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Sunday, July 27, 2008


No, ladies and gents. I'm not talking about the quartet that made it clear that "Silence is Golden" and "Big Girls Don't Cry". Nor am I talking about the change in scenery that most of America experiences throughout the year.

Here in the "Fabulous Florida Keys", where one of our motto's is "What Happens In The Keys, Stays in Your Liver", (classy huh?) we have some seasons you may or may not be aware of.

Our four seasons consist of:

1. Hurricane

2. Tourist

3. Dry

4. Rainy

All of the above can fall under the Summer season, seeing as how it is hotter than hell about 300 days a year here.

Let me elaborate on each of these seasons for you.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. During that time, people in the "strike" zone invade local Walmarts stocking up on everything from auto supplies to xanax. We wait patiently and monitor the weather to see what mother nature has in store for us. If the dreaded and often awkwardly named, storm forms and starts heading our way, one of two things happen. Evacuation or hunkering down. Here in the Florida Keys, most often all tourists are made to leave as hotels shut down. But the locals are a different breed. Most times, homeowners get this crazy look in their eye like they can take a storm head on. I have stayed for some and evacuated for others. It is all about personal choice. Law enforcement officials can only make their suggestion, but they do not go door to door and force people to leave.
My problem is when people think they can tie themselves to a tree and think they will be fine. Sure. You can tie yourself to a tree, but that VW Bug that decided to take flight may smack you square in the face.

I am not making light of this weather phenomenon. My view is that you should not try to be a hero, or shero. Get the hell out. We can see the devastation that these storms can cause.

Tourist season is quite possibly my least favorite season here. This invasive season occurs at various times during the year when people from all around the world decide to take over the islands here. Germans, Canadians, British, French, pretty much every major country is represented during this time.


Being a former employee of various types of customer service related industries, I have seen my fair share of stupidity. Whether is was someone driving on the wrong side of the road or someone asking me "how many time a day the sunset cruise leaves." I really don't know what happens to people when they embark on their dream vacation to the Florida Keys. What country is it fashionable in to wear socks with sandals? Who in the world wants to see an overweight, hairy German man in a too small speedo? Who orders room service then decides to try to "get some" in the half hour it takes me to deliver the food? Who rents a boat with no knowledge of navigation? I'll tell you who does all of these. TOURISTS.

We have one main road in and out of the Florida Keys and I am less than impressed when it takes me 30 minutes to get one mile. My proposal is that we implement some sort of entry plan. Only a certain amount of tourists in the Keys at one time. A maximum capacity if you will. It isn't that ridiculous. They don't keep selling tickets to football games. They have a limit. They don't have people sitting on top of each other on airplanes. There is a limit. Even on the island of Nantucket, Mass. they have a limit as to how many cars can be on the island.

I'm just saying.......

Dry season is pretty self-explanatory. It is dry and hot and my lawn is dead. People are in the streets doing rain dances, and we are all on water restrictions. It's hellish.

Rainy season is pretty self-explanatory as well. It is the time of year when it rains more often than not and it does so at all hours of the day. What I love most about rainy season is that I can be standing on one side of my yard and it's sunny and on the other side it is thundering, lightning and dumping rain.

Do I miss "normal" seasons? Shit yes! Have I gotten use to living in a tourist trap? Hell no! I will never get use to the lack of brain usage when people are here on vacation. Nor will I ever get use to not seeing snow on Christmas Day.

So here's to the rest of America that can still experience on of life's great beauties, changing of the seasons.

And here's to all my "locals" who are forced to deal with hurricane, tourist, dry and rainy seasons.

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