July 7, 2008


I got SICK and missed 90% of the fun with Kira and Mir. Including a Bridezilla marathon. SO. TODAY, I am going to whine about an unrelated tpopic and stuff homoepathic gels up my nose.

When my family first moved to the Gulf Coast, there was already a fishing pier on Navarre beach. It had been up for decades. Then Hurricane Ivan happened in 2004, and Ivan was bad. Flying into Pensacola after, I said to the woman next to me, “I know this is Florida, but have you ever seen so many pools? Almost every house has one!”

As we got closer, I realized I was wrong. The ACTUAL pools had no water and weren’t terribly visible from the plane. What almost every house had was a bright blue rectangular chunk of TARP where the roof used to be.

Before the Navarre beach could recover, Hurricane Dennis came roaring through and tore the poor fishing pier yet another new one. I think those rowdy ladies were ticked about being given BOY names when it is patently obvious to anyone who has ever been out in one that a HURRICANE is a GIRL STORM. (Tornados, on the other hand, are all male. If you do not believe me, run up to a tornado and call it Doris. See if it doesn’t whirl your car away and drop it on your mother, or at the very least, slam a cow into your house.)

Anyway, when both angry storms were over, Navarre Pier looked like this:


It STILL looks like that. Yes. In 2008.

The county was all set to build a NEW pier, and they had a budget and a plan and were moving forward when the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reared up wearing tiny little skirts and fluttering pom pons made of thousands of strings of red tape. “RAH RAH REE!” They hooted, “WE NEED A “biological assessment! It will cost millions of dollars, and we are not even going to be specific about what you should assess! Or how you should assess it! GO, TEAM!” Then they did flips.

In OTHER words, they want to know what putting a pier up where a pier has stood for more than half a century will do to the fish.

Well, let’s see. I recently completed a study where the parameters were “Go to Navarre and look at this ruined dangerous pier dropping chunks of itself and swaying over the tourists. Watch people fish from the beach. Watch people catch ladyfish, pompano, and ALMOST one BIG-BUTT MONSTROUS bull shark.” Here is my “Biological assessment,” which seeks to answer the question:


My patented radical Doom-meter needle barely moved. It didn’t even get past diddly into SQUAT territory.

ALTHOUGH – it is true the new pier would do nothing very good for the fish that people CATCH while standing on the fishing pier with hooks and line and bait. Those particular fish will be eaten, and if they are pompano, can I come to your place for dinner? Still, it’s not like those guys aren’t there anyway, wading out in rubber pants and pulling in those same pompano. They are. It’s just they would rather do it ON a pier instead of UNDER the hazardous, unstable ruins of one. It is also worth noting that currently, the fish population currently has HALF a pier dropping chunks on them at random intervals…That can’t be good for their stress levels.

You know, I TRULY like people in onesies and small groups, but we keep BREEDING and if you get enough of us in a room, we start to ooze bureaucracy. And when that happens? Forms become triplicate, and budgets become tripled, and no one gets their stinking pier fixed. *sigh*

Posted by joshilyn at July 7, 2008 4:08 PM

Here! Here! Except for the part about you being sick.

Mir's description of that Bridezilla marathon was hysterical. I loved the bit about the purses. : )

Hope you feel better soon.

Posted by: Jill W. at July 7, 2008 4:37 PM

Oh, [cracking up], I now have to go shopping for a Doom Meter. Clearly, I am not shopping at the right stores.

(And also, I am now insanely craving fried chicken)

Posted by: toni mcgee causey at July 7, 2008 5:40 PM

Some folks just LOVE to rain on a parade. Growing up on the "right" coast of Florida, I have fond memories on hanging out on those seemingly skyscraper-like wooden constructs-and even catching a fish or two!

Posted by: Bridget at July 7, 2008 6:41 PM

Honey, since you are a writer you should write to your Senator and Congressional reps for the district that the pier is in. You know the squeeky wheel gets the grease and so forth.

Posted by: Heather P. at July 7, 2008 10:11 PM

Oh the Army. Being an Army wife I know all about the "logic" and "knowledge" they obtain. Just think about all the cute butts in uniform they produce. A company that does that just can't be all wrong when they get something like that SO right.

Posted by: nik at July 8, 2008 12:45 AM

TOTALLY with you on liking people in onesies and small groups, but not en masse. Gggrrr....

I'm convinced the government has a secret branch somewhere, known by some vague acronym of course, whose entire function is to think up idiotic ways to waste time and money while simultaneously making people miserable. I bet they have a great retirement plan too!

Posted by: DebR at July 8, 2008 5:39 AM

I believe in green, but this is taking things a little too far. Rebuild the pier already.

Posted by: Ann Hite at July 8, 2008 9:14 AM

Note to government eavesdroppers: DebR was only joking! She knows there's no such thing as a secret branch of government that thinks up ways to waste money! That would be ludicrous! Everyone knows that a toilet seat really costs $30,000. You just go right back to what you were doing. We're not even paying attention. /paranoia

Posted by: Aimee at July 8, 2008 10:31 AM

Do they not subscribe to the pier serving as a home for the very fishes it is now raining down on. . .which is why all the fishes are there to be caught? I think your post is perfection and should be sent AS IS to the newspaper in Pensacola. AND, they just have the PRETTIEST beaches on the Gulf coast.

Posted by: Roxanne at July 8, 2008 10:32 AM

I totally agree that the rebuilding is taking too long. My family and I went to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa island every year until those hurricanes took out the road to get there. I miss camping on those beaches and wish they would just rebuild the roads already.

Posted by: Karen at July 8, 2008 12:24 PM

Oh yes. Um, dear government eavesdroppers, of course Aimee is completely and totally correct. I was joking. I joke. Lalalalaaaaaa. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted by: DebR at July 8, 2008 10:20 PM

I am STILL sad that you were sick. Because it's all about me.
The only thing that could possibly have made Bridezillas better would have been you. And your snark.
I do adore your snark.

Posted by: Kira at July 9, 2008 12:12 AM