When I was 8 or 9 years old my mom was exceedingly nice to me for an entire day and I never quite got to the bottom of it. I think it was a Saturday and the first thing we did after cereal/cartoon time was to go to Kmart (definitely Kmart) where she allowed me to pick out some toys. After that she took me grocery shopping with her and a good 25% of what I put in the cart, stayed in the cart, and that was a first. Then she took me home and cooked me dinner. This would have been extravagant to begin with but the meal was something I remember thinking was too good to be true. Probably something with peanut butter and fried fish or hamburger on cookies, caffeinated, sugar infused, melted ice cream to drink- and at this point I knew something must be up.
This kind of aberrational behavior went on in this unprecedented way well into the evening as I steadily grew more leery and disquieted by every loving gesture. At ten when she noticed that I seemed to be enjoying whatever I was watching, she brought me a blanket and a snack and told me that I could stay up and watch Saturday Night Live if I wanted. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and voiced my concern that there seemed to be a game afoot and that she likely was working on a nefarious plan to kill me or otherwise destroy me. Was this PB & J that she handed me laced with razor blades made out of cyanide and dragon teeth? Was she planning to sell me into Russian slavery, she knew that I was terrified of the Russians. Was she about to announce her engagement to that douche-juice, the one with the shiny eyes and the personal relationship with Jesus that he HAD to tell you about? No? Holy Christ, there is a God. Then what childhood annihilating travesty was she about to unleash upon my fragile life?
She tried to reassure me by giving an Oscar worthy performance by getting all teary eyed, in that young mother kind of way and asking ‘if I was out of my fucking mind’ but I didn’t buy it. She quickly shook it off like an aggravated goose coming down from a goose fight adrenaline high and we got past it. Especially since I fucking won by calling her out before she could carry out her evil plans.
Well, it’s happening again.
The Universe, or God, or maybe Jerry Bruckenheimer, whoever’s in charge of this thing, is being way too nice to me. Every. Single. Thing. Is. Perfect. The whole move: Cadiar>Madrid>Miami>St. Pete Beach went smoothly. No lost luggage, no shit covered animals- even after 15 hours in a cage, no hula hoop inspections by customs or their infuriatingly accurate dogs, no cavity searches, no arrests, not even any international incidents. That’s a first for me. I’ve moved and traveled for most of my adult life and this one was easier than a transfer from state to federal prison. Even the food was better. And there was a lot less prison bitch making. Which is good because as entertaining as it sounds to witness a prison bitch making, or PBM, it usually just makes you feel kinda uncomfortable, awkward even.
The first things that got me suspicious were the people. Everyone’s all, “have a great day now, sweetie!” while being all smiley and flirty and helpful. There are more scantily clad beach beauties than I remembered. My neck actually hurts from whipping it from side to side while driving. Also from where I got punched by a surprising accurate right hook thrown by a surprisingly fast fisted wife.
The roving bands of pillagers/rapists are no longer a problem since they’ve all turned obese. Now, when I hear their heavy footed, gaspy approach I just throw country fried donut skin in the other direction and by the time they remember to come back and resume their pillage/rape they’re usually too tired or heart attacky.
The apartment we rented was much nicer than I’d expected and even offers a water view. The kindly downstairs neighbor doesn’t even sell meth (yet) but she seems pliable should I ever get my meth farm off the ground. Right now the shit I planted is just kind of lying there. The apartment is actually clean and nice and I’m thinking about just staying here for a year. There are two beach bar/restaurants within crack rock throwing distance and they have live bands or music playing every night but it’s not too loud and only seems to add to the beachy ambiance. Besides, it’ll be good cover if I ever have to use a chainsaw on somebody in a bathtub.
One of our surprisingly loyal, unusually helpful friends was able to lend us a perfectly healthy car and there weren’t even any dead vagrants in the trunk until I’d had it for a weekend.
Everything is, so far, absolutely perfect and that scares the shit out of me. What’s the plan here? Is my penis going to start dripping Ebola? Am I about to get caught up in a zombie apocalypse? I wonder if the zombies will fall for the country fried donut skin trick?
When I first moved to Florida, I moved into a furnished apartment for almost a year. So after I moved in with the woman who would later come to be known as Wifey, I still knew nothing about the stupid water situation in that crazy state. I just knew that there was sparkly, shiny, happy water everywhere I looked and that made me feel smiley.
Then one spectacular, sunny Sunday we spontaneously decided to buy a pool while we were in the Home Depot buying other happy, sunny, Sunday things. We went home with the pool and after I my expertise box opening and plastic unrolling we were able to get it blown up thanks to a kindly neighbor’s industrial blower-upper contraption.
