Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sexy Rexy

Yesterday morning, Mom and I went to the Jacksonville Arboretum, a large forested tract with some botanical plantings. I thought our little walk there might be a miserable experience in July, but it actually turned out to be fairly cool and mosquito-free and not at all uncomfortable.

We adjourned afterwards to Red Lobster for lunch, at Mom's request. As we were driving to the restaurant we passed a big orange dinosaur standing in front of a shopping center.

Well, I turned the car right around. How could I not?

"I bet this came from an old mini-golf course," I told Mom as I prepared to photograph it. I looked it up later, as we sat in our booth at Red Lobster, and I found this article. It explains that, sure enough, this dinosaur's home used to be Gooney Golf, and it's stood in this position for about 45 years. When the golf course was torn down, there was a local effort to save "Sexy Rexy" (one of several names proposed for it), and now it is enshrined in front of a strip mall.

It stands on Beach Boulevard at Peach Drive -- yes, the corner of Beach and Peach. I am not making this up.

Those glowing red eyes!

Anyway, as we drove home, we stopped at Target to replace my mom's toilet brush, which I inadvertently broke while cleaning her bathroom. The cheap plastic handle snapped in two! Clearly I don't know my own strength. So I got a super-strong one with a metal handle.

As we pulled out of the shopping center, a man in front of us was putting up the automatic top on his convertible, which looked pretty precarious. We joked that it might fly off and kill us as we drove, leaving us the subjects of a news story: "MOTHER AND SON KILLED BY FLYING CAR ROOF. 'They just bought a very expensive toilet brush,' a witness said."

It can be fun to imagine yourself the subject of news coverage. The day before, having a beer with my brother in his back yard, an afternoon thunderstorm blew up. As we retreated inside we imagined the headline: "BROTHERS IN IDENTICAL 'WAFFLE HOUSE' T-SHIRTS KILLED BY LIGHTNING STRIKE." While drinking cans of beer, no less. That would be a Florida story.

We had dinner with my brother and his family last night (barbecued brisket sandwich!), and now today I'm getting ready to take flight for England. I've got to do a lot of hanging around in airports -- I'll try to avoid another $26 glass of wine, but there are no guarantees. When I come to you tomorrow, I should be back in Blighty with Dave and Olga.

(Bottom photo: A grove of palms at the Arboretum.)


  1. Enjoyed your visit thoroughly. Safe travels.

  2. Sexy Sexy would have had me turning around too! What a sight. Safe travels today!

  3. Can I tell you how much I love this post?
    SO Florida. All of it.
    Sexy Rexy is gorgeous. So are those palm trees.
    I'm glad you didn't die in either of those imagined accidents but yes, they would have made great headlines.
    "Former Florida Man..."
    Safe journeys, my friend.

  4. the headline would have been 'twin' brothers in identical waffle house shirts.

  5. What a great post! And yes, this all sums up Florida nicely!!

    Have a safe trip back home.

  6. hilarious and not far from true headlines from Florida, Florida has the BEST headlines! Glad you got your Mom sorted with a hefty toilet brush, everyone needs one. Sexy Rexy , so worth saving, glad he is still "alive". One of a kind! Safe travels, welcome home.

  7. Safe travels and your thoughts about Florida headlines are spot on!

  8. I love absolutely everything of this post. And I laughed out loud twice.
    Safe journey!

  9. I love those imaginary headlines! More than once I've pictured the headlines if I died doing something stupid. It keeps me from doing stupid things :)

    Your mom must be so happy having you for a visit. You're funny and helpful and kind - the best kind of guest. Have a good trip to the other side of the Atlantic. I'll wave at any airplanes I see going over today - you never know!! Actually, your flight path is likely quite a bit south of us :)

  10. Florida is a world onto itself. Safe travels back to London! I'm sure you have been missed.

  11. I have enjoyed all your vacation posts especially sexy Rexy and the beautiful photos of Savannah. Have a safe trip home and I hope you can snooze on the flight.

  12. Your American postings have been very enjoyable. Apart from family, what do you miss most when you get back to London. Does the small space of our island after the wide spaces of your home turf make you feel claustrophobic ? Do you get homesick for the States ? Anyway, welcome back...

  13. Big gaudy stuff certainly attracts us. Good trip home!

  14. The headlines were great - and highly amusing.
    Once a journalist, always a journalist.


  15. "Steven! What the hell are you doing son? We are supposed to be on our way to Red Lobster! Are you nuts? What ya doing stopping to take a picture of that goddam ugly thing? Now let's go!"

    Sounds like you have had a good time in Florida re-connecting with your family but I can also hear Olga whining for her daddy!

  16. I love the headlines - so hilarious. See, it's very apparent that you were a journalist :)