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FRONT PORCH PERSPECTIVES: 2019 Spring Trip to Florida

April 4, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Stephen Somerville

Before this column returns next week to the local themes of people, politics and public affairs, below are some unconnected, stream-of-conscious and (most likely) incoherent musings and observations regarding our annual family trip to Florida.

The reflections from our just finished family vacation to Disney World can be broken down into two areas: t-shirts and my rather well known (and soundly ridiculed) prognosticating ability.

One of my favourite pasttimes when I am in Florida is to read the t-shirts of people at the various Disney World theme parks or on the Cruise ships.

T-shirts – like bumper stickers – say a lot about people. They are a way for individuals to express their individuality and to make a particular statement.

Witness a couple of the slogans that I saw on previous trips:

“You can either be: a.) Gun Victim, or b.) Gun Owner – You Decide”. This kind of caught my attention. The gentleman wearing this shirt was a slightly built, unassuming guy pushing a middle-aged woman in a wheelchair. Made me wonder what his story was.

I saw a sixty-five-year-old man wearing a “Give Tiger a break, Obama is screwing the whole country” shirt. Although he was supposed to be in the self proclaimed “Happiest Place on Earth”, he did not look at all happy and I did not see a wife or any children with him.

One of my favourite shirts, and I saw two different people wearing them, said “I reserve the right to arm bears.” These shirts had a picture on the front of a huge grizzly bear holding a shotgun.

I was not disappointed this year in my continuing quest to find interesting t-shirts.

I saw a thirty something year old man wearing a t-shirt that said – “I’m busy – you’re ugly – have a nice day,” although he himself was not particularly handsome.

I saw an older man wearing a t-shirt that said, “I am an Enginner, Angineer, Engenner, I am Good At Math!”

I saw another man, probably early 20s in age, wearing a t-shirt that said: “Did I ask for your opinion? No, I didn’t think so”

Another man was wearing a great t-shirt; it had a picture of a bride and groom on the front and above it was the words “GAME OVER”. This was priceless. I wanted my own t-shirt. But in addition to the picture of the bride and groom I would include a small boy and the t-shirt would say “GAME NOW REALLY OVER”.

A teenage lady was wearing a t-shirt that read – “I am ignoring your text”. Another young lady’s t-shirt said “Peace, Love and Wifi”.

A teenage boy was wearing a t-shirt that read – “To Do: 1.) Wake Up, 2.) Look Awesome”.

My favourite t-shirt though was worn by a middle aged man. It said “I see you are playing stupid again…and you are winning”.

I also got into the act this year wearing a t-shirt that I had picked up in Cayuga, ON a couple of years back during a drag racing event. On the front it had a logo of the racing team and on the back it said “I did not want to tell my mom that I was drag racing so I told her I was in prison for twenty years”.

This t-shirt did elicit a number of good-natured comments from fellow vacationers.

Usually I see a number of political t-shirts on my U.S. sojourn, Two years ago I saw a couple of “Clinton for President” and “Cruz for President” shirts, and I also spotted a few “Trump – Make America Great Again” t-shirts as well as one lady wearing a “Trump – Make America Hate Again” t- shirt. However, this year, I did not spot one such t-shirt.

Although I did not see the following t-shirt on this particular trip, a number of years ago down in Florida I spotted a guy with my all time favourite t-shirt “Nixon and Agnew – Rested, Relaxed and Ready to Roll in 92”.

The last component to our trip was the NCAA men’s basketball tournament – also commonly referred to as “March Madness”.

Everyone down in Florida was talking about the sixty-eight team field and the preparation of their office pool brackets.

I am also a big college hoops fan and I was able to catch a number of pre-tournament games on TV.

I predict that the Duke Blue Devils will win the Championship Game a couple of weeks from now.

Stephen can be contacted at



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