The Sound of Flopping Iguanas

January 6th, 2010

Falling Faster Than Support for Global Warming Hoax

It’s under 50 degrees. Wow. For Miami, on a sunny day, that’s freakish. All over Florida, ill-designed central heating systems are failing at their jobs. People are wearing bizarre cold-weather ensembles that look weird because Miamians don’t know how to put the look together. I guarantee you, if you drive around Miami this morning, you will see at least one person wearing a wool hat, a heavy coat, and shorts.

I wouldn’t mind the cold weather at all, but for the fact that I’m recovering from a viral illness, and one of the symptoms is a low body temperature. Every night I pile on three blankets and crank the heated mattress pad up. Last night, it was merely adequate.

I’m one of the few people who has witnessed snow in Miami. When I was in high school, we had a really nasty day, and while I was standing in what we called “the quadrangle” (a yard surrounded by school buildings), I looked up and saw a few flakes in the air. I guess everything is okay as long as that doesn’t happen again.

I talked to Mike this week, and he predicted dead iguanas would be flopping out of trees. I guess that will happen. And some of our fish will float up to the surface of canals.

I wonder if the pythons will suffer. We have loads of them out in the filthy bug-infested ugly swamp majestic Everglades. They come from India and Burma. I don’t know how cold it gets there.

There are worries about the citrus crop. I don’t know if there is any point in trying to save Florida citrus. There is a new disease out there, and many people think it will end Florida citrus (maybe all commercial citrus growing) permanently, or at least until resistant trees are developed. It’s called Citrus Greening. A bug from Asia bites your tree, and that’s the end of it. I have several trees that aren’t doing well. I’m going to have to kill them. Limes and grapefruit seem to be immune, but everything else is looking bad.

I don’t know what to plant to replace the citrus. Mameys are okay. Mangoes are a reliable standby.

Citrus is in trouble, and there is a banana blight out there somewhere. I don’t think it has hit Florida yet, but experts fear it will wipe bananas out. They’re all descended from the same ancestor, and they don’t have enough genetic diversity to develop resistance. Supposedly.

Imagine not being able to order orange juice in a restaurant. Some people think that day is coming. They think orange juice will only be available in small quantities, as a mixer. I think we’ll have resistant trees. But until they show up, we’ll have problems.

I can’t believe the diseases and bugs we have here. You can’t have a tomato plant. You can barely grow peppers. Beans get rust. The Jamaican Tall coconut palms are long gone. The banyan trees and ficus hedges are dying. If it weren’t for poison, no one in South Florida could keep the ants and roaches at bay; cleanliness doesn’t do the job. Now we’re losing our citrus. In a couple of years, we’ll be eating MREs.

Why can’t the diseases hit fruit nobody cares about? I wouldn’t miss Surinam cherries. They’re disgusting. Guavas are very overrated. Papayas smell like dog poo. Loquats…a lot of people don’t even know what a loquat is. I’ve only eaten about eight longans over the course of my life. Sea grapes are pretty useless. The dates here don’t get ripe because of the climate. Take that stuff. Leave the tangelos.

I don’t know what to do with my papaya trees. They’re big, and they produce, but the fruit smells like dog excrement. It seems like you can avoid the smell by picking them early, but that practice hasn’t proved reliable.

Time to move to southern Tennessee. That’s the ticket. Tomatoes grow just fine there. Corn. Potatoes. Apples. Tasty pigs.

I’ll bet yankees are going to the beach today. This is one of the funnier things about living in Florida. People who spend money on vacations are so determined to get what they paid for, they’ll subject themselves to incredible suffering. They go to the beach when it’s 50 degrees. They go fishing in six-foot seas. They literally blister themselves on their first day here, and then THEY GO BACK AND LIE IN THE SUN THE NEXT DAY. That’s so horrible, I don’t even like typing it. Have you ever seen sun poisoning? It’s painful just to be near it.

When it comes to traditional South Florida pursuits, I’m no fan of the cold. If the water is under 80 degrees, I have no interest in swimming. If the air is below 72 degrees, count me out of the fishing trip. Cool weather is great for yard work and barbecue, but you won’t see me near the water.

If you’ve never had a pool thermometer, you probably don’t know how cold 75-degree water is. It sounds pleasant, because 75-degree air is pleasant. But it’s pretty cold. Water has to be much warmer than air to have the same feel. I’ve seen canal water hit 94 degrees here.

One of the interesting things about cold snaps is that they’re the only times we have cold running water. The rest of the year, we have hot and warm. The cold water tap comes out at about 80. It does a very poor job of cooling beer when you’re homebrewing.

