All posts in Pensacola humor

Hit refresh and start over this month

True story: My wife and I were at a restaurant recently when a young couple sat nearby, celebrating the one-year anniversary of their first date.

The guy was visibly jacked up, gulping his drink, asking people to take pictures of him and his lady friend, and telling everyone about their anniversary.

She, meanwhile, was sipping water, complaining about an upset stomach, texting on her phone and leaning back in her chair even as he reached across the table to hold her free hand. Body language definitely can speak louder than words.

Then a server discretely stopped by the table and slipped the guy a small box. The guy quickly went on one knee and bent toward the woman. The exact words of the proposal were hard to hear, but her response was not.

“I don’t think I can do this,” she said very clearly, admiring the ring but not putting it on her finger.

They left a few minutes later, much to the chagrin of all of us who were sneaking peeks and wondering how a guy could misread the signals so badly.

“This couple needs a fresh start,” I thought to myself.

It was my second thought. First, I wanted to tell the guy to get that ring back to the jewelry store as quickly as possible and ask for a refund.

But fresh starts are good for all of us, and there’s no better month than June. It’s a time of weddings and graduations, when happy people venture off to marriage and careers.

Lots of us could use fresh starts now, and please don’t mention the New Year’s resolutions that crashed and burned by Jan. 10.

The field of presidential candidates could use a fresh start, and some fresh blood. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush would bring far too much family baggage to the White House, and the other candidates either lack experience or they’re extremists catering to cults.

The Kardashians and TV-watchers everywhere need a fresh start. Perhaps the Kardashians could find that fresh start far, far away from cameras, social media and the selfies they post so proudly.

A fresh start — far from elected office — is due for the Florida House of Representatives, which chose to quit mid-session and go home rather than engage in discussion with the Florida Senate. Normally it’s fun to see politicians fight — they’re such hair-pulling sissies that they squeal — but this action caused all sort of problems for citizens — you know, the people who pay the bills while the politicians pull each other’s hair. By the way, the lawmakers get their health insurance through the state — for less than $9 a month. Yes, that’s n-i-n-e dollars a month.

Please, a fresh start for the sheep that line up at convenience stores to buy lottery tickets each week. Someone please tell them that the casinos pay better odds and they give you free drinks, too.

Then we have the people with “First World” problems and don’t realize how good they have it.

“My BMW is making funny noises.”

“The traffic is so bad it adds two minutes to my commute.”

“I had to wait an hour to get an appointment with my hairdresser to get my hair frosted.”

Check out the folks in the Third World, with genocide, abject poverty and chronic dysentery and get a fresh start on your perspective, people!

This appeared in the June 2015 issue of Splash!, an entertainment magazine serving the Pensacola area.

See if these O’pinions add up

Months don’t come much better weatherwise than gentle, hopeful May, full of great beach weather, joyful graduations and promises of vacations.

Unfortunately, May inevitably turns into June, July and August, heat and humidity, and constant complaints from Pensacolians about heat and humidity.

So enjoy May and revel in its glory.

Meanwhile, I hope these O’pinions count with you:

3 Improvements I like on Pensacola Beach: The new Visitor Information Center makes a great first impression and will be much more attractive to visitors.

Pedi-cabs — Find a parking spot and pedi cabs will provide cheap, fun transportation to the destinations of your choice.

The new restaurant, Casino Beach Bar & Grille, next to the fishing pier is a major upgrade that appeals to locals and tourists alike.

317 — The approximate number of existing or new mattress stores under construction in Pensacola. No high-tech jobs there.

3 Bad Ad Men: Some actors have jumped the shark and worn out their welcome with their incessant and lame pitching of products on television: Neil Patrick Harris and beer; Matthew “I’m So Vain” McConaughey and whatever he peddles; and Samuel L. Jackson shilling for most every product ever made.

19 People are running or thinking of running for the Republican nomination for president next year, yet none light my fire.

5 Years have gone by since the BP oil spill threatened the Gulf Coast’s way of life. So far, there’s been little lasting damage, so we should be grateful, but watchful, too, lest there be more fallout lurking under the water.

3 Restaurants I miss: Hunan’s in East Pensacola Heights; The Creamery in Gulf Breeze; Hopkins Boarding House on North Hill.

3 Landmarks I love: For 38 years I have been driving under the 17th Avenue overpass and only once can I remember seeing a four-letter word painted on the walls. This shows respect for the public space. The vast majority of the time the artwork is eye-catching and shows soul.

The fish pointing us from Gulf Breeze toward Pensacola Beach is from another era for sure, but it’s a wonderful symbol etched in many memories forever. The publicity deservedly goes to the Maritime Park and other major new improvements, but tree-shaded Seville Square is still a great place to pull up a bench and daydream for a while.

$194 is the most a person can get for food stamps for a month. That’s a little over $6 a day. I’m not jealous.

812R was my family’s telephone number in rural Massachusetts in the late 1950s. You lifted the receiver and waited for the operator to come on and ask you what number you wanted to call. Today’s phones do so much more. Thank you, modern technology!

2 Things that would dramatically improve Cordova Mall’s appearance: a bright new exterior for Dillard’s — the interior looks great — and resurfacing/rebuilding of the dipsy-doodle parking lot on the store’s south side.

2 Cliches that are worn out and need never be said again:

“It is what it is.”

“Think outside the box.”

20 Pounds I need to lose.

0 percent interest I have in losing them.