I woke up yesterday morning at 5:30 and all I could hear, over the loud rhythmic rumblings from my sleeping dog was the sound of heavy rain on the tin roof. By the time we got to town three hours later the sun was out, it's true but so were the people. And the mercantile offers were on display. Water at this Greene Street convenience store really was on offer at a bargain price where drinking is sold for twice as much or more. Cheyenne took the free offer, preferring draft to bottled.
Further along the old Red Fish Blue Fish restaurant appears, mercifully! to have closed forever. I do not remember their conch fritters fondly, and what precisely possessed me to eat there years ago I cannot recall. However this is the apex of the triangle of tourist assault on Key West's attractions, the invisible thread between Sloppy Joe's and Mallory Square and far to the south, the Hemingway House on Whitehead Street...so I suppose whatever comes next won't be aimed at a recurring clientele, any more than the previous occupant.
So, there I was grumping along, as you do, trailing my dog and wondering in what other manner Key West is to be defaced when some cheerful man came up and introduced himself. Hi I'm John he said and I read your blog everyday and I know you don't like to meet people. Well bugger, did I say that? And so I feel like an asshole and I am going to do better. I get muddled up trying to remember small talk but not talking too much and then I feel awkward because I don't know what crazy thing I said that he might have noticed and all this is going round in my head like a disturbed hornet's nest.
So here's the thing, by all means say hello and I will do my best. I promise I won't ask for money or cigarettes which is about the level of most street conversations around here as long as you don't talk about the weather. In 2015 I am hoping to practice small talk so I need your help. Thank you.
Meanwhile I determined not to allow the prospect of a full week of 60 degree night time temperatures to make me grumpy. Key a West is still lovely, just to walk and look at:
Cheyenne isn't dying anymore, indeed she is as stubborn and unsentimental as ever, but I am not going to be annoyed at her when she turns her back on me and refuses to cuddle ( which is almost always).
Okay, this one is not on my list of things to be cheerful about. Garbo's Grill was rated best Key West restaurant a while ago, which seemed odd. I liked Garbo's well enough but the best seemed to pitch things a bit rich. However in my new guise as a cheerful man about town rating a lower Duval tourist trap as "excellent" seems simply marvelous.
Of course Key West recycles. And pays attention to the very small print. Pretty soon we'll overtake Seattle in our collective commitment to the environment. (Grumpy Conchscooter says fat chance but he's now officially suppressed).
Grumpy me says apostrophes have become instruments of the devil. Surely the artists of the fabled Studios know the difference and will apply the correct spelling very, very soon. Says I smiling broadly.
I stopped in Key Plaza to buy stuff at the new Publix, no longer wondering what arse decided Key West needed two Publix supermarkets next to each other in this small town. It makes taking 911 calls more complicated than necessary as not everyone knows which is the "new" versus the "old" Publix when they are stressed out and in trouble.
Parking with no consideration? No problem, take all the spaces you need, I'm sure you are working on improving your driving skills as you can find the energy. Who me, grumpy? Never in life. Come one come all, park badly write illiterate signage and rate mediocre as excellent. I am very approachable you will find.