Stranger in a Strange Land: Part Two

I went to Florida one day.. not sure they will let me back in.. It’s very different from the rest of the States, it really does feel like Cuba…or how I’d image Cuba if it had more money, more plastic surgeons and less sense..

Was in one of my mischievous moods (!) so at the hotel I decided to wind up the receptionist, I came down after unpacking and said to him “Why don’t I have a sea view?”, he looked at me puzzled and said “But no one has got a sea view, the hotel is seven blocks from the sea..” and I said to him “Don’t be silly, I’ve looked at the maps and seen how thin Florida is, I should be able to see the sea from both sides of the hotel…”, he looked at me like I was serious and the other staff took a sudden interest in this lunatic Irishman..and then I burst out laughing and so did he…

Everyone said I needed to go to South Beach, it was roasting even though it was only April so off I went with my swimming trunks and towel, got to the beach and it was huge, long and it looked like there was either a Supermodel or Porn Convention on in town.. So of course I had to go and place my towel in the middle of the densest cluster of silicon..ahhh heaven…

So anyway, was lying there sunning myself and noticed something strange, loads of folk around but no-one in the water…this was odd..so I asked a couple next to me why no-one was swimming, was there a shark alert or something? and they said oh no, it was only April and the water was too cold…TOO COLD?? bloody hell, we used to go swimming in the sea in April and that was in Northern Ireland, now *that* was a cold sea, they only called it the North Sea to get tourist to come, it’s proper name was the Arctic Circle.. and I have been in it during April.. of course you are frozen..and you have to avoid the passing icebergs…and the occasional polar bear…but apart from that it was fine…bracing stuff..

So I goes down to the shoreline and walks in and then start swimming…it’s fine but the waves are huge, there is quite a deep shelf…no gentle slope but matters not because I’m afloat on my back…and I look back at the beach and there’s a woman there taking photos of me with her mobile…and everyone is looking at me… and I’m think..WTF..is a great white about to appear? and I carry on swimming, I swim further out past the breakers where it’s easier to swim and next thing I know there’s a plane circulating overhead with the words Coastguard on the side… and I’m thinking cool..I wonder what they’re looking at.. and I spin around and there’s a crowd of folk on the beach pointing in my general direction…and I’m starting to get this uneasy feeling…perhaps it IS shark season……so I start to swim back slowly.. I’m quite far out and didn’t notice I’d actually passed over some net in the sea but I’m swimming back slowly and next thing I know there a Zodiac boat coming towards me..and I think F*** me.. I’m going to get run over…the whole bleeding ocean to play in and the buggers come and play in my area…but it slows down and circles around me..and I see on the side it says Lifeguard Rescue Patrol…and I think bugger, I don’t believe it..and the plane is circling overhead…and there is a large crowd on the beach… and I want to die…

So the guy on the boat shouts “Am I OK Sir?” and I shout back “What The Hell! I’m having a swim! is that against the law in this State?” and he says “but no-one swims in the sea at this time of the year and someone put a call in to the Rescue Patrol..” and I shout back “Thanks but I’m perfectly safe and need no assistance..” and he shouts back.. “you DO know you have swam past the shark net..don’t you..” and I shouted “is that what that’s for? I thought it was a strange place to have a fishing net..” and he laughed and I shout “sorry to have troubled you..” and he shouted back “That’s OK sir, there’s twenty of us on this beach and we’re bored senseless…it’s the first excitement we’ve had for months..”

Not sure why I attract all this attention, is it The universe trying to get it’s own back on me for all my misdeeds…..

And then there was the airport security on the way home….