I’m in Highland Beach, FLA, for a long end-of-spring-break weekend, after a Delta nonstop flight from Boston to West Palm Beach that featured in stop in Atlanta. Did we change plans because of maintenance problems? A security issue? So Delta could fill the few empty seats with paying hitchhikers from Hartsfield? All of these reasons circulated. I don’t know why we stopped to change planes, only that we arrived in West Palm at 1:00 PM instead of 10:30 AM. It could be worse. We did arrive. By 2:15 we were eating bagels and cream cheese with Mort and Dalia, by 2:45 I was swimming laps in the pool, and by 3:00 we were walking on the beach, sidestepping dead Portuguese Men 0′ War. The ocean here in March is warmer than the ocean at Plum Island in July, so I had to swim. Twice, keeping a wary eye for hostile sea critters. When our boys were young we visited here annually. I’ve not been here for 15 years, at least. I’m not a huge fan of FLA but for a few days of sun, sea, beach, free accommodations, and good hosts I’ll overcome my principled antipathy. A late afternoon pool-side nap makes Boston’s long winter a memory.
I planned to buy a wireless router and set up a network in this apartment, but there’s no need thanks to the unsecured network provided by the Wallachs, wherever they may live in this development. I promise, Wallachs, that I won’t consume disproportionate bandwidth or download anything illegal while I’m here.
Did you know, by the way, that a Portuguese Man o’ War is not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, a colony of four polyps that work together like a high-functioning SM323 team? There’s the gas-filled bladder polyp visible above the water, the long venom-filled tendrils polyp that stuns small fish and stings the hell out of careless swimmers (I ran into a small one many years ago), the digestive polyp, and the reproductive polyp. That’s amazing. What did these polyps do before they met? It was Kismet when nature brought them together. “Hey, Gas-Filled Bladder! Come over here and meet Venomous Tendrils and Digestive Organ. They came stag, too. The four of us should join up and terrorize small sea ceatures!”