Whatever I might say about bicyclists, etc., tourists generally have always been congenial, happy, easy to get along folk. Key West is kumbaya time. Tourists and locals alike enjoying.
This season is developing into an exception. Or, it might be a few rotten apples in the basket at the same time.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the conversation among locals at the Chart Room one evening suggested tourists this year were rude. Not my experience as yet at the time.
Last week, I was at the round table with Sheila, Jean and several other friends. There was one empty seat. Sheila was saving it for a friend who was coming. An acceptable custom at the Chart Room.
A “gentleman” came over and asked if the chair was in use. He wanted to take it. Sheila told him she was saving it for a friend who was coming. He got mad and said something nasty. Sheila was immediately in his face. You don’t screw with Sheila!
Last night was my experience with rude impolite tourists.
Three in one night.
It started at the outside bar at La Te Da. I was having dinner. Tonto bartending. Some fellow walked up and stood near me. Before you knew it, he was berating me for being a Jew. Me and my people were the cause of world problems. Especially in the Middle East and Europe. Told me my kind did not belong in Key West.
He would not stop mouthing off.
Tonto looked at me as if to say do you want me to handle it. I nodded my head no. Figuring he would go away. He did. Too many minutes later. I had to put up with him for 15 minutes.
Ran into Kate Miano. She was having dinner at La Te Da in the outdoor dining area. Kate owns the Gardens Hotel. Always a pleasure to see her. One of the nicest and most charming persons in Key West.
After dinner, I went into the inside bar. Music playing. Someone singing. People dancing.
There were no seats available. No problem. Bar stools all taken. As were the tables.
Standing room only.
The only place to stand was between the bar and tables. An area that easily holds a dozen people standing.
One problem. If you are seated at the bar, the standers block your view of the dancers.
I did not design the room.
I stood in the standing area. Watching the dancers. Suddenly, I felt someone slap me on the back. Neither soft nor hard. In between. I turned around expecting it to be someone I knew. It was not. A bar seated lady asked me to move. She could not see. I did the best I could. However, there really was no place to move. I probably was able to move a foot to the side.
In seconds, I feel a finger in my back. It was the woman’s lady friend. She could not see. Arrogantly told me to move.
Enough was enough. I said if you wish to watch the dancing, I will gladly surrender my standing spot to you if you will give me your bar stool. And please, do not touch me again.
I got a dirty look. However, no more plodding, pushing and complaining by them.
I cannot recall in my 26 years of Key West ever running into any rude tourists. Some locals, yes. Last night it had to be three. Hope that is it for the season!
This week’s KONK Life hit the stands yesterday. My column titled Things That Concern Me. I wrote the column last sunday. One of the topics was wasteful military spending.
Read an article on the internet this morning covering the same issue. It was published yesterday. Titled: A Golden Age for Pentagon Waste. Perhaps military spending is on the verge of becoming an up front concern. I doubt it, however. Too much money involved and too many politicians getting fat.
Enjoy your day!