Volunteers who lathered themselves with extract of broccoli sprouts avoided skin damage from ultraviolet radiation.
NAPLES, Florida. This sun-drenched town on the west coast of Florida is home to more retired Fortune 500 CEO’s than any other place on earth. As a result, it is a target-rich environment if you’re looking for a widow with an expensive boob job and a lot of money in the bank.
And so I’ve come to Lowdermilk Park Beach along Gulf Shore Boulevard, seeking the woman who will support me in the style to which I’d like to become accustomed in my golden years. As I step out of my 2009 Toyota Camry “LE” edition–I don’t know what those letters stand for, but I think they mean “leather” for the sumptuous cowhide seats–I reconnoiter for a moment. That means I survey the scene.
All I can say is “kowa-bunga” as I take in all the beautiful, bodacious, bleached-blonde, botoxed babes in their bikinis. I’ve come to the right spot.
I spread out my “Harvey’s Bristol Cream” beach blanket, a sign that I’m a man of sophistication, unlike all the tatooed muscleheads with their Budweiser towels. How declasse!
I take out my Green Adonis Broccoli Sprout Tanning Lotion, and spread it liberally over my body, a rugged road of muscle-bumps thanks to the daily regimen of 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups I have followed since I was a pudgy third-grader and Timmy Hogan went by me on a double-reverse like a late-night milk train trying to make up time. I hold up my reflective sunglasses to get a look at myself–sweet.
I take a seat on my towel and turn a steely gaze down to the water, trying to decipher which of the many golden girls who pass by will make me a kept man. I hear a screeching sound overhead and–without warning–I am beset by a flock of seagulls, and I don’t mean the popular 80′s purveyors of “synth-rock” (whatever that means).
A City of Naples municipal employee comes to my rescue and shoos the birds away.
“Thanks,” I say. “I don’t know what got into them.”
“Sign says not to feed the birds.”
“You look like a human salad bar, and you smell like broccoli dip.”
“So what–you’ve got orange Doritos crumbs in your moustache.”
The guy runs his hand across his upper lip, checks for snack food debris, and walks away, a bit chastened by my rapier-like comeback. Your tax dollars at work.
I spy a lithesome babe in a brightly-colored, preppy bikini that just screams “High Net Worth!” I practice my opening line, and find that I have temporarily lost the power of speech. “Unga lunga lunga” is all I can get out until my tongue re-engages like a snow tire on a mountain road and gains some traction. This is no time to go wobbly.
I get up and approach her, a big smile on my face, and simply say “Hi!” I’m told this is how Alan Alda, Mr. Sensitive, used to score.
“Hello” my prey replies. “Are you handing out Niblets samples?”
I’m confused. “What?”
“Aren’t you supposed to be the Jolly Green Giant?”
I realize why she’s confused. “I rubbed on some broccoli sprout extract–I want to live a long life with a rich–the woman I love, and not die of skin cancer before my subscription to Modern Maturity runs out.”
“Oh. Well can I still have some Niblets?”
I realize she and I are not going to hit it off. “Have a nice day,” I say, before moving on.
I spy a self-absorbed, introverted type–just my style. I sidle up to her and pounce. “Penny for your thoughts?” I ask with contrived innocence.
“I have only one thought, but I wouldn’t give it away for just a penny.”
Quick-witted, and she knows the value of money. I’m impressed.
“Okay–name your price,” I say. Two can play at this game.
“You have green, pubey-looking things all over you, and it’s gross.”
“I can explain–I’m trying to avoid skin damage, I read about it on USAToday-dot . . . “
Before I can finish she’s yelled “Help!” and Mr. Dorito-Face is back, this time with a can of Mace and a pair of handcuffs.
“What’s the charge, officer?” I say through gritted teeth as he locks my hands behind my back.
“Indecent exposure of a fruit or vegetable,” he says as the woman looks up at him with admiration. “If we let one guy get away with broccoli, the next day the Eurotrash will be down here in their Speedos and alfalfa sprouts.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Vegetables Say the Darndest Things.”