Off Key: From missing the beat to grannies’ deceit

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By Robert Frederickson

Footloose in Sarasota? Not so much …

The Sarasota County school board had some good news last week for high school seniors who have sacrificed so much this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There WILL be a senior prom this year.

 There’s just one thing: no dancing allowed.

 Just how do you have a prom without dancing? Beats me. But the school board has an answer:

 You compensate with games and other “fun” activities (…with appropriate social distancing guidelines in place, of course). Oh…and don’t forget your masks. They’re required. Principals will also have the option of requiring temperature checks before entry of students at their individual schools.

 Sounds like every teenager’s dream, no?

 Kevin Bacon could not be reached for comment.

… And may Howard be with you …

Radio talk-show host Stacy Washington and her listeners were talking on a recent broadcast about some of the entertaining things young children are inclined to blurt out on occasion. One listener called in with a story about a conversation she had with her young son in which she had invoked the name of God.

 The 4-year-old boy said, “You mean Howard?”

 The startled young mother replied, “Howard?” Who told you God’s name was Howard?”

 To which the boy responded by dutifully reciting the Lord’s Prayer he had recently learned, “Our Father who art in heaven, Howard be thy name…”

Bumper sticker spotted east of town …

Eat Beef: The west wasn’t won on salads.

Or another of my favorites:


 It’s the Law!”

Teaching by example?

Sebring High School teacher Arial Reed, 30, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old-male student in her classroom, in her car, in her home….

 Reed was hired by Sebring High in 2019 to teach … (wait for it) … critical thinking.

It’s a dog’s life …

Perhaps you heard about Lady Gaga’s dog walker being attacked at gunpoint by two dog nappers who made off with the singer’s two prized French bulldogs and leaving her dog walker for dead after pumping two bullets into his chest. Amazingly, he survived the attack.

 Gaga tweeted shortly after the attack that she would pay a $500,000 reward for the safe return of her pups. 

Fine. I get it. We all love out pets. But what about a reward for information leading to the arrest of the mutt who shot your dog walker?

$61,000 … for a tent?

Let’s hope Sarasota doesn’t take a page from San Francisco’s playbook in dealing with its homeless population. That city just approved spending $16 million for 262 tents to keep up with its burgeoning homeless population. That works out to $61,000 per tent. Now if you head to the Dick’s Sporting Goods on University Parkway, its top-of-the-line tent retails for $519 for a massive 12-person extravaganza.

So how does San Fran get to a $61,000 price tag? Well, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, if you’re homeless in Frisco, you’re not simply entitled to a tent, but individual bath facilities to go along with it.

Throw in food service and security and you end up with a taxpayer-funded program with a monthly expense of $5,085 per individual. Now housing costs are high in the city. Still, the median price of a one-bedroom apartment in the city is just over $2,000 per month…


More fake grannies on the loose …

We reported in this space a while back about teens dressing up as senior citizens to score beer and wine at their local convenience stores; now comes word of two young ladies disguising themselves as grannies not to score alcohol but rather to get COVID-19 vaccine shots. It happened up I-4 in Orange County outside Orlando. The two must have done a pretty good job with their disguises though, since they reportedly made it through the first round of the vaccine regimen, only to get nabbed when they returned for their second shots.

 Too bad they hadn’t gotten the Johnson & Johnson one-and-done vaccine … if so they would have been home free.

Time-shifting blues

According to Allstate Insurance, fatal car crashes increase 6 percent in the week following the return to daylight saving time each spring. And according to cardiologist Dr. Thomas Boyden, there’s also an increase in heart attacks and stroke after we “spring forward” each year.

 So why do we do keep partaking in this bi-annual time-shifting ritual? We’re not at war with the Kaiser anymore (which purportedly led to the first U.S. adoption of the policy as a means of conserving energy in 1917).

 No one seems to offer a convincing or even widely agreed upon reason for not simply sticking with daylight saving year-round, though the proposition of school-age kids not having to walk to school in the dark is probably the one that makes the most sense.

But while that might be true in the fall and early winter, it falls flat this time of year when the sun doesn’t come up until around 7:30 a.m., and kids will still be in school for another couple of months.

 Still, Florida senators Rubio and Scott have tried again, introducing legislation in Congress in recent weeks to allow Florida to stay on DST year-round; but if I had to bet, I’d put my money on them striking out…again.


 One of life’s little mysteries I suppose. Or perhaps just another example of governmental inertia. Politicians love passing bills. But repealing them? Where’s the fun in that?

John Morton
Author: John Morton

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