This past winter, my wife and I moved to Southwest Florida. We were close to urban sophisticates in that we enjoyed a great number of ethnic foods, were familiar with many cultures, and spoke at least five languages between us. However, neither of us can stand opera, and loathe Sevilla Flamenco.
Now, after a mere six months in a home in the Everglades, we have become a flatland version of the Beverly Hillbillies. Yes, Jethro Bodean and I have a lot in common. I’m going to say that Kip is Ellie Mae, but there is a chance at our ages that we’re actually Jed and Granny.
Not only am I fascinated with moonshining (not doing it, but love looking at the videos and companies that sell the equipment) and canning – just covered Jed and Grannie with those two, but entertainment has gotten simpler out here in the boonies far from reliable internet.
We enjoy good rainstorms, the clouds, the many birds, and guessing when the electric done gonna come back. (Thank God the backup battery system went active with most of the solar a few weeks ago. Five power bounces yesterday in our area, one big one today so far.) We do watch a few hours of internet television a few days a week, but mostly we read, write, go for walks, or massage Chewy’s belly.
However, today I knew I was likely to strike oil if I went shooting in our yard. I went outside to kill a wasp nest that was being constructed in an outdoor power box – it has a clear plastic cover. On my way around the side of the house, I realized what it was Chewy was so fascinated with this morning when we let him out: there was a dead possum in the yard.
Now I do have some standards, and cookin’ up possum ain’t on that list. Besides, it was much like a Norwegian Blue Parrot: stiff as a board, joined the choir eternal. It wasn’t playing possum, and the freshness date had passed hours before in the heat we have today.
Back to the garage, grab the shovel, and hurl the beastie into the vacant part of our property. The vultures (yes, they are numerous) should spot it within a day, and they will dispose of it promptly. Anything dead goes over the fence and they come to clean it up.
So, I flung it into the lot, killed the wasps, and went inside to inform Grannie what I’d found in the yard.
She did not grab the stew pot. She did not insist that I sniff it to see if it is good. But she did ask that I move the corpse to the diagonally opposite side of the yard, outside the fence, so that she could watch the vultures.
The entertainment value of vultures picking a possum clean has now become a thing at our house. My shovel and I returned to the yard, picked up the star of our show, and marched around to the opposite side of the property to deposit the body in the undeveloped field.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was when I truly knew that I was “Florida Man.”
Oh, there you are. I’ve got a bonus for you folks that made it past the dead possum: the unaired pilot for the “Hillbillies of Beverly Hills.” Yup, slightly different name, but it’s the whole backstory as it was pitched to the studios and networks. It is well worth 35 minutes of your day if you watched the show in the 60s.
Finally, here are the buzzards at lunch, and a special Simpson’s treat: