The “Stay Birds” on this island have just endured a berserk amount of rain; a year’s worth of water in a week. It’s almost more than Manasota can gut and a good thing the Gulf can’t flood ‘cause it certainly would have with this recent diluvium. Fortunately, the sand sucked some down but several fair ponds survive yet—complete with egrets spearing sprat and frogs.
Speaking of sand spits, we, my French Michelle and me, are hoping to do some hopping tonight, island hopping, that is. First to Boca and an early soiree with rich friends; then to Sanibel, and a late soiree with rich enemies. I’ll be sure to explain later . . . I’m pretty sure I will . . . I might not . . . I probably won’t . . . I know I won’t . . . I won’t explain a damned thing even if I’m tortured!
Other than Russian Roulette, I rate Florida parasailing as the riskiest form of entertainment on, above or below earth. The odds of surviving after being strapped into a harness and hoisted three hundred feet above the Gulf on a flimsy kite are maybe just a bit better than placing a loaded pistol to your head and pulling the trigger. I’m sure the water rec “industry” has some lovely slick stats to prove that their “sport” is safer than sitting in grandma’s kitchen eating apple pie, but I ain’t swallowing that camel.
Every day one will see a parasailor or two just off our beaches. The skies are never full of them, however, and the percentage of people who actually go aloft is very, very small compared to those who wisely remain down here on terra sanda. Yet, of that small percentage of those who do go up there alive, it seems a very, very high percentage of them come back down to earth dead. We have three or so outfits here that offer parasailing, among other sports, and judging by the looks and actions of the “experts”—I see ‘em most every day--I would have a healthy problem entrusting my forever tomorrows with any of these dudes.
Two teens up at Panama City Beach in the Florida panhandle were up the other day when their rope snapped during a sudden zephyr. Unlike most parasailing deaths, in which the surprised victims just fall flat and splatter at a hundred miles an hour, these two 17-year-old girls from Indiana were swept toward the beach where they were dashed into a tall condo, then flung into a power line, and finally dumped onto a parking lot. They are in critical condition as I type, but they will die.
The rope “snapped!” What kind of sewing string must these people be using? There are flexible cords available that could pull the Queen Mary and yet they cannot attach a line that will safely pull two light-as-feather teens for fifteen minutes?
Note: If your instinct—that little nagging voice deep inside you—says, “Nope, this ain’t for me. Hitching up and entrusting my past, present and future to a boat load of individuals/imbeciles I know not is not for me!” then HEED THAT VOICE! That voice may not always end with the most exciting or memorable results but it is your “voice” and it is the most important safety mechanism you have in life.
Our little leapin’ lizards livin’ life lazy, just a lolling and a loafing and a laying round the ranch, just sippin’ life’s wine slowly. Our thousand or so that manage to exist on, around and sometimes in this Banana Cabana—we just cupped a baby on a window and put him out; maybe an inch long--do so at a slow pace, little concerned with we humans. At the library this morning I noted that the lizards there are also largely lethargic. I suppose the lizards move pretty fast when they have to—say on a school play ground or at a chicken ranch—but these critters that share the digs with us are as tame as white rice.
Forty-eight-year-old Jerry Hayes got into a physical misunderstanding last Saturday afternoon at a so-called ”Gentleman’s Club” up at Tampa. Since he was tossed out on his head, I reckon old Jer lost the fight. Drunk, stupid, mean, murderous, and above all, mad, when Hayes saw Fred Turner coming out of an adjoining adult book store a short time later he mistook the steamer for his former fight foe and yelled a curse or two at him (well, he was drunk and the bar was dark). When Fred fled, Jerry jumped into his truck and gave chase up Interstate-4 toward Orlando, determined to get some revenge for the public beat-down. Fred, of course, didn’t have a clue why a maniac was chasing him.
As the terrified Turner pegged in 911 on his cell, Jerry drew alongside and began pointing a pistol out his window. The 911 call taker answered—“Okay, what’s your beef? Talk to me”--heard gunfire, then her phone went dead. Pun intended.
After this little rage-rage which ended in road-rage, Jerry is in the jug now charged with murder in one degree or another. Meanwhile, forty-seven forever Fred is winging his way to that big X-rated porn shop in the sky.