Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

February 13, 2014

Ain't no snow in paradise

(Continued)

Little did we know how accurate his projection would be. But as for me, I decided to swim upstream. I would appear on the beaches wearing only a Speedo and a smile. And as far as I’m concerned, what Mother Nature put on the beaches would stay on the beaches. What use are sea shells in the middle of the Midwest other than to clutter up the top of the water closet of the stools in the bathroom?

Migrating to what for all practical purposes is a foreign land requires some adjustment to your environment. The flora and fauna are very strange, and if you’re a fisherman, being able to identify the swimming species to determine what can bite you back if you catch one is important.

Consider, for instance, the birds. At home most of the birds are relatively small with short bodies, stubby necks and legs with equally stubby beaks. They feed primarily on insects and handouts from bird feeders. Here, the local population wouldn’t touch a bug. Most have long skinny necks and matching legs and are armed with a beak that looks like a switch blade knife. With webbed feet they roam the surf looking for anything that swims and spearing it with the switch blade.

There is one exception to the feeding rule. Gulls are the hobos and pick pockets that flock on the beaches looking for unsuspecting tourists who are foolish enough to pack a picnic lunch. Thieves of the winged set, these miscreants can snatch a piece of cheese out of a rat trap without setting it off. Judy and I were sitting side by side, enjoying a warm day on the beach, stretched on folding chairs and snacking on tidbits. I loaded a corn chip with extra hot salsa and while talking to her, a winged missile shot in between us and heisted the chip, hot salsa and all. The thief hovered in front of us and scarfed it down. “Why, you scruffy beach bum!” I shouted. “Meet me here tomorrow and I’ll give you something to really upset your metabolism.”

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