Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Virtual vacation

Feel like you just need to get away, but can't? Don't worry -- TS goes to the beach so that we don't have to.

Oh how ineffably cruel, the car that takes you away, away from that bay. How cruel the jet that takes you from the sparkling sands and jet-blue skies!

Too soon by a half! I’m suffering from post-traumatic non-stress syndrome.


Running down the run-down Mandalay road along the beach you can see why ex-pats from the North descend here to live out a Jimmy Buffet song. The boxy motels along the sun-drunk lane lends a fittingness to Florida’s claim as the last home of Jack Kerouac.

Reminds me of a college town, with the sleepy, sunny mornings, the shopkeepers just opening up at 10am, the modest squat houses of ‘60s & ‘70s vintage with “For Rent” signs. The languor in the air. The young people and cigarette smoke, the beer-drinkers in the stoop.

Beer, like heaven and hell, transcends time at Clearwater Beach. At the sit-up window outside the Mandalay Grill a middle-aged couple are happily consuming beer, an hour and a half before noon. At Kelly’s, a sign redefines the word ‘hour’: “Happy Hour 12-7”. This too was college, when alcohol wasn’t just for lunch & dinner.

I always imagine vacations as Larry Hagman days. Hagman, the actor who played JR Ewing, had at least two eccentricities. One, is he spent one day not uttering a word, a natural enough thing for an actor given how he spends his or her time. Their way of resting. The other is that he went though every waking moment slightly tipsy. It cost him his liver, but I figure I can do the same for a few hours daily while on vacation.

T-shirt sighted: “Give me a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll sit in a boat and drink all day.”
Don't miss the photo of him using his hat to open a beer.

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