The weather turned ugly on Friday, thanks to Tropical Storm Barry, and so we had to find non-beach activities to amuse ourselves. We played some cards, watched some TV, then decided to go see Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End.
As we parked the car in downtown Sarasota, I realized I would be very uncomfortable sitting through a nearly 3-hour special effects epic with dry hands, so I told the girls that I would meet them at the bookstore across the street, and I toddled off to a drugstore.
I'm amazed at the sheer number of "youthful skin" products available on the market. You'd think by now there would have been an accident, where a tanker of hand lotion runs aground and thousands of sea birds are coated in a product that makes them look like young chicks again.
While I was in the checkout line, I picked up a couple of candy bars to enjoy during the movie, because they were a fraction of the price I would have to pay in the theater. I met the girls in the bookstore, and we crossed the street to see the movie.
The ticket-taker was a woman in her 20's, confined to a high-tech wheelchair, her limbs contorted by some dystrophic illness. I've been noticing that there are a lot more severely handicapped people working in movie theaters these days as ticket-takers. A decade ago, people with serious mobility problems would have been confined to their homes or nursing facilities, unable to participate with general society in any meaningful way. New electric wheelchairs have empowered these individuals with an amazing degree of independence. But of course, they're people, and that means some of them are assholes.
As I presented my ticket, the ticket-taker took it and eyeballed the transluscent plastic drugstore bag in my hand. "You know, you can't bring outside food in here," she said. Oh crap, I had forgotten about the two candy bars. "I had to buy some lotion," I stammered. "I forgot about the candy bars."
She held my ticket, looking at my face, trying to decide how far to abuse the little authority that life had permitted her. Apparently, she decided not to confiscate the candy bars, which I was prepared to wolf down in front of her, rather than let her have them. "OK, but don't let this happen again," she said.
My daughter and her friend were delighted by my embarassment, teasing me about it all the way down the long hall of the multiplex. It didn't help that the movie sucked, a huge mess of nonsense presented as wretched spectacle. If you view it as a comedy, there was one good joke. If you view it any other way, it was tedious.
The next day, we woke up to a raging sea, quite the contrast to the placid Gulf waters we had seen on arrival. Those aren't rocks you see in the foreground, that's the edge of the beach, which is being eroded away by the action of the wind and water. Vacationers in Longboat Key later this summer may not find much beach to enjoy.
The beach was covered in sea foam, and the wind was howling so hard, you couldn't sit on the beach without being stung by blowing sand. We may leave today, because conditions just aren't appropriate for a beach vacation.