Friday, December 11, 2009

A Walk

I was meeting my wife to go to the Tropic Cinema to see Pirate Radio, a movie that had me laughing out loud, but before the popcorn and cola I took a walk. And the exercise I'm sure did me good. Not everyone was as energetic. Overcome no doubt by the drowsy heat of a winter afternoon:There was a Harley Davidson with a couple of hubcaps on the passenger seat. It turned out, on closer inspection to be a highly prized Harley accessory, a bag with silver end caps designed for some obscure reason to look like hubcaps.
This is not an actual live woman of the female persuasion. She is a mannequin showing off the latest fashionable wear. I was more interested in noting the wide open doors with the blast of air conditioning pouring out into the street. The debate over painting roofs in Old Town white to save energy has been opposed on the grounds of historical inaccuracy. One opponent wondered why paint roofs white to look ugly when energy could be saved by simply closing doors. It does make you wonder doesn't it? This man was standing in the street brazenly wiping his sun glasses on the hem of his wife's blouse. She had to be his wife I should have thought as she stood patiently like no paramour would have done.
A sunset performer I'm guessing. There could be no other reason to hazard oneself in traffic with such ungainly equipment. Note the woman in black:
CPA1234 buried in snowdrifts in Kansas remarked on the appearance of women in tank tops recently in one of my essays. Apparently the opponents of Darwinian science in Kansas have outlawed such raw displays of female nudity in the Sunflower State. Here's a woman in a sun dress, photographed Wednesday afternoon. The burqua is I am thinking a non-starter as a tropical island fashion accessory:I hate island time. Visitors bitch and moan about poor service in restaurants, people bitch and moan if they have to wait 15 minutes for a police officer and yet they love to promote the concept of island time as though promptness and efficiency are antithetical to Key West. I hate standing in line at the grocery store while the customer in front and the clerk catch up on the gossip (my wife the teacher does this a lot as she frequently meets her kids parents in line at the grocery store). This next picture could be titled, were I Rockwell, "Hey M'Bubba!" Instead I'll make no further comment:
The term m'bubba in Key West is a supposedly a derivative of the words "my brother" and you will sometimes hear people addressed as "brother." A pejorative term for people who grew up in Key West is the word "Bubba!" spat out with contempt. A well known corruption investigation of a few years ago is referred to as the "Bubba Bust." When you lose a bid in a competitive bid process to a person who grew up in Key West you can console yourself as you sip a contemplative draught Smithwicks, that the "Bubba fix" was in, not that you were less worthy to win the bid.


And now back to the most critical issue of the day, nudity: The endless dreary debate over where people should expose themselves to the sun continues. It's all about money of course because you can expose your white little bod to the sun all over the place in Key West if you have the slightest bit of imagination (rent a boat ferchrissakes! Find a clothing optional Inn!) but there is the hope that creating a public space dedicated to nude sun worship will bring in tons of MONEY. I'd be more convinced if Mercedes Benz's and Lexus's were driving around with "Naturist Beaches- Yes!" bumper stickers. I am not sure in any event that we will be needing more than one such beach. Perhaps the sign is a philosphical appeal to our better natures that we should support the creation of nude beaches in general. Perhaps they need one in Kansas.



It's winter so I will be hunting for manatee again (to photograph, not to kill). In the event I found this tarpon lurking rather domestically under the boardwalk at Waterfront Market:
This fish, wild predators, have figured out that dead fish parts fall from the sky in the Key West Bight and they hang around gathering tourist acolytes like the Pope in St Peter's, so I dutifully hung over the railing and snapped a picture. I should note that a friend of mine who has traveled to Australia told me they EAT manatees down there. I was, I have to say, rather horrified. A brutal people he said, they killed a dugong by accident, cut it up and ate it. It was quite good he said, gagging on the memory of what he had done. Eating a manatee rates with grilling up steaks cut from your pet Labrador in my book, and that story counts as one more strike against our Antipodean cousins. I may never get to visit Australia now."Bird on post, Lights on masts." You may reproduce this artistic masterpiece completely free of charge unless you live in Australia in which case I will exchange it for a dugong steak. I am curious to know what marine cannibalism tastes like. I repulse myself.



This next picture is a simple illustration of why smaller is better. Big boats take lots of maintenance and when your boom is large enough to sit on comfortably you know you have gone over sized. In my opinion. I am not fond of dealing with the public (that's YOU!) which is why I try to hog the main police channel at work, at least then I'm communicating with sober professionals. Taking phone calls from people who are drunk gets to be tedious sometimes, and then I got to observe this scene and my respect for salesmen grew exponentially. How people manage to earn a living sharing jokes with people they are trying to sell tickets to, I have no idea. This guy sounded very convincing, like he thought the visitor was the smartest, funniest man he'd met. I hope he sold him a ticket.
This last picture I took at the College on distant Stock Island (15 minutes by Vespa from the last picture I took and that was riding through crowded winter traffic. Distances are relative). There were two divers bobbing in the water chatting but I couldn't get a decent picture of them in the shadows so I contented myself with this shot of the Sunset Condos in the distance with the sun starting it's descent to the horizon.By the time we came out of the movie theater (another 15 minute ride all the way downtown) it was dark and home beckoned. A night off! Oh joy! Far from the madding crowds, as the poet has it. Someone else got to talk to drunk, aggravated people all night.