By special request, I am posting this on my brand new shiny blog. I have previously posted this elsewhere, but in honor of the 2010/2011 Season nearing its long-awaited end, I am posting it here.
Well, it’s Season here in southwest Florida. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Season is that time when retirees from the frozen north descend upon our humble area of the world. You see, we have the misfortune of having a warm climate. Apparently snowbirds are more akin to reptiles, in that they need warmth to move and function. Sadly, this warmth is not enough to make them move quickly. They often get distracted by scenery as well. This may include palm trees, pelicans, dolphins, squirrels, car accidents, and police cruisers with flashing lights. Based on my observations, snowbirds really don’t have much to do. Or perhaps they do, but it’s not anywhere they have to be in a hurry. You see, I have a job and other engagements which require me to be in certain places at certain times. Even if I’m not running late, I still like to get where I’m going in a reasonable amount of time.
So, here is my conclusion. One day, my head is just going to explode while I’m stuck behind Ontario going negative 2 mph. I can see the arrival of the police now:
Officer 1: Another one? That’s the third one this week…
Officer 2: So who’s the perp this time?
Officer 1: Ontario.
Officer 2: Oh. Ontario. That explains it.
So they survey the grisly scene. Meanwhile, the octogenarian from Ontario is still working on getting out of his car. Civilizations will rise and fall in the time it takes to open the door and step out of the car. The scene becomes more complicated as more snowbirds stop due to the presence of flashing lights, thereby holding up more traffic. Then, it begins to rain. Hazard lights immediately turn on in the light drizzle, and brake lights flash. Ohio, Michigan, New York,…Ontario.
Ontario is released from the scene. You see, snowbirds seem to be exempt from the consequences of bad driving. It’s amazing how many vehicles are crashed through buildings due to the driver hitting the gas pedal rather than the brake. The story is always on the 11 o’clock news.
“All new tonight! A motorist crashes through a house and nearly kills a young family!”
News person: Sir, can you explain what happened?
Snowbird: Well, I thought I pushed on the brake pedal, but it was the gas pedal. I didn’t realize it, and when the car didn’t stop, I pushed harder…”
News person: *Laughter* Well, I’m glad you’re uninjured.
“No charges were pressed against the driver”
So Ontario heads to the grocery store. He turns on his blinker 3 turns before he actually turns. It’s like Russian Roulette. Which one will it be?? So, he painstakingly turns into the parking space he’s so carefully chosen. Three days later, he enters the grocery store. Now don’t be lulled into thinking the risk of injury is lessened, now that he’s not behind the wheel. Oh no, my friend. He is now driving a shopping cart. In the wrong hands, these can be a deadly weapon. Or at least severely injure the backs of your ankles. He meanders through the store, tasting any and all free samples. He then leaves his cart in the middle of the aisle, blocking all hope of escape you may have had. You can politely say, “excuse me” all you want, and still he doesn’t move. He will look at you as if you are bothering him, but still he won’t move. Finally, he determines which bag of candy contains 0.2 ounces more than all the other bags, and proceeds to the check out. Instead of using a debit card or cash, he insists on writing a check. The cashier sighs, verifies the check, writes the driver license number on it, and puts it through while calling “all cashiers to the front”. The line is building. Finally, receipt in hand, he exits the store and eventually enters his vehicle. After executing an 18-point turn to remove his car from the parking space, he heads home.
He’s just remembered the shuffleboard match he’s trying to make on time. So, he puts the pedal to the metal and speeds it up to 23 mph. He gets scared and slows it back down to 18 mph. The blinker comes on, 5 turns too soon this time, and executes a WIDE right turn into his drive.
“Ethel, I’m home!”
“Anything exciting happen while you were out, dear?”
“Oh, just some maniac behind me who wanted me to go 30 in a 45.”
“These young people just need to take it slow.”
“I’ll say. Oh, I got that candy you like.”