Yes, my daughter and her friends call you that,” the lady laughed.  “They say, ‘Wow, he’s hot!’”
As the woman walked away she said they also call me “Dudley Doo-Rag.”
Well, what can I say?  Fame!  And yes (sigh) I suppose I am hot, even extremely hot.   It’s tiresome being a sex god and a retro rock star.  I suppose I’ll get over it, though.
Man Gets Life in Death—Who among us has not had problems with barking dogs?  In my overly-long whirl on this spinning blue ball I have had my share of ‘em.  One barking dog will drive a person nuts but two barking dogs are twice the fun and will drive a person nuts in half the time.  Of course, one man’s noise is another man’s music and clearly, owners of such nuisances can’t hear the noise for the music.
Over by, under among, down up at--wherever in hell Bunnell is here in Florida--Dana Mulhall was having his own problems with his neighbor’s barking dogs, breed not noted but hey? that’s pretty much a no-brainer.  Seems the mutts’ owner, 66-year-old Paul “Pit Bull” Miller disagreed just a mite with Dana’s complaints about his sweet-natured critters.  Pit bulls been getting bad raps, don’t you know?  And so, as they argued across a wooden fence, Paul just pulled out a pistol from his back belt and shot Dana dead, front, back, side, on the ground, everywhere he could shoot him; just shot him dead. 
Now, despite getting all remorseful and teary-eyed and “I really didn’t mean to do it, yer honor,” Paul agonna spend the rest of his days with a passel of mean, tatted neighbors but nary a musical canine within earshot.    
On a similar note, while pedaling through Englewood today, I spy this “large” woman sauntering along avec her pit bull, sans her pit bull leash, natch.  Amazing.  Just effing amazing.  All the attacks, all the death, all the destruction, all the murder and mayhem, and all the other hundreds of dog breeds either leashed or safe in fenced yards, yet here is this human individual just a flopping along, indifferent to the world, her pit running free as the wind through the hood. 
Which came first?  The pit bull or the pit bull owner?  Truly, the pit bull is the perfect “pet” for a certain segment of earth-bound featherless bipeds.  Let’s call these knuckle-draggers “The Brutal and the Indifferent”—people as crude and irresponsible as children, those among us who are the least likely to be confused with Mensa members.  Amazing.  Just amazing. 
Of course, on my bike, I was the most likely candidate to be a human steak had this “great with kids” pit decided he needed a bit of sport on this fine featherless day in Florida.
My friend, Shelley Stout, is no more.  Such a strong, brave heart.  When I met Shelly (below) a few years back I never would have guessed then that this vivacious and now 50-years-old-forever beauty  was locked in a MMA Texas Death Match with insidious cancer.  In fact, I learned this later from her sister, not from Shelley. 
At her coffee shop in Englewood where we split 50/50 the sale of several of my titles, Shelley and I would talk about organic cooking, Lentils Bengal and GMOs.  Shelley lived just down Beach Road from us and many are the mornings she would wave to me from her little red sports car with the top down as I pedaled along.  Let it be said that Shelley lived her life to the utmost right to the last.  I talked with her in person one week before the end and she was the same chirpy person as the lady I met that first time. Her sunny disposition, her musical voice, her quick wit made the world a better place to live in.  I, and a very fortunate million more who knew and loved Shelley, will truly—very truly--miss her.  RIP