May 27, 2006

Summer Camp.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:58 pm

It is quite a challenge to do a recap of one’s vacation that is at least as interesting or amusing as the phone directory. Nevertheless, I shall try to hit the high points without putting you to sleep.

Yes, this year as in the past half-dozen years or so, the Usual Suspects moved the ongoing party from Jersey to the Gator Sunshine State. We toss our lily-white bodies onto a plane (except for the two who drove down, ugh) to hang in our May digs in Fort Myers Beach.

We spend a good deal of time having refreshments. Last year we commandeered a shopping cart to serve as the rolling bar, but this year the shopping cart could not accommodate the four coolers and one large tub that we brought to the pool each day. So we had to use one of those “rolly” things that bellhops use to roll luggage around. Fortunately, the people who are there the same week as us every year have come to realize that we only look like Vulgarians, but we are an affable and happy lot.

Speaking of the peeps, each year we re-unite with folks from places such as Chattanooga, Tennessee (They said that they have heard of some guy in Tennessee who sits on his deck in his birthday suit and types lots of dots), Fort Wayne, Indiana, Longview, Washington (where apparently the sun never shines), Shelbyville, Illinois, Rome, New York and Ashtabula, Ohio. They’re real good peeps, and I figure in a few more years they’ll finally learn that the answer to the question “Haya dooin’?” is “Haya dooin’?”

Gators
I know you sadistic turds want to know if I saw any gators. Some of the more sensitive of you, knowing I am shit scared of those disgusting creatures, sent me e-mails saying, “Yo, Jimbo. No need to worry. It’s not exactly as if you’ll be tooling around in the Everglades. There won’t be any alligators where you’re going.”

Well, guess farookin’ what.

There is a little bullshit pond across the street from our digs, and guess what was swimming around in that little bullshit pond.

One afternoon, two of the Usuals were taking a walk on the main drag past the pond and saw a six-foot gator swishing its way through the water. Of course, they couldn’t wait to call me on the cell phone, “Jimbo! Jimbo! Come out here. There is a goddamned alligator in the pond! You gotta come and check it out!”

Of course, I did not go check it out. I was certain that they were breaking my stindeens. However, we checked with the locals who work at the place and they said, “Oh yeah, he’s in there. We figure that he’s getting big enough that one of these days, the state may come and move him.”

Well, isn’t that just farookin’ swell. This pond is ten feet from where I walked every morning and is no more than 200 feet from my front door (good thing I was on the second floor). Needless to say, for the rest of the week, I gave that pond and its prehistoric inhabitant wide berth.

If that thing would have lumbered onto the sidewalk as I was doing my morning walk, I can imagine the coroner looking down at my dead ass, scratching his head and saying, “The best thing I can figure is that the poor bastard shit himself to death.”

I’m thinking that if they don’t move that damnable creature, by next year he will be fourteen feet long, and I’m going to need heavy meds.

Other Wildlife

Turtles. The place where we stay was cited by the “Turtle Police” for having regular outdoor lights on the property at night. They actually took pictures of the offending lights, at least two of which were over a stairwell (Oh, the humanity!). According to the Turtle Police, the lights somehow screw up the turtles when they meander ashore at night to lay their eggs. I don’t know how it screws up the turtles, but the Turtle Police say it screws up the turtles, so that’s that.

As a result of the Turtle Police bust, all the bulbs in the outdoor lights had to be replaced with yellow bulbs. Apparently yellow lights don’t screw up the turtles. Of course, if some poor bastard human can’t see the stairs so well when lit with yellow light bulbs and breaks his ass, that’s too bad. These Turtle Police Peeps are apparently very smart.

Sharks. You may have read that while we were in Florida, someone caught a 1,280-pound hammerhead shark that ate a 25-pound stingray for bait! Turns out that this monster was caught not all that far from where we were staying. Just when you thought it was safe …….. (Thanks to Rob for the link.)

Stingrays. Speaking of stingrays, I figure that Mr. Hammerhead may have been in the area because this is the time of the year that the stingrays come close to shore to lay their eggs. Indeed, signs are posted on the gulf beaches asking those who venture into the water to “shuffle their feet” rather than walk in the water so as not to step on (and presumably royally piss off) a stingray.

