Shell Shocked: The Census Bureau’s current profile of Sanibel
The U.S. Census Bureau has finally released the long awaited current profile of Sanibel. The report describes the demographics of Sanibel households, their tastes, livelihood, political beliefs and hair replacement techniques.
The current population of Sanibel is 4.2 million, making it among the largest cities in Florida. The average per diem income is $450 million, of which no less than 50 percent is being contested by ungrateful grandchildren, distant cousins and capital goods manufacturers.
The most used household product in Sanibel is MiraLax, according to CVS pharmacist Michelangelo Generica, one of four thousand volunteer census takers in Sanibel. He pointed out that when a shipment of MiraLax was delayed several years ago for five days, the CVS hotline became so overloaded with calls that the National Guard had to be called in to protect CVS employees. Thousands of residents refused to leave their bathrooms during that time period and were forced to miss that year’s “Taste of the Islands.”
The most popular restaurant dish in Sanibel is blackened porpoise, which was introduced to the island by Portuguese shepherds a hundred years ago. This local dish became so popular that recipes for this delicacy are now sold on the gourmet black market at triple the price.
As you would suspect, the number one sport in Sanibel is shell collecting. The Sanibel Chamber of Commerce now imports most of the island’s rare seashells and deposits them on the beach around 2 a.m. every day in time for the morning Sanibel shuffle rush hour.
Twitter recently reported multiple rumors that the television series “The Walking Dead” has been shot every morning on Sanibel beaches. That rumor has been denied by Sanibel officials. Although there are glaring similarities between Sanibel seashell shufflers and “Walking Dead” zombies, there have been no reported zombie sightings on our beaches.
The next most popular sport in Sanibel is biking. In fact there are now so many bikers that the Sanibel City Council is thinking about installing traffic lights on the shared bike paths. The bike paths are shared with walkers and runners. Bikers, walkers and runners are very turf conscious and truly hate each other. It’s not uncommon for incidents involving all three groups to turn up on the local police blotter. Violence has become commonplace. Bikers have been stripped naked by vigilante walker and runner groups and their bicycles shredded into hundreds of unusable parts.
The Census Bureau has also determined that the average age in Sanibel is 92. All Sanibel golf courses are now required to replace golf carts with Bentleys. A few rule adjustments have also been made on the golf courses. No hole can be more than 100 yards and golf clubs have been replaced with sledge hammers.
The origin of Sanibel residents has also been addressed in the Census report. Sixty-eight percent of all Sanibel residents come from the same small town in Indiana. Ten percent are from Michigan and the remainder of the residents came to Sanibel for the day and never left.
Sixty-seven percent of Sanibel residents are Republicans made up of Goldwater Republicans, Lincoln Republicans and Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders. Democrats are the minority party in Sanibel and their platform consists of blackened fish worship and a strong belief in Santa Claus. Sanibel is run as a meritocracy, with most residents having to look the word up before voting.
According to the Census report, every year Sanibel Republicans and Democrats face off in an annual “Hunger Games” event. The oldest representatives of both parties are sent into Ding Darling to collect as many live geckos as they can. The winner’s party gets two seats on the city council and a 15 percent discount with Geico.
The Census report has determined that all Sanibel residents are asleep by 9 p.m., so that local restaurants are required to close by 8 p.m. The Sanibel curfew, which has been in effect for forty years, begins at 9 p.m. Anyone caught driving after that hour will have his night’s sleep officially reduced by one hour with no bathroom breaks. If it is a repeat offense, that individual is immediately put into a strait jacket and admitted to the Lee County Citizens Protection Facility for an indeterminate period. This is why Sanibel is among the safest communities in the country.
The two most common professions among Sanibel residents are census taking and grand larceny. Fraudulent check writing, stock manipulation, tax evasion and seashell snatching top the list. Sanibel is known for its lax minimum security prison which caters to the filthy rich. Most residents have been in Sanibel for at least 70 years and recall having voted for Peter Stuyvesant for mayor.
As you would imagine, Doc Ford is the most popular fictional character, followed by Hannibal Lecter as a close second.
Because of the higher average age in Sanibel, the elementary school is now open to adults. Children are discouraged in Sanibel and are often sent to the Timbers prep school for blackening training in the Panhandle.
These are among the latest Census Bureau findings for Sanibel. Is it any wonder that Sanibel is considered a unique community?
Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.