Yes, it’s that time of year again for Kentucky. As was the case last year, I’m having trouble finding something worth listening to on the radio, because several radio stations have pre-empted their regular programming to cover basketball and baseball games. In the case of baseball, I started hearing about people playing it locally during the last week of February; evidently the snow and the cold did not bother them. There’s other stuff going on in town, like the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade (tomorrow in downtown Lexington), but the sports definitely get the most attention. Especially today, when the University of Kentucky played Alabama and won by six points. By contrast, when I lived in Orlando, college basketball wasn’t a big deal, and you might never even hear of college baseball.
Speaking of Orlando, I heard this morning that a tornado tore through a golf club in Haines City (a town about thirty miles southwest of Orlando, in Polk County), ripping off the roofs of several condos. I often drove through Haines City in the 1980s and 90s, and sure enough, the tornado struck Greenlefe, the resort I remember from those days. Here’s the latest story I could find; check out the slide show, too.
The other story I heard from Florida is stranger. In Hialeah, a suburb of Miami, followers of a traditional African religion got violently ill after their leader told them to drink the mucus from a giant African snail! I suppose it could only happen in Hialeah (when I worked for Ticketmaster, my dumbest phone calls came from Hialeah), but still you have to wonder where those people got the idea that snail mucus would be good for them. I used to think the practices of Santeria were rather odd, but compared with this, they’re almost mainstream.
Weather-wise, it’s beginning to look like Florida over here. The snow is all gone, and for most of the past week, temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s, meaning that I don’t need a jacket in the afternoon. It was sunny at first, but then got overcast yesterday, and today a line of thunderstorms hit us from the south. Luckily no rain got into the house, but it struck right when it was time to go home from work, so my commute was a challenge. And the afternoon thunder is a sound I need to get used to again; because I heard it many times in Florida, but not in Kentucky.
Finally, since I started by talking about march Madness, do you remember the survey I told you about last month, which claimed that Lexington was the worst city to find love in? This time the same website, The Daily Beast, did a list of the 57 craziest metropolitan areas, rating them by the number of psychiatrists, stress, eccentric behavior, and amount of drinking. Our neighbor to the north, Cincinnati, made #1 on the list, and Louisville is #14. Luckily for me, they didn’t rate Lexington this time. And Orlando was only #50; so much for thinking that life in the shadow of Mickey mouse is unreal. Does anyone remember a silly parade they used to have in Orlando called the Queen Kumquat Sashay, which made fun of Miami’s King Orange Jamboree? I’m sure that if they were still doing the Sashay, Orlando would be higher on the list. This time, the weirdest thing they could find in central Florida was Cassadaga, the little Spiritualist community near DeLand. I guess we can’t trust the judgment of whoever is making The Daily Beast’s lists.