Life in the Fabulous Florida Keys – it can certainly foster an island mentality among its residents. Sometimes that’s a bad thing, like when idiot regimes and dictators in faraway places like Iran and North Korea threaten the rest of the world with their abject (but heavily armed) stupidity while we sip cocktails carefree by the shore (wait – maybe that’s not a bad thing). There is, however, a lot that happens off the islands that, while seemingly full of sound and fury, signifies nothing. And that’s where we’re going today!

Screaming headline: Linsday Lohan in Jail! Really, now: who gives a tinker’s dam? And just what is a tinker’s dam? (From the 1877 text Practical Dictionary of Mechanics: “…a wall of dough raised around a place which a plumber desires to flood with a coat of solder. The material can be but once used; being consequently thrown away as worthless.”) Now we know. Perhaps any more news about this spoiled Hollywood drunken druggie who even attorney Robert Shapiro won’t represent should be “consequently thrown away as worthless.”

Speaking of worthless, Mel Gibson is back in the news. When you’re famous, it’s probably not a good idea to be a violent racist anti-Semitic cheating woman-batterer. If he only had alcohol or some substance to blame for the fact that he never could forgive the Jews for killing Jesus… and we all know just how Christ-like Mel Gibson is. Please, someone send him back Down Under, never to be heard from again.

Moving from the pathetically worthless to the incredibly curious: what in the world would possess legendary football coach and commentator Jimmy Johnson to leave the comfort and safety of his Florida Keys home and become a contestant on reality show Survivor in Nicaragua? It’s rumored that Johnson is a big Survivor fan, and that he’s been trying to make the cast for a couple of years. I like The Amazing Race, but it doesn’t mean that I want to rappel down the side of a skyscraper in Singapore and then jet to Beijing just to eat fried scorpions on the street.

Miami Herald columnist Glenn Garvin puts it simply: “I’m betting on Nicaragua.” Garvin continues to offer his insights on the Central American nation from his own personal experience: “I’ve been writing about Nicaragua for a quarter of a century, and I can tell you it’s no country for old men, or young men, or men with all their marbles. It has wars and volcanoes and hurricanes. It has vampire bats, for heaven’s sake, not to mention loathsome little microorganisms that would make you throw up if I even told you about them, much less if they got into your gastrointestinal tract. When the first Spanish conquistadores arrived 500 years ago, they nervously sent word home that they had discovered the very mouth of Hell.”

It doesn’t really sound like a friendly place… but then Survivor: Paradise Island doesn’t sound too challenging. (“This week, our contestants will try to find reasonably priced tropical drinks on the beach and then battle it out at the blackjack tables for immunity.”) Still, I hope our readers join with me in wishing Jimmy all the best in Nicaragua – good luck, Godspeed, and come home in one piece.

At least in the celebrity world, forgiveness and reconciliation are in the air. Sandra Bullock and Jesse James may again be an item, and Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are engaged to be married.

If you said, “Who?” about any of these people, you have my envy and respect.

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Break out the holly and mistletoe – Christmas is tonight! Tonight, Friday, July 23 is Christmas in July at the Brass Monkey, the biggest party of the year! I’ll be there as your MC along with Freddie Bye and the band, and the usual cast of Monkey characters, to celebrate the holidays. If you’re reading this after Friday the 23rd, and you’re disappointed because you missed the biggest party of the year, worry not! The other biggest party of the year is New Year’s in July, Friday July 30 at the Brass Monkey! Happy Holidays!




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