If we ever had ice, there would be bodies all over the streets. Miamians can barely drive when it’s dry and clear. They are the least skilled drivers outside of Asia. Italian driving philosophy combined with Chinese ability and Somali judgment. If there was anything to slide on, the feds would have to bring refrigerated trucks in to hold the dead.

When I was a kid, we had a place in North Carolina. A lot of people from Miami have invaded that area. They make people crazy, because they can’t drive on hills. They have no idea what low gears are for. They ride their brakes until they give out. They creep along in terror, with long lines of better drivers behind them. I learned to drive in Kentucky, so I don’t have the local disease. I still remember my mother cursing at them.

I would never want another place in North Carolina. The whole point is to get away from Miamians, and they’re already there. It’s like the scene in Alien where Ripley finds out the creature stowed away with her on the shuttle. It’s not fair! Go be rude and loud somewhere else! If I wanted to see your Lord of the Flies kids running around screaming in restaurants while you yell into your cell phones and pretend not to notice, I would have stayed home!

Maybe it’s time to cut back on caffeine again.

13 Responses to “The Sound of Flopping Iguanas”

  1. pbird Says:

    Oh my. When I lived up on the Res I swam in the bay everyday summer and winter. The water there runs about 42 to 45 degrees. I have a theory that men are sissies about water. Sure it was cold. When my fingers got too stiff to bend it was time to come in.

  2. Steve H. Says:

    It’s a valid theory in my case. Back during the hurricanes, I had to shower in 80-degree water, and I thought it would kill me.

  3. Elisson Says:

    I remember my grandmother trying to grow tomatoes in North Miami Beach years ago. They’d attract these monstrous tomato hornworms… huge, green caterpillars as thick around as a man’s thumb. We used to try to pick them off the plants manually, but it was a losing battle. I think the only way to stop ’em was by using a blowtorch… which didn’t help the tomato plants any.

  4. aelfheld Says:

    “[…] dead iguanas would be flopping out of trees.”

    Christopher Dodd announced his retirement from the Senate. As did Byron Dorgan.

    It’s an yll wynde that blowth no man to good.

  5. aelfheld Says:

    Keep up the caffeine consumption.

  6. Rachel Says:

    I grew up eating papayas and guavas so I consider them to be just about the best fruit on earth!
    Apples are overrated.

  7. Scott P Says:

    We wouldn’t even get in our pool in Phoenix until it hit 80º. 76º was swimmable, if we were desperate, but the sweet spot was 86º or so. Of course, here I am in central IL now, whining about 76º water. What a difference 4 months makes!

  8. Steve H. Says:

    If you don’t like the fruit I like, you are just wrong.

  9. Ruth H Says:

    That’s one good thing a deep freeze can do, get rid of the reptiles. I hope it works. We have small ginkos here, and anoles, (the color changing lizard) they are awful. I hate cleaning the squashed bodies when they get in between the doors and frame as they are closing. good riddance!!

  10. Andrea Harris Says:

    I can’t stand guavas or papayas either. In fact, most tropical fruit has this bizarre metallic undertaste that’s kind of like blood. Ew.

    I always preferred cooler weather, but I can’t believe how I’ve gotten used to the cold up here. It went up into the low thirties today and I opened my coat and left my scarf and hat in the car.

    Driving on hills, then on hills covered with ice and snow, has definitely been a challenge. But I don’t think people here are that great at snow driving — this winter is the worst they’ve had in about fourteen years; last year there was maybe an inch of snow and we’ve already had a couple of feet and there are still piles of it all over the place. My grandparents had a house in North Carolina. They lived in Miami in the winter. But my grandmother grew up in Vermont, so hills didn’t faze her. My grandfather, however, was from Washington DC, and was a lousy driver.

  11. Tim Says:

    This from an AP story on the cold snap:

    “Freeze warnings covered nearly all of Florida with temperatures expected to drop into the 20s. Iguanas were seen falling out of trees; experts say the cold-blooded reptiles become immobilized and lose their grip when the temperature falls into the 40s or below.”

  12. Jim Says:

    Gonna freeze here tonight on Galvetraz Island.

    Gets any colder here, I’m gonna think my ex-wife is in town.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  13. lauraw Says:

    Late to this thread (haven’t been around in a while), but I hope you’re feeling better real soon.

    I second the recommendation for extra doses of hot black coffee throughout the day. Works great to knock back a cold and will not give you the jitters when you’re really ill, for some reason.

    If you have a low body temp, going to bed with one of those microwaveable barley-filled (some are rice filled) cloth heating sacks under your head and neck feels like heaven. And you don’t have to worry about shutting it off later to prevent cooking yourself.

    I never knew that when I had a ‘head cold,’ my head really was miserably chilled, until I did that the first time and was instantly comforted. Fell asleep like a baby.