But after Christmas, nearly 50,000 snowbirds bring their dogs, bikes, kayaks and beach umbrellas to this 7-mile stretch of sand. Like ants at a picnic, they swarm all over the place. There’s not even enough room around here to change your mind.
I can get to the grocery store faster if I leave my car in the driveway and play leap frog on car hoods.
And since I still don’t have a helicopter or maybe an Army tank to better deal with this mess, I have become even more of a hermit than I already am.
Many snowbirds are sweet and friendly, but others behave exactly like devil spawn, cutting in line and hogging the sidewalks with their fancy bikes.
If I drive anywhere, I am at risk for a crash. That’s because quite a few out-of-state drivers are lost and confused, which means they simply stop driving.
In the middle of a 45-mph flow of traffic, the coo-coo birds just put it in park and call it a day while studying their maps of the city.
More than once, my life has flashed before my eyes.
Time after time, the birds in front of me stop moving in order to study their Global Positioning System or maybe take a nap. That means that I helplessly wait to be turned into a speed bump by the IndyCar drivers behind me.
During this bumper-to-bumper cruise through hell, my temper quickly ignites. And that is exactly why I was recently involved in some Jerry Springer moments with another driver.
First, the moron behind me laid on his horn as he and I and 23,000 other drivers waited at a traffic light.
“Move!” he shouted.
At first, I tried to ignore him.
“Move it!” he shouted again.
“I’ll tell you where you can move it, you big jerk,” I muttered.
“Hey stupid lady, get going!”
“Stupid lady? Well … mama don’t play that, buddy. That’s it.” My face caught fire with anger as I stuck my head out my window and yelled back, “Where am I supposed to go?”
Then I swept my hand across the view.
Much like Vanna White would show off a vowel, I pointed out the fact that I was sandwiched between vehicles. Literally, there was nowhere for me to go. There was nowhere for anyone else to go, either.
But I sure wanted to tell “Mr. Psychotic” where he could go.
He continued to beep and yell at me. “I said for you to move!”
“Make me move!” I finally snarled at him. “Yeah, you just go right ahead and make me move.”
That roller-derby side of my personality flew out of my mouth before my brain could snag it.
Then my eyes stayed nervously glued to the rearview mirror.
“Don’t get out of your car, ‘Hulk Hogan,’ ” I whispered as I watched him in the mirror. “I don’t really want you to make me move. I’m sure that wouldn’t be one bit pleasant.”
I didn’t really want to tangle with the road-raging wing nut. But I have too much pride to admit it …. to his face, anyway.
Just in the nick of time, the light turned green and we were on the go again.
I won’t encourage anyone to “Make me move” anymore. I now wear a muzzle when I drive.
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com. She also speaks to women’s groups.