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Shell Shocked

By Staff | Sep 20, 2013

I was in New York recently and attended a reception. I was introduced to some people and the subject of Sanibel came up.

“Oh, Sanibel,” one woman said. “Isn’t that in the Panhandle?”

“No,” I said politely and told her where it was. Then someone else said, “Oh, Sanibel, isn’t that the resort community where hordes of college students flock to every year during spring break and run amuck?”

“No,” I said politely and explained that although Sanibel gets a modest number of college students during spring break they don’t really flock there.

Another person remarked: “Oh, Sanibel, didn’t some hurricane destroy the entire island and everything had to be rebuilt?”

I simply couldn’t take one more comment that demonstrated total misinformation about Sanibel. I threw a glass of punch in the face of that person and shouted into her ear. “You see? That’s how wars start because of people like you who go around spreading gossip and rumors when you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.”

Six people had to restrain me forcibly from attempting to carve the word Sanibel on the arm of one of the guests. After a few minutes I calmed down. I sure am excitable.

I was beginning to be myself when yet another person approached me and said: “I hear you have a home in Sanibel. Is it true that crime is out of control there and that they recently had to evacuate the island because all the McDonald’s had run out of hamburgers?”

First I said that there was no truth to any rumor about crime in Sanibel. I told him that the worst offense noted weekly in police logs was a nuisance alligator or iguana. And that the police always responded very quickly to resolve such situations.

And I also made it clear that we have no McDonald’s franchises or any others in Sanibel. That was when I got so angry that I involuntarily became the Incredible Hulk and threw the guy out the window. Fortunately for him, he landed on a soft awning just twelve stories below and all he had to show for it was a bruised ego.

Once again I needed to be restrained by most of the guests. Ironically, I wasn’t asked to leave the reception because the general feeling was that I was more entertaining than most of the conversation going on. But, I wondered how much longer I would have to endure more misinformation, rumors and inaccuracies about Sanibel. I didn’t have to wonder much longer.

She was young and lovely with mile high legs. She was at the other side of the room when I had thrown that guest out the window minutes earlier and wandered over to inquire what the ruckus was about. She appeared gentle and innocent.

She said: “You must love Sanibel very much to defend its honor. I must admit that I’ve never been there but I’ve heard lots of good things about it. Can you tell me about it so that I can plan a trip there?”

I began to calm down and relax. I was finally coming across a young and innocent lady who had no preconceived, incorrect notions about Sanibel. “I’m more than happy to tell you about Sanibel. It is truly a jewel in the crown. It’s a pristine island that’s very laid back and informal. There’s a great sense of community in Sanibel and the environment is very important to us. We care about wildlife and protect our species with diligence and vigilance.”

She seemed to think long and hard about what I had just said. “Sanibel sounds exactly right for me,” she said. “A good place to chill out.”

“Absolutely right,” I said. “You seem to be the only person at this gathering who has no preconceived notion of what Sanibel is and has an open mind. I believe you would fit right in.”

We clicked our wine glasses and toasted Sanibel. Then she ruined everything. She said, “I can hardly wait to see your famous Universal Studios and take a tour. Oh, and by the way, how is skiing in Sanibel? Is the powder soft or hard?”

Despite my ferocious anger I could never hit a woman so I did the next best thing. I set fire to the room, shattered all the windows, tore up the furniture, ripped a tattoo off someone’s arm, said nasty things about the New York Knicks, blasphemed Mayor Bloomberg and left. My own clothes were in tatters as a result of my having become the Incredible Hulk earlier.

No more cocktail parties for me in New York. They’re much too dangerous.