Halloween 2005 - My 1st Day Back to Work After the Hurricane

In the midst of the Python Scare, another, even greater terror loomed offshore, swirling in the Gulf of Mexico, seemingly far, far away from the gates and royal palms of Wide Lawns Country Club. There was a hurricane. The Python has been long forgotten. It may have even died in the storm, but after this devastation, no one is, luckily, remembering that there was once a snake on the loose.

One week ago, Hurricane Wilma tore through Wide Lawns and its surrounding areas and just made a complete mess of things. Today is my first day back to work in over a week, which is why there have been no recent postings. We didnt have power, or TV, or any Internet access at all, and actually, most people around here still dont. Wide Lawns just got lucky. Where I live, in a normal neighborhood, without gates and armed guards, I just got power back, but I still have no cable or computer. Its so bad that most people's cell phones dont even work.

That said, theres nothing like a fantastic disaster to really get the Wide Lawn residents in a tizzy. There are plenty of tales to tell of Wide Lawns in the aftermath of Wilma, and I am proud to announce that a full scale war is brewing between the President of the HOA and the General Manager of the Club over how the hurricane was handled (badly, naturally). Wide Lawns sustained a lot of damage and many of the trees are down and blocking the roads.

For the first time ever, Wide Lawns was without power for four entire days. This is particularly notable because the Wide Lawns denizens falsely believe that they are on a special power grid which is guaranteed to never go out. Obviously this is not true, or even possible, but they all believe that because they are the richest and the whitest in Basura that FPL actually affords them some privilege to maintain electricity in even the most dire of natural disasters. They were outraged that their electricity was out - I mean, isnt this what they pay such high dues for? My God. Forget the hospitals and old folks homes, Wide Lawns should be the priority. There were many complaints and many inquiries about what happened to the "special power grid" of urban legend.

In the midst of Hurricane Wilma all sort of panicked dramas played out, many of which I am still trying to catch up with. Perhps the greatest drama of all is taking place between the General Manager of the Club and the President of the HOA, the dear Rob Kayt. The General Manager is a weasely looking, late 30 something, typical Basura type of guy. You know, the sort who would never do his own yard work and whose toddlers already wear Louis Vuitton and love sushi. His name is Princeton Grating and he is, in my opinion, an all around jerk. He seems like he would live in Wide Lawns, but surprisingly he doesnt. I think he has been raised in the world of County Clubs and loved this lifestyle so much he made a career out of it. I just found out the other day that he makes $250,000.00 a year. Can you imagine? As soon as I found out that figure I starting working it out in my head how much per week, per month, that really is, and what I would do if I had that kind of a salary. He makes my entire year's salary in like 6 weeks. Maybe 5.

Anyway, Princeton Grating is a tyrannical idiot who forces his employees in the Clubhouse to eat in the employee cafeteria which only serves food leftover from banquet affairs days before. They dont make them any new, fresh food. There have been several instances of food poisoning and he still wont relent. They cant bring their own food and he doesnt provide any refrigerator or microwave for them if they wanted to bring something else. They also arent allowed to use the nice bathrooms in the Clubhouse and have to use this one industrial, prison type of facility that is unisex and in the middle of the admin offices, so if someone poos it smells up the entire copy room and everyone knows who did it. Thats just a travesty to me, a person who values poo privacy. For a Christmas bonus they each get $25.00 with taxes taken out which ends up being about $16.37. You could maybe order a pizza with that. Since they were out for a week for the hurricane, if they want to get paid they have to use their vacation days. It makes me very happy to work in the HOA with Rob Kayt as my boss, who pays us for disasters, who lets us eat whatever we want and poo wherever we have privacy (which needs to be a whole separate post in and of itself sometime soon).

Rob Kayt is a do it yourself kind of man. I have often wondered why he lives here, but I know the answer. Its his wife Monique. Rob married into the Club life. Before this he was a good ole southern boy in Georgia, making his own money and really working for it. In the hurricanes he goes out with his chainsaw and starts cutting down limbs instead of calling someone and whining about when are the landscapers coming. Last year he cut his leg open with the chainsaw and didnt even want to go the hospital. He's just a good, down to earth person. His wife is another story altogether. After the first day with no power she jetted off to Palm Springs and left him with their 15 year old daughter, to fend for himself.

So Mr. Kayt is ticked at Mr. Grating because during the hurricane Mr. Grating would not let our security guards have any gasoline for their security vehicles. Now mind you, the whole time, the security guards were here at Wide Lawns instead of home with their own families. They were freeing people trapped in their houses by downed trees and they were clearing the streets in case firetrucks needed to pass. They were doing real work and they were genuinely helping and protecting people who needed it. Mr. Grating put padlocks on all the cabinets and refrigerators in the Clubhouse so that the guards couldn't get anything to eat. There were no places open to buy food during the storm so they had nothing to eat. Their trucks ran out of gas from constant patrolling to make sure everyone was safe. The Club actually has some gas tanks, but refused to allow security to fill up their trucks because the golf course lawn mowers needed it!! Can you imagine. I dont think anyone is going to be cutting the lawns or for that matter, playing golf any time soon, and if Mr. Grating hadn’t noticed there really isnt much grass left because it was all stripped away by 130 mile per hour winds. Then the Club got 700 gallons of gas a few days later and only let the security guards take 20 gallons, which is all of about 1 1/2 trucks. It was awful. If Princeton Grating had been on The Apprentice he would have so been fired for this debacle.

Ron Kayt is on the war path. He wants Mr. Grating fired for this and I think he is right. Mr. Grating needs to go. Even I could have handled the situation better.

Now someone is saying that during the hurricane there was a robbery. The sad thing is that we all know it’s not a real robbery. Its insurance fraud, however, now we can use that and say that if the trucks had been given gas they could have patrolled more and prevented the "robbery".

On my first day back to work I have received numerous calls from hysterical people wanting me to personally come out and remove the remaining debris from their yards. They demand to know when it will all be gone. They live in Wide Lawns after all, the city of Basura should come immediately and make sure this place is back to its original state of landscape perfection. I have not seen one single person out doing their own yard work. They just cower inside and wait for someone else to tidy it all up so they can come back out again.

The funny thing is, there seem to be a whole new generation of Muscovy ducks parading around. I wonder if the storm blew them back in this direction.