Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drench’d our steeples. – William Shakespeare, King Lear

By way of a vacation season summary we can report that the statue of Arnold Palmer at Latrobe airport is still standing, along with another Arnie statue at Wake Forest University which is where Arnie went to college and where Mrs. Idler likes to stop on our way to the Myrtle Beach area because they have a fairly swanky Hampton Inn that doesn’t draw too much blood if you hit it in the off season.

Idler 244 A

That’s when we’re not flying the super economy flight out of the aforesaid Latrobe airport, which is so economical that they sell you water in flight and charge you more for your suitcase than they do for you. This would make us wonder why we didn’t just buy the suitcase a ticket, that is, if we had a suitcase. We don’t though, as Mrs. Idler has recently been awarded the Nobel Prize in packing for her groundbreaking achievement in fitting a week’s worth of wardrobe in a carry-on backpack. Plus a beach chair and umbrella. Still don’t know how she got the golf clubs in the overhead. It has something to do with the molecular structure of graphite shafts.

But we’ve been worried about the Arnie statue if only because it seems to be statue wrecking season lately. Also, anything southern seems to under suspicion, and even though Wake Forest is in North Carolina, it is South of the Mason-Dixon line. In the big picture, though, if any “Antifa” thugs were to show up in Latrobe, it might occur to them that their black bandanas wouldn’t be much protection against even a poorly placed 5 iron, especially when taking a divot is more or less the object of the swing. They’re Arnie’s Army and they don’t call them hackers for nothing.

All in all it was a pretty nice vacation season even if it kinda cooled off there toward the end of August. If you postponed your trip to Florida until the past few weeks, though, it probably didn’t work out exactly as you planned. We know one family whose once-in-a-lifetime week at Disney World turned into eleven days, four of them waltzing with Irma.

Since we are somewhat elderly and given to a variety of flashbacks, we couldn’t help recall that it was septuagenarian Mick Jagger who used to warble about being born in some sort of hurricane. If it wasn’t a Cat-5 we think it would hardly be worth singing about. A Category 5 is what Irma was before it slammed into the keys and started to work its way up through Florida. They’re kinda used to hurricanes down there, but not Cat 5’s.

In spite of scattered incidents of looting, there were remarkably few reports of civil disorder with the exception of shelters in the St. Pete area where several bingos spontaneously broke out. We’re told the pictures on the internet of alligators on Main Street and sharks on the interstate were all photoshopped. Really nice work, though, by people with obviously a lot of time on their hands.

As usual the first responders took the brunt of the casualties. Their bravery and dedication to duty is almost unimaginable. We’ll soon be finding out how bad it was in the southern part of the state down to the keys. The only people we knew who were at any time in the path of the hurricane were a couple of knuckleheads from West Palm, and they reported that they almost ran out of ice three times but were okay otherwise once they knew the vermouth would hold out.

For us inland types it was at least an occasion for a geography lesson. Tell the truth, if you ran into a guy down at the Moose who talked kinda funny n at, and you asked him where he was from and he said, “Turks and Caicos”, you’d just assume he was hammered, right? How about “Barbuda”? Not Bermuda; not Barbados, have you ever heard of Barbuda? Yeah, us neither. So amidst all the mayhem and destruction, we learned the names of some Caribbean islands that we will have forgotten six months from now. Maybe someday we’ll be at the Moose in Turks and Caicos and see if they ever heard of Rankin and Swissvale.

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