Monday, July 20, 2009



So, I'm from Florida.  I must say I am taken aback by the natural beauty of the beaches of the Florida panhandle every time that I go back to the area that (for better or for worse) I call 'home'.  I check up on the hometown news semi-regularly on  (The New Vision ain't got nuthin' on it!)  Well there is some controversy brewing in the Gulf/Franklin area.  Besides the story about Gulf County's first confirmed case of swine flu--which I'm sure has some people freaking out--there is the story of a giant grouper.  Photo: 

Now that's some fish.  Some people think that it could've been of record-breaking size.  Funny thing:  they didn't weigh it.  I guess they were not out for records, just holiday fishing.  They snapped their photos, alerted the local media (I guess because there's a story in the paper), filleted the king-sized grouper, packed it and went separate ways to Alabama and Kansas.  End of story...

...That is until questions started to bubble up after the story not only ran in the local paper but in a few local papers and a larger regional newspaper.  Was the fish a legal Warsaw grouper or a protected goliath grouper?  Oops!!!  Can't what happened in the Gulf of Mexico stay in the Gulf of Mexico?  Not when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission know what you did this summer.

Investigation is underway.  Now, I think the tourists  really thought that they'd done nothing wrong when they caught this fish; otherwise, they would be some of the dumbest visitors to the coast this summer.  They.  Put.  The.  Photo.  In.  The.  Paper.  But if they are guilty, they could face 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.

Wow!  Small-town news, super fun!

Do you know what else is super fun?  Dressing up as a castaway, donning a homemade banana-fibre hat and having a wiener (made from poultry, no pork or beef) roast.  It takes me back to my days as a pirate marooned on the island of Tutuila in the South Pacific.

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