OK, Key West. We’ve got to stick together.

It’s summertime in the Southernmost City and we’ve already had several days’ worth of heat advisories and triple-digit “feels like” temperatures. All before the calendar flips to July. 

Everyone who can afford to get out of town for the summer has already left for northern locales.

The rest of us diehards are here, sweating, toughing it out and trying not to touch the hot metal of our car with our hands, or the searing black leather seats with the back of our thighs.

Tempers tend to run short, which is understandable, but we’ve gotta stick together. We’ve got four months of this wicked heat ahead of us. So we have to stop pissing each other off by doing stupid stuff.

The snowbirds and swarms of tourists are gone, so we have a bit more space to maneuver around each other.

That is not to say, however, that we have a right to take up two parking spots with our obnoxiously oversized truck. Just because your ridiculous vehicle won’t fit in a single parking spot — and in fact can’t even maneuver up Olivia Street — doesn’t mean you can straddle two spots in an otherwise crowded shopping center parking lot.

It happened to me last Tuesday. I pulled out my phone and snapped a photo of the monstrous machine and thought about posting it on Facebook. (Still might.) Public humiliation can be an effective tool against excessive idiocy. Consider the local Facebook page, started years ago by Key West bartenders to alert others in their field about unpaid tabs and nontippers. Often, the bartender at the next place recognizes the offending customer before they order their first drink.

And while we’re on the topic of annoying human behavior, may I just say, hang up the phone while waiting in line and especially while checking out at a cash register. The people behind you hate you and the clerk would throw your change in your face if she wouldn’t get fired for doing so.

(And as for the guy in the dollar store last week, I heard your conversation. It was NOT important. But it was clearly your primary focus, because the clerk had to snap twice at you to get your attention and tell you your total.)

Come on, Key West. No one’s perfect and we’ll all do things to bug the hell out of each other, especially in these prickly temperatures. But let’s try to have some consideration. 

We’re in this together. And who knows? That obnoxiously oversized truck could be the only vehicle that can make it down a flooded street after a summer storm. (Then again, I’d sooner swim up Flagler Avenue than expect assistance from that repugnant giant.)

Happy summer, everyone. Hang in there. October will be here eventually.

Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.