I've always believed that Democratic, liberal hippie nutcases end up in California while Republican, redneck whackjobs tend to end up in Florida. I'm current only into Day 1 of this theory, but so far the supporting evidence includes:
1. Driving down the main strip in St. Pete's Beach only to see a guy dragging about a 10-foot tall cross down the sidewalk, on wheels, with a big ol' smile on his face. I was very tempted to pull over and ask him if he needed a lift or, barring that, any help being nailed to it. However, traffic was heavy so I didn't have time. Hopefully he made it to his appointment on time, though.
2. Desperately needing a haircut I asked about a good local barber and was promptly directed to one. So good, in fact, there were at least four people in front of me and I had to wait nearly an hour to get my haircut. He did a great job and, at $13, is a wee bit cheaper than the $30 my grumpy Scots barber charges me in Iqaluit.
However, and this was certainly worth the $2 tip I gave him, I got a fascinating education on everything that has gone wrong in the area for the past 30 years, not to mention that "those people in the White House right now are trying to take away our freedoms and the right to think for ourselves and that aint right." He also complimented a fellow who came in wearing a Ronald Regan t-shirt.
So yes, this will be a fascinating week or so, I suspect. On the other side of the ledger, a woman who sat next to us on the plane ride from Newark to Tampa complimented Canadians on coming out of the recession much faster, for having a better banking system and that she wished they'd passed a health care plan like the one we had.
She was from New Jersey, though, so I'm not sure she counts.
I always like visiting America. It's like staring at the looking glass while on acid. It's a weird experience. Tomorrow we're going to the Wagon Wheel flea market. If I were Hunter S. Thompson I would not consider such a trip without a blotter full of acid, some ether and guns. As it is, I will go naked into the belly of the beast. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.