The next morning at the crackhead of dawn (phrases are different in Florida too) I set about filling up the pool using the two garden hoses that were already set up outside. By evening there was enough water for me to ‘swim.’ And by ‘swim’ I mean all the stupid shit I did when I thought that no one could see me and I was alone in a tiny body of trapped water… handstands, underwater punches and Chuck Norris-esqe roundhouse kicks, and seeing how long I could hold my breath as I swam circles around the edge pretending that I was winning a Survivor immunity challenge. Or maybe I was pretending to save Drew Barrymore (my soul mate) from the underwater cave in which she’d been bathing seductively but had become trapped…?
It may have been the next day while I was diving for the winning Super Bowl touchdown catch or the day after that while I was proving that I was the world’s best floating champion, that Wifey finally inquired as to how I’d filled the pool. She had a funny look of concern on her face. After I told her that I used the hoses that we used to water the grass, she looked kind of upset. This made me feel a little funny, scared and upset too. She went on to calmly tell me that I had been swimming in sewage water for the previous two days.
I feel that now is a good time to point out the distinction between ignorance and mental deficiency. I had never known about or heard of reclaimed water until this. Where I come from, if you can connect a fucking hose to it, then you can be damn sure that it does NOT contain fecal matter, urine or deadly pathogens. I did think that the water tasted kind of funny when I’d taken occasional drinks from the hose but I thought that was just the ‘plastic-y hose in the sun flavor’ which I’d gotten quite used to.
What may have been even worse (or saved me from certain death, depending how you look at it) was the cornucopia of chemicals they used to treat the ‘water’ just after it left my neighbors’ toilets and before it entered my pool and/or mouth.
After I had learned that I was frolicking about like a retarded dolphin on ecstasy in what was surely a deadly, poisonous, cesspool of killer death juice, I was convinced that I’d grow drastic mutations and/or cancerous polyps on my balls. I knew that my DNA may have been genetically (is there any other kind, really?) altered and I’d slowly and painfully turn into a dung beetle.
The only thing that kept me out of the emergency room those two weeks that I felt weak, puke-y, and scared was the fear of embarrassment of having to tell people that I had been swimming in poop. The only thing I got from it was a little rash but it’s only been a few years and it’s not too late for some other kind of reaction. Maybe I’ll turn all stupid..…
To those of you who know me personally it may come as a surprise that I’m deeply involved in a host of ‘new age’ interests. The term new age is actually a complete misnomer since the same things were taught in the Far East 2700 years ago. I’m on the path to enlightenment, baby! Being a Pisces I am forever enchanted with the world around me. I see magic and possibilities everywhere. So when “The Secret” first came out it was right up my alley.
Anyone who’s read it knows that its basic premise is fundamentally true. It’s based on the law of attraction, what you think about, you bring about. It’s why when you wake up feeling shitty, your day will entail spilled coffee, crying kids, and erectile dysfunction. If you start the day out positively you will impress the boss, get the girl, and make that birdie putt. Yea!
Well I happen to have a mind that loves to laugh and be entertained, especially at the expense or minor misfortune of others. The eternal comedy of human err, is my pet name for it. Humor is usually foremost in my mind and therefore usually foremost in my life, or at least my perception of life.
One of my favorite writers of all time happens to be Tim Dorsey. Like a coked up version of a Carl Hiaasen hallucination, he captures the drugs, sex, astronauts in diapers, murder, strippers, Gasparilla, and mayhem that is the epitome of all things Florida. If you’ve never read him, hurry up and do so, you will laugh until you cry. –There’s your plug Serge. Please put down the home depot circular and walk away from the Fox news anchor!!
Maybe the single funniest scene in book history occurs in ‘Florida Roadkill’ when 50 drunken, Hemingway look-a-likes get startled into a stampede rivaling the running of the bulls in Pamplona, which the real Hemingway so adored. The incident was later dubbed the running of the Hemingways. It was with this scene still very fresh in my mind, and while planning a trip to Key West, (in which I was plotting how to cause an Earnest worthy stampede) that my wife and I decided upon Sloppy Joes for dinner. After sitting down and ordering I started to notice them staggering in. Some are alone, grazing. Some are already in herds. Yep, you guessed it, by the middle of our dinner the room was filled with about 20 old, fat, bearded, alcoholic, sunburned, happy, and rowdy men.
I couldn’t believe my exquisite luck! They do gather in Key West every year for the annual Hemingway look-a-like contest and to celebrate the life, death, and complete sell out of a literary giant, but this was the very first time that they had ever gathered in Treasure Island.
It was then that I truly knew without a shadow of a doubt that the universe is so much more complex, accommodating, and entertaining than I had ever known. Even though I wasn’t able to cause a stampede (I think they were already too inebriated to notice the gunshots), it still made my day.
Maybe now I’ll focus my mind on winning the lottery.