Or, one burrito short of a combination plate

Alert Keys Disease readers provided some amusing stories for this week’s column. As a rule, I’ve discovered that most of the people who read this column are certainly brighter than the ones who, because of their actions, are featured in it. So if you find yourself reading this week’s column, congratulate yourself on your above-average intelligence and wisdom! You’ve certainly done better than…

… The gentlemen from a landlocked Midwestern state who shall remain nameless. It seems that these gentlemen rented a houseboat here in the Keys. It was tied off to the dock in the traditional method, with a ramp bridging the short distance between the houseboat and dock.

After a venture out into the surrounding environs (where – surprisingly – they weren’t killed or maimed as a result of their lack of local knowledge), they returned to the houseboat. To their abject horror, they immediately concluded that THE HOUSEBOAT WAS SINKING! What clued them in to this impending disaster? The houseboat was significantly lower compared to the dock than it was just a few hours earlier when they left. (You may already know where this is going.) Being experienced nautical types (from a landlocked Midwestern state), they tied the lines from the houseboat off as tightly as they could and called the houseboat’s owner.

When the owner arrived at the dock, he was mortified. The houseboat was listing at a significant angle, and the lines holding the houseboat too close to the dock were straining and about ready to pull dock pilings out of the seafloor. He cut the lines, whereupon immediately the houseboat, not sinking at all, went back to its relatively level self. The Midwestern landlubbers thought the houseboat was sinking, when in reality, the tide had just gone out. Their efforts to tie off and save the houseboat almost ruined a perfectly good dock (and the houseboat owner’s day).

Continuing along, my friend Mac from England always sends me funny stuff, and these contributions certainly fit this week’s topic.

  • We had to have the garage door repaired. The garage door repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a large enough motor on the opener. I thought for a moment, and said that we had the largest one the company made at that time, a 1/2-horsepower. He shook his head and said, “Lady, you need a 1/4-horsepower.” I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, “NOOO, it’s not. Four is larger than two.” Needless to say, we haven’t used that repairman since.
  • I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the Highway Department to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign from our road. The reason: “Too many deer are being hit by cars on this stretch of road! I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.”
  • The traffic light on the corner buzzes when the lights turn red and it is safe to cross the road. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged friend of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, “What on earth are blind people doing driving?!”
  • When I arrived at our local auto dealership to pick up my car, I was told the keys had been locked in it by mistake. I went to the Service Department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. “Hey,” I announced to the mechanic, “It’s open!” His reply: “I know. I already did that side.”

Again, count your blessings if you’re reading this column right now. You truly are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to rely on sheer dumb luck for basic survival. But be careful – there is no law against stupidity, and being a moron is not a crime. Acting stupid, however, especially in public, can earn a person a brief to lengthy stay in the Sheriff’s local accommodations, orange jumpsuit included.

• • • •

Thank you to all who voted me Best Local Celebrity in the Best of Marathon contest! It’s an honor, and I am grateful and humbled. Thank you again.

John Bartus is a singer/songwriter, former Mayor of the City of Marathon, former president of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce and the Marathon Rotary Club, Bartus will perform Friday and Saturday with Storm Watch at Boondocks. Thursday, John plays solo at Sparky’s Landing. Music on iTunes and CDBaby.com.  www.johnbartus.com

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