Thursday, January 15, 2004

Fort Lauderdale or Bust: The Arrival of Hurricane Sassy

Hurricane Sassy Blows Into Town
My Departure from Delaware

by Sassy Esquire

Well - we made it.

Never mind the oil tanker that exploded in front of us when it went careening off the overpass, landing on I-95 (and several other cars) outside of Baltimore. Never mind the apparently random selection of a yellow Ryder truck (just like ours) two cars ahead of us for inspection and detention by State troopers at the toll booth (hey Adria - tell the Feds they picked the wrong truck!). Never mind the complete lack of radio stations playing something other than dial-in religious talk shows and bad country music in South Carolina (oh and car dealership commercials with Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonators: "I came to this country with only a bottle of baby oil and a muscle strap...."). And never mind the very bitter argument between driver and passenger over whether Live is indeed a talented band. (That argument was second only to the one recently recorded between two Delaware room mates over whether Green Bay deserved to be in the play offs....). Never mind all that stuff...we made it in one piece (well, two if you count us as separate individuals). Safe. Sound. And still on speaking terms - although there were a couple of touch and go moments when one of us would threaten to unhitch the Jeep from the towing trailer and drive the rest of the way separately.

Highlights of this trip include: Angela, the night clerk at Holiday Inn Express in Florence, SC, who gave me a free upgrade to a suite with a jacuzzi and an additional $40 off the price; the approximately 124 billboards for "South of the Border" (Chili today, Hot tamale); Ben's discovery that washing down 400 mgs of No Doze with a 20 oz Coke doesn't actually keep him awake; my first time driving a 15' van with a trailer attached during the slalom portion of our journey (miles and miles of construction with narrowed lanes and orange cones outside of Jacksonville); and Ben's phone call to me as we sat in rush hour traffic outside of West Palm Beach (he just wanted to chit chat and see how I was doing...and yes, I was sitting next to him in the cab of the truck...and yes, I answered the phone...and yes, we chatted over the phone for a while). You see, I am accustomed to such phone calls, e.g. Jazzy (my one-time roommate) calling me from across the living room...Jazzy calling me from across the bar....Jazzy calling me from upstairs....(Ed. note: Hey, Jazzy! Have a nice life!).

So...18 hours of drive time and over 1100 miles later, I am now the newest South Florida resident. Yep cabbage. Complete with annoying encounters at the bank while trying to open a checking account, cable installation woes, car insurance increases, and Bar application madness. And I haven't even made my "appointment" to go to the DMV yet! Oy vey!

It's true....people move WAYYYY slower here in South Florida. At the bank this morning, I was tempted to jump over the desk, forcibly remove the clerk by her throat, and type in the information myself (it took her two full minutes to type in my name). And don't get me started on the drivers! Turn signals are apparently optional equipment on most cars and the lanes are only marked as a suggested are free to drive in the middle of the road...slowly...while talking on your phone...and stopping randomly to fix your makeup. I said to Ben, "I am surrounded by retards, old people, and bad drivers. Welcome to f*cking Florida!" He laughed and replied, "Hey - if it wasn't for the fact that we have the best weather in the entire country, I wouldn't live here myself!" Great...(to quote Adam Sandler in "The Wedding Singer") that's information I could have used yesterday!

That all being said, I am happy to report that I don't give a flying fig. You know why? Cuz it's 74 degrees and sunny outside, with a slight breeze coming off the ocean. Who cares about the rest of that stuff? I am drinking a Corona, sporting flip flops and Oakleys, chilling on the back patio, watching the palm trees sway. Changes in latitude...and all that. I think another two months of this weather and I will also be moving slower, having lost every vestige of northeastern impatience (and a few brain cells, I'm sure).

We have hired the Nizzle to help us unload the van tomorrow. (The Nizzle is Ben's nephew and my nephew-in-law-by-proxy-once-removed). Nizzle is willing to work for a ham and cheese sandwich from My Market. We also randomly ran into another friend last night, Peter, who said he would be over to help as well. Peter is willing to work for beer. I guess the truck will get unloaded quick enough. Interestingly, no one has volunteered to find room for my shoes....Where is Imelda when you need her?

Anyway, it's time to take the top of the Jeep and enjoy it! Hellllo Florida!

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