Dick MacKenzie - www.dickshideaway.com
Driving to the ocean
Ma insisted I make eggs benedict for breakfast this morning. Even though I’m trying to lose weight I made myself a small portion. Guess it’s okay, as I’ve discovered how to lose weight at a rapid rate since we got to Florida. If Ma’s scale is accurate I’ve dropped about eight pounds in the last few days.
Here’s the secret - drive in Florida. Almost every day we read about somebody who floors the wrong pedal and smashes into a farmers market. Now, just imagine yourself in the middle of these same people, three abreast, bumper to bumper plummeting down the Interstate at 75 MPH.
Yesterday we set off to explore Longboat Key. Picture me strapping myself into a rental car with more gauges and gadgets than the cockpit in the plane we were grounded in for two hours in Minneapolis - the one that took two hours to get programmed to fly again. Beside me, a menopausal wife rattling a map and in the back seat an 86-year-old hippy trying to remember the landmarks she saw 20 years ago.
I was reminded several times that it wasn’t raining, so the windshield wipers weren’t necessary (it was sprinkling lightly and I was very proud that I figured out how to turn them on and set them for a slow intermittent flash across the glass). And, of course, any damn fool (so I was told) knows that it’s a lot easier to drive if you set the cruise control.
The first big intersection option we came to the map rattler said to turn right and go east. That was at the big sign that had a huge arrow pointing left and saying east. The backseat hippy told me to go straight ahead and keep driving till I come to the Gulf of Mexico.
So after I turned left the pilot turned the map upside down and the hippy said we weren’t at the Gulf of Mexico yet.
That was only the start. Eventually I turned my hearing aids down and just drove along. Whenever I came to an interesting looking intersection I just turned - trying to somewhat evenly alternate right turns and left turns.
Along the way we came to a nice looking public beach. I knew I was in trouble when I saw that we could turn in on both the left and the right sides. So I turned right, knowing that I’d never get to park. Hadn’t even slowed down before the backseat adviser said, “Are you sure you don’t want to be on the other side?”
The other side was very pretty. We had a nice walk on the beach. The sun was bright and the temperature was 88F.
Eventually we drove home where we all agreed it had been a lovely day, and Ma took a nap.
I had planned not to say anything about this until we were long gone from Florida, but I have a few minutes to spare after downing my breakfast, so...
(Ha, ha. In case you see this, Ma, I’m only joking. I’m talking about somebody else).