Saving Endangered Species in FL


So, about the Bar. I went out to one of the better local restaurants. It will remain nameless for reasons you will understand shortly. It was an out door affair, with enough wind blockage that I felt comfortable, as did the folks next to me from Minnesota you bet…. The locals were bundled up like Eskimos.

In the Florida Keys there is an endangered species called the Florida Key Deer. Now, they make pies out of Florida Key Limes, why can’t they do the same with the deer? (I hate deer, as you can understand).

Anyway, back at the bar, there were a couple of fixtures at the end of the bar talking about one of the local residents. This local resident was also a fixture at the bar. He is also from an endangered species. That is the *Florida Key Wood Rat*. Yep, he had holed up under the beer cooler. Apparently, they spend most of their time elsewhere, but when it gets cold they snuggle up under the warm motors of the beer coolers. There was a lot of food on the floor. They LOVE french fries. Oyster crackers are also on the menu. While we were watching *him* I counted at least 3 that were there, maybe more.

Exactly WHY would there be so much food on the floor of a nice clean restaurant? Why, we were putting it there of course. The bar maid helped. As did the general manager of the place.

So, exactly how does one do the environmentally correct thing of saving this poor endangered animal? Well one tries to catch it, doesn’t one.

One of the fixtures went to get his *Scooby*. This was a small, child’s Scooby Doo fishing pole with a very small hook on the end of the line. Yep, these guys were going fishing. The bait was small bits of french fries. These were too light to cast, so the bar maid had to be called over to extend the line over to where the fish, err Squirrels were. You see, the bar maid did not want us yelling out *RATS* in the bar, so I renamed them squirrels. I want to go on record that I REALLY expressed my opinion that fishing for squirrels was a BADDDDDD Idea.

I paid my bill just in case things got out of control and leaving was the best bet. Lets see, a rat caught on a hook in a bar with bottles and glasses everywhere, and plenty of customers. What could happen? The bait was cast, err, carried. The *fishermen* waited patiently. A little chum was placed into the water (uhh, crackers on the floor). A nose pokes out from underneath, then another, then one *squirrel*, oh hell, RAT, comes out and grabs a cracker, then the other reaches out and bites the fry with the hook. Back it runs under, the rod is yanked to set the hook. The bold FisherMan (RatMan???, RatterMan???) fights with the tiny pole to pull in his catch. Did I mention that the stools at this bar were fishing chairs, complete with rod holders, but no harness? The struggle is immense. Man against beast. It is a stand off. Eventually the Bar Maid came over and pulled the hook out from under the beer cooler. Lost another one. This went on for quite a while. Bait is cast, bait is taken, RatMan is fooled again. Eventually the rats stopped taking the bait. Smart rats them. That did not stop the fisherman. What exactly does that say?. Well, eventually the beer ran out and everyone went to another bar.

I could not tell you if the fishing was better in the next bar, as I left for my mom and pop motel where I am currently writing this. Although, I have to say I am learning a lot more about fishing than I really want to know from the guys in the next room. The walls in this mom and pop are a little thin. They talked until 2am.

For what it is worth, I would recommenced this hotel for anyone looking for a clean CHEAP place to stay in the area. The owners are very nice and the place is plenty good enough. If I was staying a shorter period of time I would definitely stay here and would be interested in doing so in the future. Although if I was here for more than a night I would have to talk to the neighbors about their noise. I could just talk to them through the walls.