To the Bold and Foolish Lambs (Part II)

My vacation’s scheduling mistakes eventually turned out to be fortuitous, when it afforded a few more hours to wander around Key West. Hours that were spent losing a wrench I had mistakenly left in my travel bag.

Now I keep a wrench with me at all times as a holdover from my biking days. Back then, I never knew when I’d land a car ride through a rainstorm, and thus need to quickly remove a wheel or two. Having such tools with me always proved useful.


I wasn’t prepared for the fact that security coming out of Key West is a lot tighter than going into. They claim that in this post-9//11 world, all ports must be totally protected. But any fool can see this the obviously consequence for the island’s secession from the Union. The message is clear: bomb Key West all you want, just make sure you don’t try bringing them State-side!

So trying to waltz through a metal detector carrying a wrench is not a risk I cared to take. These weren’t even TSA agents, but real, true blue cops!

Similar to my documented problem remembering schedules, I always seem to run into quasi-weapon trouble when traveling. I always end up carrying some item that could be construed as verboten when entering a secure location.

First it was the (same) wrench when trying to get into Port Charlotte’s courthouse.

“Are you here to do any work on the Court House today, Sir?,” asked the guard.

“No,I’m here as a witness,” looking again at how I had dressed-up that morning. And here I thought I looked mature and put together! Those poor prosecutors, imagine having your icy witness show up dressed as a maintenance man!

“Well, it appears you have a tool in your bag. What’s it for?”

“A tool?… Oh, my wrench! I ride my bike a lot, and it makes it easy to take the wheel(s) off to load it onto cars.” ([In lower, more ominous voice] “And also to bash in the judge’s head”… DUN DUN DUN!)

I’ve since avoided going to court.

Next was the ill-fated trip to MegaCon where I hurriedly “lost” a beautiful, nice, big box cutter to get past security. (Let it be known to everyone reading these blogs: I love box cutters. Sit me in a car on a indeterminately long trip with a box cutter to play with, and you won’t hear a peep from me.)

Now you can’t grow up in Florida without learning at least a little bit about Key West. So I was adequately forewarned about the hordes of tourists, the cruise lines, and the drag queens, but no had thought to warn me that Key West is also home to the worst music ever. Every shop you enter is blasting a sub-Top 40 song; hoping to block out their neighbor’s equally offensive reject playlist.

A mecca for the fine-arts (seriously, every fourth store is a gallery), and all they can muster musically is Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley? Really? Did music die in the ’70s and no one told me? Does drinking impair your hearing the same as it does your eyesight?


2 Responses to “To the Bold and Foolish Lambs (Part II)”

  1. Okay, the Jimmy Buffett crack I get, but Bob Marley? At least playing Marley is an attempt to not alienate the older folks (it is Florida after all) while still injecting a little intelligence into the mix! It’s nice that you were able to get a vacation despite your adventures with wrenches and boxcutters in this “Patriot Act” crazy America!

    • No disrespect meant toward Mr. Marley. But when you’re locked on an island, any island, sooner or later the songs which are played into ubiquity will surely annoy the most.

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