No Manatees?! Man, What a Tease!

William Toblerone, contributor

Destitute January was followed by Impoverished February back in 2002. It was the winter when I would search my fanny pack for cash so that I could find out what Go-gurt was all about, only to find it empty except for a few rotten kumquats. This was long before my current ultra-wealthy status. Back before I could afford my own 2013 Ford Focus with personal chef in the back seat.

I had repeatedly reached out to my parents, but they wouldn’t help me because they didn’t want to fund my lifestyle of following jam bands and eating heavy psychedelic drugs in a tent. I went to the cops to tell them about my parents’ neglect, but apparently when you’re all growed up your parents can just legally leave you to rot. I haven’t spoken to them since. They should have named me Edmund Fitzgerald, since I was totally abandoned when times got tough.

So I took Warren Buffet’s advice and turned to sports gambling. My pal George and I pooled together all of the money we could find in his brother’s wallet and we placed it on the Patriots to win the Superbowl by exactly three points. They were fourteen point underdogs to the mighty Rams, so a bet this precise could really change our status. Sure enough, when the glitter settled, we had turned $125 into $2,600 dollars.

We decided that we should blow it all on something fun, to take a break from the full time fun-having that had dominated our lives. Somehow we got the itch to swim with manatees in Southwest Florida, so off we went. We called the Crystal Springs Marina to make sure it was the right season. They said they couldn’t talk long because they were being overrun by large gangs of manatees. “It’s wall-to-wall manatees,” they said. “They’re blocking the cash register!”

A plane ride and a rented Yugo later, we were checking out a small motorboat and heading to manatee heaven. It was a shit boat. Steering it was like trying to steer Dave Matthews into a UFC Cage Fight (Dave Matthews is a pussy). As it turned out, there were no manatees in the entire ecosystem. We just ate drugs and stared at mangrove roots through our expensive diving gear.  Jaded, we tried to salvage our trip by driving to Key Largo. I don’t know why Key Largo is the subject of popular lore, because it absolutely sucks ass. Do you like beaches? You do? Well they don’t have any there! Neat-o!

It was a huge waste of our precious gambling treasure. The story has a happy ending though. George and I hit it big soon after by inventing TiVo, thanks to some inspiration that came to us while eating psychedelics and staring at the submerged roots of mangrove trees.

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