A friend of mine, a snarky Chicago transplant to south Florida, was summing up the social variety in the Sunshine State.   “I’m surrounded by hookers, corndogs and idiots,”  he said, with more resignation than I expected.  “That’s why I spend all my time on the road.”

That seemed rather harsh, so I had to challenge him.   Where was he living?   In a trailer park?  He shook his head and gave me a quick lesson in demographics.  Apparently, trash migrates everywhere, a lot like beach sand getting into everything.   “Imagine coming home to your gated community and finding hookers lined up on the sidewalk.”  I confessed that I couldn’t, only because they would be difficult to discern from the usual flotsam of my neighborhood.

“They were leaning on the hood of my car, asking me if I wanted a date.”   Would that be so bad?  I mean, a girl’s gotta make a living.  “You should see them,” he said, appalled by my question, “they look like carnival workers.”

“And that’s another blight,” he said, clearly on a rant.  “Everywhere you turn, corndog stands!”  I considered that for a moment.  Never having actually eaten one, I couldn’t imagine the appeal.  Surely they must be step up from deep fried Snickers.  “Oh please!  Greasy pork by-products on a stick!”  I agreed it sounded nauseating, but assured him that in the future I would bypass the corndog stand in favor of elephant ears.   

By then, he was muttering to himself.  “And if I see one more mullet, I’m gonna have to take him out!”   I tried to conceal my alarm.  If he was packing a firearm, he must have become more Floridian than he realized. 

Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?  “Hell, no!”  This was beginning to sound like a scene from Deliverance.  “I got me a gun a rack on my truck.”  Why was I not surprised?  I politely asked him if it was necessary to arm one’s self before a beer run to the Piggly Wiggly.  “I wouldn’t leave the house without my .38,” he said, a little irritated with my line of questioning.  “Someone might roll me in the parking lot.”



  1. And you think that looks bad? Come to Holland and I’ll show you something …..

  2. I’ve booked my flight to Amsterdam! 😛

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