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Garbage from Florida

By Jack Keating


The weather during December was just gorgeous. In the week before Christmas and the week after the temperatures were hovering just below, and sometimes above, eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Mind you the normal average high during the day is seventy degrees.
Did you see the story that came out in December? Burger King has launched a new men’s body spray called “Flame”. The company describes the spray as “the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat”. In their advertising they show the Burger King character posing in front of a fireplace wrapped in animal skin.

Can you imagine splashing yourself with this and trying to impress a lady? “Is that perfume you’re wearing or have you burnt the dinner?”
My son John came over from England to visit at the end of December. He is here for three months. Since he arrived I have been keeping him busy. He laid a laminate floor, put up four shelves in my garage and a spot light in my new room at the back of the house. I showed some of my friends the new floor and they were impressed with it; so much so that Neil had a bedroom floor done in laminate and George, so far, has had three bedrooms, a living room and dining room done in wood. The dining room floor was patterned in two different colored woods. John and I also painted a room for George and he is now in the process of laying ceramic tiles in a big back room.
Val and I invited our friends George and Mary to come with us for a week’s holiday down in Pompano Beach. We had booked a two-bed apartment with the intention of taking my son but he declined because he was still working in George’s house. Pompano is about twenty or so miles north of Miami on the Atlantic coast. The weather was quite nice but windy for the most part. By the fourth or fifth day the temperature had lifted itself to about eighty degrees. One day we went to the horse race track at Gulfstream, just north of Miami. We had a nice day but no one won anything. I had to smile to myself when I read the programme. At the back they were advertising the course by saying they had been host over the years to some of “America’s Royalty”. There were three pictures, one of Frank Sinatra with Raquel Welch, one of Mel Brooks and one of Hugh Hefner surrounded by scantily-clad young ladies.
Another day we all took a trip on a sightseeing boat along the Intracoastal Waterway. This Intracoastal is a 3,000-mile waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are man-made canals. The waterway runs for most of the length of the Eastern Seaboard, from its unofficial northern terminus in New Jersey, where it connects with the Atlantic Ocean at the Manasquan Inlet, to Brownsville in Texas. Anyway, enough of the geography lesson for today. We saw some nice sights including a manatee and lots of iguanas.


Manatees, or sea cows, are mainly herbivores, spending most of their time grazing in shallow waters. Generally, they weigh between 900 and 1,200 pounds with a mean length of 9 or 10 feet. I spotted this one swimming in a yachting basin. The iguanas were on the side of the waterway soaking up the sun. They mostly appeared to be a couple of feet in length.
After the lovely December and January the weather changed and became unseasonably cold. We had a few frosts which did a fair bit of damage to the tropical vegetation. After the first couple of frosts I pruned back some of my bushes and then a week later we had more frost. I hope I haven’t inadvertently killed them. I have come to the conclusion that if they can’t stand the frost then they have no business being in my gardens.
Daytona Bike Week officially kicks off on Friday but we have already had an influx of early bikers. This is the time of year when the population of Daytona Beach, about 64,000, rises to over half a million. During these couple of weeks the death toll on the roads rises. In the year 2000 15 bikers were killed but the worst year so far was 2006 when 20 bikers were killed. For the last two years 8 and 7 bikers were killed. These are on top of the nine people who die every single day of the year in Florida. Florida (population about 16 million) comes second only to California (population about 37 million) in road fatalities.
A few weeks ago an American crocodile — not alligator — was caught in a place just south of Miami called Coral Gables. This is the second time it has been caught and relocated on suspicion of eating three dogs. It measured 10 feet 7 inches in length.
That’s it for another month or two. 7/5th of all people do not understand fractions.
Best wishes from Jack
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