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Misery and Company

summer talk with long-distance pain pal Charlotte

Hiya, Charlotte. How’s summer treatin’ ya?

Summer’s giving me a nuclear wedgie. You wouldn’t believe how unseasonably cool it is up here! It sucks cuz I’m dying to wear these boss new cargo shorts I snagged at Savers. They have 34 pockets (THREE! FOUR!) and in one of them I found — sit down for this — a pair of gently used toenail clippers!


These rockin’ cargoes really accent my toned ankles, BUT since we’re still stuck in the friggin’ 50s, I’m relegated to the same old same old zebra-print track pants.

Can you even begin to fathom my frustration?

Hello, Roy. So sorry to hear about your apparel dilemma. I hope it warms up but not as warm as it is here in Florida. It’s been quite uncomfortable.

And forgive me for the delayed response. I’ve been moving into a new condo that opened in our community. I’m carting boxes over little by little.

Yesterday, I may have underestimated the heat index. I was feeling light-headed while schlepping stuff over when Jim Morrison drove up on a pink Vespa and asked if I’d play tambourine to an acoustic rendition of Peace Frog. I said, “hell yeah.”

Someone must’ve noticed me acting erratic and called 911. Paramedics arrived to find me dancing in circles on a neighbor’s patio smacking on a doggie dish.

Summer lesson #1: Remember to hydrate.

New digs and warm weather. Lucky you!

I woke to another brisk morning. Even had to turn on the heater to take the nip out of the air. Can you believe it? In June!?

I’d planned taking the family to the quarry this weekend for a swim, but that chilled water would play serious shrinky dink with my fragile factory if you know what I mean.

Where’s global warming when you need it?

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It’s a shame you haven’t gone swimming yet. It’s a rite of summer.

We have a community pool that provides much-needed respite from the searing temps. Sadly, it’s been at the center of an ugly turf war since Chuck and Shirley Schimmerhorn tried claiming it for themselves and their obnoxious litter of vacationing grandbrats . Those nasty little shits threatened to douse anyone who came within 10 feet with super soakers filled with urine-infused pool water.

I appealed to Chuck’s good senses, but he just dismissed me, so I did what any motivated resident would do: I administered a nerve agent via blowgun from an incrimination-safe distance of 30 yards into Chuck’s carotid artery while he played Marco Polo.

Long story short — the pool is free again for at least a week, approximately the time it’ll take for Chuck to regain feeling below the neck.

P.S. I believe this heat is causing people to become a tad irritable.

Well la-DEE-da! Wish we all could have a pool to ourselves. Meanwhile, summer continues to be a heart-wrenching disappointment for me. The latest bubble-bust came after an attempt to treat my family to a barbecue.

The meal was going great up until dessert. I’d bought us a “seedless” watermelon. (See how I put seedless in quotation marks? That’ll play out soon.)

We were all enjoying the crisp, sweet, juicy melon, then gasped in horror as my daughter extracted a disgusting, unholy, fruit abomination from her mouth.

A SEED, CHARLOTTE! A GODDAMN SEED!!! Just sitting there on her Dixie plate like some hideous dislodged melon tumor!

Granted, it was only the one, but still…

Another day — down the toilet.

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So sorry. Hope you got a refund on the melon.

I love barbecue, but Abigail, head of our condo association, imposed martial law and formed a brute squad in light of the sweltering heat. Her first action was to outlaw outdoor grilling.

When she caught Chuck firing up his Char-Master, she whipped out her taser and dropped him like a bag of expired ham. I did my best to keep a straight face as we all watched Chuck twitch, but it wasn’t easy. He’d just started walking again.

On a serious note, my A/C went kaput today. It’ll take three weeks for them to order and install a new unit. I’m avoiding use of my stove and oven to keep the condo at a non-lethal 98 degrees. I’ve also learned to enjoy food in frozen form.

Ever had a minestrone soupsicle?

Oh, almost forgot to tell you — I witnessed a pelican burst into flames today.

Fine cuisine and bird watching — you Floridians are all about the fun, aren’t you.

But I’m getting the sense you don’t appreciate what I’ve been going through, Charlotte. My summer is sizing up to be a colossal disaster.

Take today for instance: I was trying to salvage my weekend by taking the dog for a leisurely stroll by the river when out of nowhere…

MOSQUITO! An ugly-ass, sent-from-hell, no-reason-to-exist-but-to-make-humans-miserable mosquito!

Let me ask you something: When Noah loaded up, why mosquitoes?

Seriously — why!?

I loathe pests!

Granted, it was only the one, but still…

Sorry if I haven’t expressed an appropriate amount of sympathy, Roy. I do hope your summer improves.

As for your pest problem, I think I can relate: Pelicans and seagulls have been combusting by the dozens on super-heated pavements. This phenomena has led to an infestation of alligators attracted to roasted bird bits strewn around neighborhoods.

I’ve been trapped inside my new place, waiting for the last flamingo to explode so my toothy visitors can dine and move along.

If I made a run for it, I might be able to out-juke the bigger gators, but those small ones can be awfully quick.

Maybe I should call an Uber.

As bait.

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Most people have to pay for tickets to Gatorland. You get to live the adventure for free!?


Well, you’re not gonna believe this: Our forecast is calling for 86 degrees today!


That’s way too hot! I can’t do that kind of heat. Anything over 80 makes me woozy. Past 83, I can’t digest properly.

Summer 2019 is officially a bust.

Why can’t I live in Florida with all its lakes and beaches and free gator viewings?

I bet you’re out every day, frolicking in the surf, sipping on Mello Yellos, feeling the cool breeze off the ocean.

Summer is just a glorious videogame for you, isn’t it, Charlotte?


Lucky you.

Poor Roy.


lucky me.

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Thanks to my good friend, Charlotte, for inspiring this story with her very factual account of moving AND losing climate control during a most brutal Florida summer.

Sending cool thoughts and Gatorade, Charlotte!

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"Hi. My name is Roy." - Now that just sounds stupid. (

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