Posted by: guinness222 | May 3, 2010

“….would you like some oil with that vinegar?”

         Well, looks like “the oil cometh”. Latest info I have tells me it will begin here on our shores in about four or five days. It’s not like the Exxon Valdez in that it is not “refined” oil, but oil in it’s raw state, a “latte” color, but not good anyways. It is far thinner than “crude” or refined, and there is more hope for dispersing it than refined like the Valdez. I live about 10 minutes walk to the Gulf of Mexico, and all of the condominiums I manage are right on the Gulf,….beachside, as opposed to across the highway from the Gulf.

         My rental agents are all in a panic because the start of the Tourist season, and second busiest weekend of the year is a scant three weeks away, Memorial Day Weekend, and the cancellations are pouring in already. AS one confided in me Saturday, “If I have to give back all those deposits I’m out of business!”. It is customary to offer all “vacationers, and renters” what is called “cancellation insurance”, so that in the event of a personal emergency, death in the family, etc. they can call and cancel and they get their refunds from the insurance company offering the policy, so the agents doing the rentals at least come out whole if they can not re-rent it in time. Again human nature being what it is,….”Naw, I don’t need that stuff, it’s our vacation and by God we’ll be there, you just guarantee our place is there for us.”

       The worm has turned, and now it’s more like,…

       …..”Ah,..we have to cancel our reservation so please send our refund check to our home address and get it out today .”

       “I’m sorry sir, but you opted out of the cancellation insurance, so all I can do is accept your cancellation and try and re-rent it, but if I can not then your deposit is forfeited.”

      “….You can’t do that. It’s my money and I want it back. I’ll have my attorney sue you and your company into the next millenium and let me tell you honey he never loses!”

      “Sir the contract you signed had specific language in it relative to cancellation, and you did initial the space where you declined to pay for any cancellation insurance,…so there’s nothing I can do.”

     “Listen you B***h!, Do you know how many of my friends come there and rent your places? Or how many hundreds or thousands of dollars we put into your little lazy beach bums economy? Do we object when you screw us on the price of food, gasoline, rent,…even the damn Tee shirts! A $2 tee shirt with your towns name on it for $10! We’re even paying you clowns to advertise for you, and you have the balls to tell me you are not going to refund my money?”

        “Sir, first of all I am not a female dog, therefore your last comment about my genitalia is also incorrect, but all that aside you are not getting S**t back, so get over it and move on with your life.  time you book somewhere and have to put up a $1500 down payment and are offered cancellation insurance which would cost you about $30 think twice before you say something like ‘I don’t need that’, you have a nice day sir.” 🙂 smiling all the way

       But back to the oil spill. I’ve received e-mails about special “oiled” wildlife stations that will be set up to clean the little birds etc.,….and I should not attempt to touch them but call the 800 number and a professional will come out and rescue and re-hab the critters. There have also been a real flurry of e-mails with the “nouveau American” mentality running rampant that go something like this; ….”there will be a meeting tomorrow and six attorneys will be conducting a panel to advise everyone how to file claims for damages and “loss of income” against all the companies involved and will be giving out lists of the names addresses and telephone numbers of those companies. All of the Attorneys coming, by the way, will be available to be retained by any of you to protect your interests and preserve your rights with the proper legal notifications and proceedings.”

         Just got an e-mail, as I’m writing this, giving me the “Claims and procedures for the “Deep Water Horizon” incident and the associated “800” toll free phone number to call and register them.

        OK, so where do I stand and what’s my opinion? Glad you asked,…here it is.

        While I was an old Boy Scout and the Scout motto of “Be Prepared”  still applies, but what I’m seeing, and reading, and sensing in conversations is P-A-N-I-C. Particularly amongst the rich and wealthy. I speak a lot about the government of this country turning Socialistic  very quickly, and I hear the loudest criticisms of that from the “rich and famous”, the moneyed folks. About how they are being overtaxed, and they stand to lose more than anyone else, and about how unfair it is. But guess what? As this whole thing with the oil spill progresses them “rich folk” are right up front yelling for claims screaming for their piece of the pie first before anyone else, and before a single drop of oil is even on the horizon, or within 48-72 hours of being on the horizon they want guarantees, they want it written in blood that they will be made whole. That the $6,000 worth of weekly rentals they usually get from ONE property alone are reimbursed them, and for every week they don’t have a renter, (which could be for a few years if this is not handled and spillage stopped within the next 30 days. Nevermind the cleanup, that’s going to be in the billions anyway. We will have folks employed here for years to come, washing oil from seagulls, fishermen who will be getting paychecks for the catch they “would have made” before the oil spilled for years to come even, but the biggest los will be that of our sugar white sands, which in all probability will become brown, the little globs of crap we will get on the soles of our feet and be tracking into everywhere we go, and trying to rebuild a tourist industry worth billions amongst people being inundated with how big the “total disaster” around here is!

       I’m not saying wait until the oil comes ashore, I’m not saying just sit on the beach chair and watch the sea creatures who can no longer fly just flop around on the sand, I’m not saying that. What I am saying is FIRST,….stop the damn spill, secondly contain it as best we mere mortals may be able to, and third, begin the cleanup process,……THEN, and ONLY THEN let’s take a hard look at who is hurt, and how badly, and then let’s do what we can for them who really need it.

        Even if I “hit the lottery” for millions and millions, I’m still the same “local guy”. Perhaps years ago I did have a little spell where the money went to my head and I had a “better than thou” attitude, but I assure you that now, as I have more time to reflect and “value” life on this “big blue marble” we call earth, the more I know the who, and the where, and the how and the why of what we should do for whomever.

          Granted the “rich guy” with the $2.5 million dollar beachfront place to rent out for $6,000 a week, made an investment and should rightly expect a return on that investment. But what of the single mom with a three year old, waiting tables as a third job, cleaning houses as a second, and trying to complete college, and still being a “Mom”? What of the guys who “gut” and clean the fish the “rich and famous” spent a half day catching, most of which they will just throw away and not eat. And what of the retail clerks, line cooks, rental agents, real estate agents, and everyone else whose earning power here is going to plummet worse than the stock market in 2008.

        Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, “Tip” O’Neill once observed “All politics are local,  don’t ever forget that.” Sure CNN and the Weather Channel and all the pundits in the media are flogging this horse to death, but each flog, in the name of “news coverage” has become painted with the brush of sensationalism for the past fifty years, and it’s getting worse. I liken it to back in high school. When a girl was labeled “easy” that was the kiss of death, for no one would ever openly counter that impression, no one would ever “publically” seek to change that,…. and forever more the ultimate question will be asked in years to come,….whatever happened to?

       I fear this may be our future here is the powers that be can not find a correction for this, AND insure it can not happen again. We enter the annual “Hurricane” season in less than thirty days, and for the next six months it will be a gigantic balancing act. Should we have an “active” season and suffer any serious storms, between the oil, which may or may not have been stemmed, but will be floating on the Gulf of Mexico, and a Hurricane,….well I’m not going to think about it too much, for I can not alter nature. BUT I will be praying that “the BIG Guy” really has some compassion as we would really need it if these forces combined together on us at this time.

-30-

      On the bright side, I suppose that would give me more time to write!


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