During all those many weeks that I recounted my trip to Asia in these columns – a trip that lasted only a couple weeks – I’ve been asked what the heck else has been happening in my world by a surprising number of people. That surprising number is zero. Not even my mom.
I think this demonstrates that even if I’m NOT actually The Most Boring Person On Earth, the people who know me think I am, which I believe gives me legitimate claim to the title.
Unfortunately for you, things did happen in my world since I got back from Asia, and I’ll catch you up a little bit here and in future columns.
One fun adventure was a trip to Disney World in Florida. Well, maybe “fun-ish” would be a better adjective. See, we journeyed there for the final spring break of No. 5 son’s compulsory education career. And even though HE chose the destination, he mostly grunted, mmmph’d and eye-rolled at us the entire trip. Thus, “fun-ish.”
On our drive back home, we got a brief introduction to the wonders of “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown”: The Villages. My brother and my sister-in-law retired there in March of 2018, along with my nephew. (Who isn’t retired, since he’s only 37, but who is on the verge of getting his own place to live, which I understand from my brother will amp up their retirement experience substantially from it’s current level of “fun-ish.”)
No, I josh, they are having a whale of a good time in The Villages. My brother and sister-in-law know two or three couples who moved there from their forming stomping grounds, Anderson, Indiana. And my brother even seems to be casually promoting it as an ideal retirement destination for me. It’s not because he needs someone else to do things with; he’d just like to shed the label he’s gained since moving there – The Most Boring Person In The Villages.
Anyway, he sent me home with tons of literature, brochures, pamphlets and such about the place. None of which I could find as I prepared to write this column. Because the wife tossed it all in the trash. She’s not giving a moment’s thought to living in The Villages, saying repeatedly that “It’s full of old people!” (When he hears this comment, No. 5 replies, “Sounds perfect for you guys.”)
Perhaps my most super-favorite piece of literature from The Villages is a tabloid-size, newsprint publication called “The Villages Recreation & Parks News.” It contains the latest dates, schedules and happenings at the many, many, many Recreation Centers; calendars of lifestyle events; and brief descriptions of the many, many, many, many clubs organized by Villages residents.
You’ll note that there are three “manys” used to describe the Recreation Centers. This is because there are 90 of them. You’ll also note that there are four “manys” employed for the clubs. This is not nearly enough actually. Because there are more than 2,400 of them.
The old saw appears to be true: If you live in The Villages and find yourself bored, YOU are the MOST BORING PERSON On Planet Earth.
The tabloid devotes 21 solid pages to club descriptions. This enabled the publishers to promote 739 clubs. (I know this because I’m neurotic as all get out, and I counted them.) This does not include the scads upon scads of various dates, locations and meeting times to play bridge, bunco, mah-jongg, pinochle and zumba. But just think -- another 1,661 clubs didn’t make it into this paper!
A few of my favorite clubs (just from the first half of the alphabetical listings!):
- Three devoted to baton twirling.
- Five aimed at enhancing your skills at belly dancing.
- An even 50 clubs devoted to billiards (with a capital “B” that rhymes with “P” that stands for “Pool”!)
- The Elvis Remembered Club.
- A couple of “Dirty Uno” clubs, which sounds very racy to someone who doesn’t know what “Dirty Uno” is. Like me.
- “Indiana Friends,” for “Hoosiers by birth or choice.”
- The “Messages from Beyond” club: yep, for people getting “signs” from the departed
- And my very favorite of all: “The Gray Owls,” who, on the third Tuesday of each month, travel to Ocala, Florida, to dine on hot wings and cold drinks. At Hooters.