The air in Key West is hotter and thicker than dragon snot. The shaded thermometer by the pool registers between 93 and 97 from 11 am to 5 pm. This time of year, in that part of the world, the sun stays straight overhead for hours on end, and at that latitude and sea level, only about two yards above the street. One morning I walk outside and banged my head against it. Sorry, Ra.
Well, it felt that way, anyway. And I’m sure the tequila from the night before had nothing to do with it.
I love it like this. Better take advantage now, parrot heads. A recent study of sea levels projects that the Florida Keys could lose 90% of their land by 2100. That would really kill Hemingway Days — you can’t have the famous running of the bulls event underwater.
Aside from our rendezvous with Fran G’Panni, arranged several weeks ago (and yes, the Bull Tavern graciously accepted our apologies for last year’s unfortunate incident with the stoned naked tourists and bottles on the dance floor), I bumped into Radicchio R. Peggio, Jr., who told me he tries to come down for Hemingway Days every year. “Dad was a big fan,” he tells me. “They fished together a few times.”
Very cool. What else is going on? Good tan, by the way. I think you’ve matched me.
Which is different from what you do the rest of the year how, Raddy?
“Actually, I’ve been pretty involved with some investment crap,” he says. “I’m planning for the end of the world, which has probably already started. In fact, August 2nd is looking more and more like the official kick-off.”
Aah. The debt ceiling.
“Bats in the belfry, more like. Want to hear my solution?”
Absotively — if you’re buying.
We step up to the Smallest Bar in Key West and order a pair of normal-sized beers. Then we order seconds because the first ones have somehow instantly evaporated or something.
“Here’s the deal,” says Raddy. “Who’s got all the money right now? Goldman Sachs. How’d they get so much money? Bail-outs and greed backed up by political influence. They’ve wormed their way into the highest echelons of power and influence and recreated an entire financial system to accommodate their objectives.
“So it’s only fair and right that the government takes ‘em over — it’s called ‘nationalization’ — seizes the assets, fires the management, pays down the debt, and starts us all over.”
No freaking way! People wouldn’t stand for this. Unless you have that same management dragged through the streets and permanently excised too. Like the cancerous growths they are.
“There’s precedent for this. The US seized the railroads in WW 1. It took over private security after 911 and created the TSA. The excuse was ‘national security.’ That would work this time, too.”
“No, it won’t. Your president doesn’t have the balls and besides, too many Goldman Sachs bigwigs are in government already, calling the shots, and they wouldn’t do anything that would hurt themselves.”
So they’d have to have a big payday in exchange. Grab what they can then stand back and let it collapse. But if you let ‘em do that they’d take everything first, and there goes your plan.
“There’s problems, yes. I’m working on it,” says Raddy. “One beer at a time.”
Two, actually. Which quickly became three, and then four, and then it was time to stagger back up Duval Street in the blistering sun to start drinking with family. I love Key West.