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Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Burbs

There are three cities in "The Tri-City Area"; Clearwater, St. Petersburg (St. Pete) and Tampa. There are many little towns scattered around them all.

In Pinellas, the various towns include Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, and Belleair. These 'sleeper' communities are places to come home to. I happen to live in one, but have always worked in one of the major cities (with few exceptions).

None of the cities has much of an identity. Largo and Seminole are supposedly more middle to upper-middle class, Safety Harbor and Belleair are seen as more upper-class, and Pinellas Park is viewed as a lower-class community (though there are exceptions, of course).

Most of the towns' governments are pleasantly quiet and leave their citizens alone for the most part (excepting taxes). And most citizens wouldn't be able to name a single mayor or councilman unless they lived next door.

There was a brief scandal about a year ago when the exceedingly unattractive city leaders of Seminole posed nude for a calendar (thanks to the idea they got from a movie that had just come out about elderly women posing nude for a calendar). It died rather horribly (the calendars weren't exactly a hot commodity), and I know one of the men who posed for it so I can tell you that it died for a good reason. The general consensus (among anyone who cared) was that it was just downright tacky and somewhat silly. Here's a picture of good ole Jimmy Johnson, the head of the Seminole Chamber. Now, would you want to see him butt naked? I don't think so.

The other cities' leaders make money the good old-fashioned way: raising taxes and setting the police out on the streetcorners to ticket the citizens for minor infractions.

In Largo this year, they temporarily took a large intersection and forbid anyone turning on red on one (and one only) of the four corners. When people did it from years of habit (in Florida you can turn on red unless otherwise posted) they got ticketed. Finally the police decided to move the forbidden corner to another corner of the intersection and the original corner was freed up again... So that they could start writing a new batch of tickets, I suppose. Luckily, I never got one of those tickets. I've often wondered if the people who got the original tickets could argue against it, since the police were obviously playing musical chairs with that intersection and couldn't seem to make up their minds.

But you'll never find The Burbs in a riot. For the most part, you'll never hear of their scandalous mayor (unless he's fool enough to pose naked). You'll never read of how a city councilman was caught in a hotel room snorting cocaine with an expensive hooker. Disappointing? Perhaps, but that's why we live in The Burbs.

17 comments:

FTS said...

I think Dan Akroyd made a movie about the 'burbs several years ago. Any relation? ;)

Saur♥Kraut said...

FTS, I loved that movie! There are some truly weird things that go in the burbs, that's for sure. We've had a couple suicides on our street (which is upper middle class) and it just goes to show that things like this happen more frequently that we'd like to think. As for murders, they happen too, I suppose, but none that are local to me. I do have a child molestor down the street, though! :P

Ted said...

I just wanted to thank you for Alison Brown music. I also loved the Spin Doctors. They played here once and I had 2 young girls come up to me at the concert wondering why old guys were at the show "are you a narc?" NO,JUST LIKE THE MUSIC,THANKS

uncle joe said...

Methinks you're trying to get all of us to move to Florida.
I saw Ted on a calendar once......
just once...

Eddo said...

Ha Ha. I saw Calendar Girls... I never want to see the Sequel, Calendar Men, I see that all the time at the gym and I think it is odd how men don't have any qaulms about walking around naked even when they look like a hawaiian sumo wrestler without the tan.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

When people die, do you make them go back where they came from? Or is cremation required? Are there big taxes on dying? Seems like a good source of revenue would be to make people pony up if they die, since they can't take it with them. Or, how about a calendar of naked dead people?

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Some strange and funny stuff!

R2K said...

Congrats on making the hot blogs list man...

R2K

Ellen said...

Musical stoplights??? Now that is funny... but I suppose not to the people who have to drive around down there.

I agree about the butt shots of the counsil members... no thank you. Brad Pitt maybe.....

Lovely post, as always!

Kathleen said...

Agree! Good post. Bad calendar! ;)

Fred said...

And in Tampa, of course, there is "New Tampa." We send all the money to City Hall, and it never seems to make it back in any meaningful manner.

I'm ready to secede.

Senor Caiman said...

Saur,
Excellent post. I love taking the Wave Runners on Lake Seminole and riding the train at Largo Central Park. These areas are certainly consistent.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

I bet that was quite a calender!

Can you imagine if the Bush adminisration put one of those out!
My imagination running wild.

BTW: I like the musical touch to the blog now, Saur! Very Floridian!

AP3 said...

Those nude calendars... sheesh. No thanks.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I'd rather have pictures of THEM nude than of ME nude. Everything is relative. What I remember best about that area is the long bridge across the bay. It is like driving on water in a way.

Ellen said...

Saurkraut- Consider yourself modified at dailymess! Whew!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

A naked mayor sounds good to me.