Shell Shocked: What do they know about Sanibel?
How well do you think Sanibel is known outside Sanibel? To find out, I conducted a personal “man on the street” interview on the streets of New York recently.
I wanted to find out if the Sanibel story is reaching cold, bundled-up New Yorkers who want to escape brutally frigid New York winters and crave their place in the sun in a unique setting.
I queried some representative New Yorkers in front of Grand Central Station and got the following reactions:
STEVENS: Sir, may I stop for a moment and ask you a question?
FIRST PASSERBY: Whadaya want? I’m busy, I’m late, I’m frantic, I’m nervous and I got no money.
STEVENS: I don’t want your money. I’m conducting a survey on people’s perceptions of Sanibel. Can you tell me what you know about Sanibel?
FIRST PASSERBY: Sanibel’s a cow, isn’t it? I think it’s Tinker Bell’s sister. They both wear cowbells and make beautiful music together. Can’t talk anymore. I’m late for work.
STEVENS: Ma’am, would you like to take part in our survey?
SECOND PASSERBY: Oh, I just love surveys. Someone called me on the phone last week and asked me how many postage stamps I lick during an average week. What’s your survey about?
STEVENS: Tell me what you know about Sanibel.
SECOND PASSERBY: Sanibel is an underarm deodorant. It’s got a nice fragrance. It’s in my bathroom right now. Did I get it right?
STEVENS: Thank you very much, ma’am. You’re at least right about the nice fragrance. Oh, sir. You look familiar. Could you take part in a survey I’m doing?
THIRD PASSERBY: Sure. Will you vote for me for president?
STEVENS: Why, it’s Mayor de Blasio. Mayor, it’s kind of you to stop for a moment. You’re a good person to ask this question: What do you know about Sanibel?
THIRD PASSERBY: That’s easy. Joe Sanibel. He was the sanitation chief under John Lindsay. Boy were those streets dirty after he left. We had to make those men work overtime. What ever happened to Joe? Move to Florida or something?
STEVENS: Actually, mayor, Sanibel’s been in Florida forever.
THIRD PASSERBY: Is that right? I knew his mind wasn’t on the garbage in the streets. He was in Florida all along, probably with his chief assistant Mike Captiva.
STEVENS: Mayor de Blasio, I won’t hold you any longer. I know how busy you are running New York and running for president. Isn’t there anyone out there who knows what Sanibel is? Sir, can I speak to you a moment? I’m conducting a survey. What do you know about Sanibel?
FOURTH PASSERBY: Why, Sanibel is a lovely island in Southwest Florida. It’s right on the Gulf, I believe. It’s one of the great shell collecting beaches of the world and it’s got several wild life preserves also.
STEVENS: That’s wonderful. You’re right. You’re one of the few people I’ve run into today who knows what Sanibel is. How do you happen to know about Sanibel? Have you been there?
FOURTH PASSERBY: Oh, yes. Before the princess kissed me, I used to be an alligator and lived in Sanibel. By the way, you look like you could use the princess’ kiss yourself.