J.W. Whitehouse – Sebring, FL


(Scott Hollifield, who often graces this page with his incoherent ramblings, is on vacation.)
Before leaving, Scott sponsored a contest to write a replacement column.  I decided to write about my recent trip to the Miami Monkey Jungle.
My parents had recently helped me purchase my first car, a well-used 1970 Dodge Charger R/T.  I was cruising the back roads towards Miami, listening to the Greatest Duets of Waylon Jennings and Alanis Morissette, when “POOF, flop, flop, flop”, yeah, that’s right, a flat tire.  As I rolled to a stop right beside a large goat ranch, my dog Chobee sailed out the window.  Little did I know that Chobee had descended from a long line of goat herders, and she proudly demonstrated her abilities while I worked on the tire.
Just then a fierce rainstorm struck.  Drenching wet and covered in mud, I finally got the spare on, only to discover I had locked the keys in the trunk.  Having few other options, I opened the trunk loudly with my Dad’s .357 Magnum.
Having retrieved the keys, I fired up the Dodge, but was now hopelessly stuck in the mud.  As luck would have it, a burly Florida State Trooper pulled-up alongside.  He asked for my license and registration, which Chobee had shredded just prior to the flat tire.  Apparently my temporary paper tag had blown-off too, and it was dawning on me that I might be in a tight spot.
After the tire, the goats, the rain, the trunk, the mud and now this, I decided a wise course of action would be to try humor, so I politely asked the trooper if he was interested in being beaten with a car jack.  Much to my relief, he thought this was amusing and let me off with a warning. He even pulled me out with the logging chain I kept in my trunk for such occasions. 
As he leaned in the window to say goodbye, Chobee, having innate perfect timing and a nose full of goat dander, cut loose with a monumental sneeze, coating the trooper with mud, dog snot, goat dander and the remains of half a ham sandwich which she had eaten for breakfast.  It was at this point that I decided to cut my losses and head for home.
I stopped at the video store to pick up some light entertainment and selected Zombie Flesh Eaters and She-Wolf of the SS.  My friend, Wen Su, examined my selections and exclaimed, “You no like Burt Reynolds?”  Why, yes, I admitted, I in fact did have a certain admiration for old Burt. “Humble to beg pardon, we run special on Burt Reynolds today only”.  I grabbed Stroker Ace and Cannonball Run, paid Wen Su, and hurriedly left the store. 
I was backing out when, “BAM, Screeeeeeeech”, yeah, that’s right, I’d been sideswiped, and by a 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500 Police Interceptor, no less.  Well, who should step out but a visibly shaken Christie Brinkley. Christie was apologizing and near tears; I told her to calm down and take it easy, (what with the divorce and everything), but she insisted on paying.
So I called my buddy Paul to come down and give us an estimate.  Well he walked up and down beside the Charger, took some pictures with his sister’s Polaroid camera, removed a TI-1030 from his back pocket, punched in some numbers, and announced that he thought he could talk his Uncle Fred into fixing it for about $10,000.00. 
After Christie handed me the check, I told her to be sure to ask Wen Su about the special on Burt Reynolds movies. She rolled her eyes and muttered something about having enough problems without watching stupid movies about a womanizing…
Paul and I went straight to the bank, cashed the check, and split the money. We bought a case of beer and two bags of red-hot pork cracklins, (and a ham sandwich for Chobee), which we consumed in my parent’s garage while I told him about my trip.
So if you ever go to the Miami Monkey Jungle, leave your dogs at home friends, leave your dogs at home.

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