I pulled up to the Key Haven Shell on my wife's 150cc ET4 Vespa and lifted the seat to fill the tank with $4.30 premium. "That thing moves," said an off duty UPS employee who pulled up alongside to fill his silver VW Golf. "I was thinking of passing back there and you blew by." He looked at the diminutive cream colored "moped" and added that he was doing 60 miles per hour at the time. Yup, I replied and it gets 70 miles per gallon, as I finished loading one and a half gallons into the tank. "Good for a hundred miles," I said as I pulled out of the gas station.
Asking my wife to drive us home in her convertible was my way of putting the cap on an evening that had not gone exactly as planned. I brought the Vespa to her workplace for her to ride around town and we had talked of having dinner out and going to see Win Win at the Tropic. Paul Giamatti (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Giamatti ) plays a sleazy small town lawyer surrounded by adult losers who pin their hopes of validation on a young wrestler new to town. Great good fun. Dinner however went all wrong. How is it possible I ask myself, that every single sodding restaurant is closed on a Monday? Is it a Bittburger conspiracy? Do the restaurateurs gather on a Monday night in someone's living room and have a giant bitch fest about the past week's most annoying customer? We stuffed a meter with coin on Virginia Street (oh Bonneville I miss you and free motorcycle parking) and walked to Sweet Tea, my wife's new favorite. It may be a new venture of the local arch capitalist Chris Belland, man of the people in the Key West Citizen, but it isn't open on Mondays apparently. Nor is my favorite Badboy Burrito on Simonton http://badboyburrito.com/ , nor is Banana Café (La Poivree, a burger with cream peppercorn sauce in a crepe) so we ended up wasting the quarters in the meter and moved the Sebring to park it for free at the courthouse and from there walked to a dinner of Stella Artois and popcorn at the movie theater. It could have been worse. It was fun being the passenger for once in the car putting the camera above the windshield and playing with the settings. My wife puts the roof down at every opportunity, prompting me to wonder why people pay more to buy or rent convertibles and then they never seem to convert them. Myself, I am not much of a fan of convertibles preferring the cool shady quiet of an enclosed car with strong air conditioning and a dead German composer in the music box. Even the Lime Tree Food Store on Flagler Avenue managed to look alluring in the dark warm evening. But my wife wanted to get home and I did too so we didn't stop. As part of my job I get to ride along with officers from time to time and I've seen the inside of the Stock Island Hilton (hint: it's not a hotel, it's a jail) and I prefer sleeping in my own bed so drinking and driving is always out of the question.. Highway One, closing in on Sugarloaf School. Fifteen minutes from home at wife warp speed, ten minutes by Bonneville hyper drive. There to uncork the Black Strap Molasses Rum and reflect on the meaning of life and value of sleep.