Day Three: Lethargy
Since much of Florida appears to be closed Sunday, we spent the bulk of the day not driving anywhere. The southern beach walk was the closest we came to exercise, heading onward until my left calf throbbed due to the angle of the beach. Thankfully, the walk back reversed the slope, balancing the pain to include my right calf.
It’s amazing how spoiled you get being on the private section of the beach. In gradual progression you could see the crowd, noise and litter thicken on approach to the public section. Since premium was paid to be a snob, we turned back to our own far cleaner, quieter and roomier turf.
It was during the walk back that we spotted a baby sea turtle, fighting against the incoming surf, being pushed back repeatedly on its way to escape being eaten by birds so it could be eaten by something else in the ocean. Hey, being small and crunchy is a bitch. Since we humans have an odd sense of balance (see a couple paragraphs down) we stood guard, valiantly looking to fend of those evil opportunists aerial carnivores (i.e. environmentally unprotected) that have the NERVE to want to eat. Remarkably, another walking couple stood by as well, strengthening our numbers and joining our vigil. My idea to flip the poor little guy over and skim him to his destination like a flat rock was met with distain. Environmentalists have no sense of humor or practicality. Imagine the jump on his un-skimmed brethren this particular turtle could have boasted. “Hey, I was busting my little turtle balls (or whatever) getting out here. Man, was I wiped out. Next thing I know this cool guy comes along and gets four full bounces off me. What a rush!”
Just so you know; sea turtle conservation and protection is a VERY big deal here. Upon checking in we were presented with rules in regards to accommodating these floating tanks. They are as follows:
1) Never disturb the sea turtles, their nests or their path – they don’t want to hear the latest Nickelback CD, you can’t make a sea turtle egg omelet, and they have the infinite right of way. This would be simpler if I had any clue what a nest looks like and the paths, seeing as they are on a beach, tend to lose the track rather quickly. Surf does that to things.
2) After dusk, close the curtains of the beach front facing units. Shore lights will discourage the mother turtles from coming ashore to nest. – Apparently sea turtles don’t have access to sunglasses (no ears to hold them on, either). In an odd turn of events, one is allowed to blunder around on the pitch black beach (without a flashlight). Why one would want to do this, I’m not sure. But since it was permitted, we did it. Thankfully no one tripped over these shy creatures or I’d be writing this from turtle jail.
Flush with self-satisfaction in delaying a small amphibious creatures consumption, we make the conscious decision to go out for seafood in order to eat far less adorable creatures. There is a price to pay for being homely and having no PR. The price involves gutting, boiling oil and crispy breading. Were the perceptions of cuteness altered, think of the effect (Kardashian fillets anyone?)
Somehow, my normally enviro-conscious wife adopted the culinary ferocity of Jack the Ripper. After trying (unsuccessfully), to get me to order ‘dolphin fingers’, she did succeed in my ordering of Alligator fritters. Why she cannot order these things herself is a mystery, likely tied into a future plea-bargain if the authorities arrive. Just for the record, ‘gator tastes like rubbery chicken (no, not a rubber chicken). It’s tasty and despite my poor description, is not at all like rubber band soaked in bullion. Thankfully, actual chicken is cheaper, tastier, and has less chance of ripping one’s legs off or dragging them to a bottom of a swamp to tenderize before eating. Being ugly may have drawbacks, but being mean and ugly has certain benefits.
Since we were guiltlessly in ugly creature dining mode, Angie ordered Tilapia prepared in a vague Italianish manner while I munched on what might be the ugliest fish short of Abe Vigoda – Grouper.
For those that missed Jacques Cousteau, the grouper is a very large and bulky fish that has a mouth the size of a single car garage. Besides being esthetically displeasing, it is doubly cursed with being delicious. Imagine a haddock fillet the size of half a sleeping bag. Now imagine it covered in cornflakes and fried to crispy perfection. Then imagine being charged $25 to eat it – and not complaining.
I have no idea what a tilapia looks like, but it is apparently also cursed with being yummy so I have to assume it has a face like Sandra Bernhard, a personality like Sandra Bernhard, or both. Maybe cannibals should look into this. Get Kathy Griffith while you’re at it. The Tonight Show won't miss them anymore -- trust me on this.
Flush with our violent appetites satiated, we returned to frolic in the empty pool then wander around a pitch dark beach, hoping we didn’t step on the same creatures we vowed to protect – at least until they show up on the menu.
The day thus ends in a fashion that is none of your business. Just tune in for the next installment.