Boids. There were boids of all kinds in the area, including roseate (i.e. pink) spoonbills and egrets (lots of egrets). I also got a kick out of the boids with the long, curved beaks as they probed the holes in the sand on the beach for little crabs. I cheered each time they got one. I farookin’ hate crabs.

All in all, it was a bit too much wildlife for a guy whose brushes with the animal kingdom are pretty much limited to seeing backyard squirrels and passing the occasional dead deer on the highway.

Unfortunately, the week passed far too quickly. Furthermore, it only took one extended, blood pressure spiking visit to a local supermarket today to undo a week of fun and sun. Remind me to tell you about the old lady in the checkout line writing a check to pay for her groceries. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

12 Comments »

  1. Very good to have you back, Jim.

    I’m grateful you gave that prehistoric thing that wide berth, too.

    ; )

    Comment by Christina — May 28, 2006 @ 12:02 am

  2. One of my favorite places on Earth, SW Florida. I’m happy for you for getting to enjoy it, before hurricane season, even.

    Comment by John Climacus — May 28, 2006 @ 1:47 am

  3. [...] Jim is back at the Parkway Rest Stop after carousing with friends in the Sunshine State. [...]

    Pingback by eCache » Blog Archive » Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers #54 — May 28, 2006 @ 2:09 am

  4. “Sadistic turd”? Well, I never. Well, hardly ever.

    Comment by Elisson — May 28, 2006 @ 6:50 am

  5. … Chattanoogans is good people…. glad you had a good time, Jimbo…. and hey, somehow it just seems fitting that there was a gator in the pond… life is about growing, man….

    Comment by Eric — May 28, 2006 @ 8:11 am

  6. Welcome back! And I’ll bet the lady writing the check didn’t have so much as the date filled
    in before everything was scanned and bagged, right? Then her pen wouldn’t work, then she had
    to do the math in the register before signing the thing, then . . . ack. My blood pressure is
    up now too.

    Comment by Shamrock — May 28, 2006 @ 10:59 am

  7. Are you sure that you don’t mean that it’s a wonder the old lady at the checkout counter writing the check is still alive?

    I wonder why the turtles are okay with a yellow light. Doesn’t that mean yield?

    Comment by moos — May 28, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

  8. Jimbo: The key to gator fun is…

    electrical tape!

    Comment by Jack Bog — May 28, 2006 @ 7:58 pm

  9. Jack,

    It appears from the picture that she will follow in my footsteps when it comes to gators. There isn’t enough electrical tape in the world that could get me to handle one of those beasts.

    Comment by Jim - PRS — May 28, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

  10. Haya dooin’

    See…. I’ll catch on sooner than later!
    This is a peep from Washington – where the sun doesn’t shine!!
    Landed in Seattle Friday nite and it was 50 degrees and cold!!! Still pouring
    buckets – will continue till Wednesday according to weatherman. Forget the swim suits –
    where’s the parkas? Give us Florida sunshine. Let’s talk about luggage that didn’t
    want to leave Florida! Arrived in Seattle 6 hours after we did. American decided to
    keep it for themselves I guess! forgot to put on the plane!
    Pictures turned out great – will send!

    Comment by Della — May 28, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  11. Sounds like an outstanding vacay. I’m glad the prehistoric monster didn’t ruin your day by jumping out of the pond and scaring you to death. And if we hadn’t had 3 such wonderfully warm days here – I’d be jealous. *grin* Oh okay – I’m jealous anyway.

    Comment by Teresa — May 29, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  12. I’m late. Sorry. But sure am glad to hear you’re home safe and sound.

    Ahhh the stingry shuffle. I discovered over the years – I do it EVERYTIME I go in the water. Someone I know sat on one of those bad boys – out of season. Yeah, blue balls doesn’t begin to cover it!!!!

    There is a price for hangin’ in paradise…….

    Comment by Tammi — May 31, 2006 @ 7:03 am

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