Wow. Laying on the beach bench on the home half of my daily duel with death—aka 16-mile bike ride—I felt something wet hit my cheek. I wiped it off, looked up, saw nary a cloud or gull, but did sight buzzards circling over head. UGH!
I read the other day that Florida, year-in, year-out, leads the nation in bicycle deaths. Despite California having twice the peeps, nope, ‘tis the Sunshine State which kills my breed off quicker than any. I allow it has something to do with not merely the number of comrades down here biking year-round, but also has a little to do with the millions of modern mature motorists—aka blind and bat-shit crazy geezers—on the roads confusing we bikers for post office walls.
Just recently, locally, four or five bikers have bit the dust, have kissed the canvas, have assumed room temperature, have bought the worm farm, and so on, and not a one of them was drunk or on dope. Nope. All sober as librarians. Although most of the fatalities seem to be of the recreational variety, i.e., those, like myself, who bike to stay fit, a growing percentage seems to be folks whose only mode of movement—other than a bike—is staggering, lurching or crawling on all fours; IOW, those who have lost driver’s licenses due to DUI’s and are out at all times of the night, sober-but-seeking-something-to-get-unsober, are increasingly biting the big one, are taking the dirt nap, are screwing the pooch . . . etc., etc., etc.
When a newspaper report states that “Harry B. Wildman, 43, of Homeless Acres” was not wearing a helmet when he was squashed crossing a six-lane highway early dark thirty Sunday morning, and that his bike had no lights, that’s a pretty clear indication Harry was not a recreational biker. When the report adds that Wildman was run over and flattened like a frog, that also is a sure sign that when smote Harry was sober as stone since boozed-up cyclists are NEVER killed, be they run over by a two-ton car, a ten-ton truck or a twenty-ton Abrams Tank. Repeat: Drunk cyclists are NEVER killed. Almost certainly, homeless, hopeless, hapless, and now, harmless, Harry was out looking to get high at that time of night; but it’s equally certain he was still sober as a hard rock when flat-lined, when greased, when iced, etc.
Late the other night, ten or a hundred miles north of here (I forget which), 52-year-old biking booze bag, Jimmy Joe Outlaw, rode right into the teeth of the meat grinder that is busy U.S. 41 and was hit and run over by about a dozen cars, trucks, vans filled with illegal aliens, and motorcycles. Although his hair got mussed up a bit and his bike was totaled, the fact that Jimmy Joe was dead drunk during the difficulty guaranteed that he would be up and running stupid again within days, if not hours. Since cops plan on charging JJ with drunk driving and since they can’t take away that which was already tooken away long ago, namely his license, they will instead merely seize Outlaw’s bike when he gets around to stealing a new one.
Another lovely stat that Florida leads the nation in is sinkholes. I won’t get into the geology of sinkholes except to say that there is a lot of H2o down there under Florida and it eats away at the earth above, especially up in the Tampa area. This area is known as “Sinkhole Alley.”
And so, recently, once more up near Tampa. . . . With memories still vivid from last winter when that poor beggar was swallowed whole at Seffner, once more people are running for their lives. Now, can you imagine any terror greater than the thought of sleeping soundly in your own bed one moment and next moment . . . BOOM! you are being flushed and drowned in a dirt toilet?
Thus, when a homeowner was awakened one morning a while back by a sound “like a sledgehammer pounding on the wall,” not only he but the entire neighborhood fled the area like the Japanese fled Tokyo whenever Godzilla made his semi-weekly appearance.
“After the Seffner sinkhole, we were scared. . . ,” said the homeowner with heavy understatement and a limited vocabulary. “Now it looks like our house is gone.”
As the hole grew, it swallowed the man’s porch, his new boat and is now working on what’s left of the property. A neighbor’s swimming pool and a portion of that home have fallen in the well as well.
Who, I ask, who in their right mind would even stay at a motel in this area much less buy a home there? “Sinking property values” takes on a whole new meaning in this three-county area of Florida.
Senile Sinkholes—The “Letters to the Editor” in our local fish wrap are a treasure trove of illiteracy and ignorance each day and consequently they are a mine of unintended amusement, amazement and mirth. For most people, this is it—this is that proverbial fifteen minutes of fame; this is where they can strut their stuff, this is where they can see their name in print; this is where they can prove to the world what trenchant thinkers and witty writers they are. Some of the mangled logic of these people is priceless. These absurd attempts to seem serious and philosophical seem instead like some inane contest to see who can come off looking most oldest, most slowest, most stupidest. Let’s call it the Geezer Karaoke.
After prattling along for two nonsensical paragraphs about Obama and Hillary and prayer and communism and “the emperor who wore no clothes” and Benghazi and whatever, one upset fossilista, let’s call her Clara, gets to the crux of her argument (I guess):
As an elderly Christian, it is so sad to see our wonderful country become an immoral Communist country. And it makes me remember how no one could understand how Hitler was able to do what he did. But the ignorant people outnumbered the educated. They allowed him to remove the Holy Bible and all of their guns. Sound familiar? Dr. Ben Carson was like a “voice crying in the wilderness.” But, it’s going to take vigilance from all of us if we want God to bless America.
Not sure what Benghazi and Ben Carson “crying in the wilderness” have in common. Not sure about “Communism” and “elderly Christians” either. But dragging poor Hitler into the fray has long since become standard stock for these simple-minded seniles like Clara. When the Clara’s of the world have no explanations for why the “wonderful world” they once knew has mysteriously gone to hell in a hand basket—whether it be from creeping communism or whether it be from a sewer back up down the block—might as well dump the load on Hitler.
For Clara’s info, tho I’m sure it is pointless to point it out to someone as far gone as she is:
Hitler did not ban guns. . . .
Hitler did not ban the Holy Bible. . . .
Hitler did not ban smoking, drinking, thinking, or breathing.
What Hitler did ban, however—and I’m sure Clara will be equally irate to hear this:
He DID ban free cheese. . . .
He DID ban bingo. . . .
He DID ban “early-bird specials”. . . .
He DID ban Lawrence Welk reruns. . . .
And Hitler—to his great credit—DID ban senile seniors from writing incoherent “letters to the editor.”
Moral: When in doubt, blame it on Hitler. No one will notice and you’ll look way wiser than you really are.