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Sanibel: The Magic Word

By Staff | Feb 6, 2009

There I was on the corner of 31st and Third Avenue, one icy, rainy day in New York City recently, trying to hail a cab.

I glanced at my watch. I’ve got to be uptown in 15 minutes for a very important lunch. Will I make it on time?

I wish I were in Sanibel, I said to myself. And to try to calm myself, I began to say the word Sanibel over and over in my mind.

As luck would have it, a taxi pulled over to the curb right in front of me. I entered the cab and began to head uptown.

Dreamily, I noted that it was after I had thought of Sanibel and had begun to repeat the word mentally that the taxi had appeared right in front of me. Did the very thought of Sanibel begin to turn my luck for the better that day? If so, how could I test it further?

I said the word out loud. “Sanibel.”

The taxi driver eyed me suspiciously in the rear view mirror. “What did you say, Mac?”

“I said Sanibel.”

“You musta said a magic word, Mac, ’cause it was supposed to rain all day,” said the taxi driver. Could it be? Could the very mention of the word Sanibel in New York City produce magical powers?

I arrived at the restaurant several minutes late.

“Sanibel, Bob, sorry I’m late. Traffic you know, Sanibel, and all that sort of thing,” I explained.

A broad smile crossed my luncheon companion’s face. “Oh, don’t even worry about being late. It’s tough getting around in New York.” “Mother of Sanibel, that’s wonderful,” I said.

The maitre d’ arrived at that moment with a cordless phone. My office was calling.

“Art, this is your day. The Obama people want to see you about an Ambassadorship, and Steven Spielberg is on the line offering you a lucrative movie contract for the rights to your life story.”

“It’s Sanibel, I know it is,” I said to no one in particular.

Just then a TV news reporter appeared at my table with a video cameraman at his side. He thrust a microphone under my chin.

“Mr. Stevens, what will you do with all the money you just won in the Lottery?”

Art Stevens is a humorist for the Sanibel-Captiva Islander. He writes weekly columns about island living and life in general. His columns can also be read online at www.captivasanibel.com