|A Florida woman has been arrested, booked and required to post a $1,500 bond while awaiting trial for riding a manatee.
She could get as much as six months in the slammer.
It sure is great to see our law enforcement system in action.
Thankfully, they got the water-logged Bonnie Parker off the street (or out of the water) in time. Next thing we knew, she’d be lassoing sea gulls.
To be honest, I didn’t know it was against the law to ride a manatee.
But ignorance of the law is no excuse, as the manatee-riding Ma Barker has learned.
I checked out a photograph that accompanied the wire-service story. It showed a large, blubbery creature with pale, wrinkled skin frolicking in the water, accompanied by a manatee.
Only kidding. It was easy to distinguish the madam from the manatee. She was the one wearing the red halter top.
OK, I’ll stop.
The rider in truth appeared to be attractive, as manatee riders go.
She was described as a 53-year-old woman who said she started out by touching the manatee, then petting it, and before she knew it things kinda got out of hand.
The next thing anyone knew, she was riding around on the big lug’s back.
It was like a combination of sea hunt and the office Christmas party.
When the swat team kicked down the lady’s door and confronted her with the incriminating photograph, all she could say in her defense was that she was “new to the area.”
Look, I’m a fairly hard-line, support-your-sheriff f sort when it comes to cracking down on criminal behavior, but I feel a tad sorry for the woman.
She didn’t know she was doing anything wrong, and what’s the harm, really?
It wasn’t like she was wearing spurs. Maybe the manatee enjoyed it.
Most of us who grew up in rural areas of the South have done our share of equally crazy things. It usually starts out something like:
“Look, Harley Bob – a manatee! Watch this!”
Or preceded by the famous last words: “Here, hold my beer …”
This is not to imply that the lady in question had a beverage that required holding, nor to suggest that she hopped aboard the manatee on a dare or to impress her boyfriend. Sometimes, you feel the urge to ride a manatee for the same reason you climb a mountain: Because, it is there.
But of course, we don’t want to encourage such maritime hijinks, because, according to the story, it’s not good for the manatee – although as far as we know it didn’t file charges.
The case of the manatee madam should serve as a good lesson for all of us: Before we do something really stupid in public, make sure nobody around us has a camera.
And if you want to ride bareback in the ocean, stick to sea horses.