Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Ah wilderness. Ah Florida. What a strange, weird vaccum of a place. I've just returned from three days of, uh, education, as a union fund trustee, in Orlando, three days spent listening to actuaries, lawyers, and accountants drone on and on about the do's and (mostly) the don'ts of sitting on a fund, sticking a pencil in my eyes to keep awake after one horror story then another was trotted out describing the predatory actions of the Republican-controlled DOL, swooping down, vulture-like, with their blood-stained eyes and bony fingers, sticking their corpulent red noses into the basic biz of union monies. After that wild party, I moved onto Port Charlotte, home of my parental units, for a couple of daze of listening to my mother assuage the past and prattle on about important, earth-shattering issues like the ethnicity of the American Idol contestants, and the sturm and drang of the life of Anna Nicole Smith, while I drank tequila outta a coffee cup and my father searched for the next televised hockey game and my wife dragged hard on yet another Virginia Slim Menthol Light. North of Miami and South Beach Florida seems to be one big commercial strip, peppered with Chili's and Waffle Houses and Walgreen's and muffler shops, peopled with the multi-clones of Thurston and Lovey Howell, scrawny southern whiteboys with spiders tattooed on their necks, chubby chicksters stuffed into rainbow-colored Capri pants, Latino service people with plastic smiles and resentment smoldering in their eyes, snowbirds from Michigan and Canada decked out in stupid sandals, dark socks and Bermuda shorts, senior citizens cheating death for at least a nickel, maybe a dime, so-called baseball fans wilting in the sun during a spring training game talking amongst themselves about the price of breakfast and the always eminent possibility of rain, and nary a decent local pub, newspaper of substance, regional foodstuff eatery, or a hint of culture anywhere in the endlessly flat landscape.