The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, December 22, 2003

AN APPRECIATION FOR THE SEEDY
I figured my succinct account of this past weekend in South Florida would be well-received by whoever's out there reading this blog. But I never expected such glowing praise as I got from Lisa Williams at Learning the Lessons of Nixon, who felt my flowin' prose was reminiscent of the late mystery writer Charles Willeford:

My heart leaped with joy when I read this as I realized I had a new source for descriptions of seedy, beer-soaked South Florida frontons, something that is surpassingly rare here in my frosty, self-possessed homeland of Massachusetts.

Always happy to supply a demand. However, I have to clear up a little fuzziness: I don't live in South Florida, despite some local geographical confusion. I live in the Tampa Bay area, which is properly classified as West-Central Florida. Two different worlds, in a lot of ways.

Now, Tampa and environs have plenty of shady credentials of their own. Whenever I hear the words "seedy" and "Tampa" together, I think of ex-NFLer Dexter Manley's autobiography, "Educating Dexter", wherein he calls Tampa a "seedy town". Of course, considering he wound up in the Big Guava playing for the then-woeful, orange-clad Buccaneers as a result of a league suspension over cocaine use, I can't blame him for having bad vibes toward Tampa. (And let's face it, given Manley's post-football life, he's an authority on rating seediness.)

Then again, if it helps Lisa and others like her, I'll be only too glad to take regular jaunts down south--schedule permitting. (Maybe I'll even take the picturesque Tamiami Trail route.) Or, to save on travel time, I'll just spend more time in the local seedy joints.