Florida isn’t Shaq or Sly or Madonna or Rosie. Florida is Hao, who heard the call of sunshine all the way from China. When Hao discovered his wife cheating shortly after they moved here, he decided to take some time to himself while his divorce came through. He’d heard that Key West was one of the most beautiful places on earth, so he rented a car and started driving US-1.I'm enjoying this clip more now because a group of friends and I just visited Hooters in Coconut Grove. Hillary got a handful of ketchup before she even sat down and Maria got a slimy beer glass. I'd already had a litre or 2 (or 4) of Warsteiner Dunkel at Fritz and Franz. I kept telling the waitress, "We're locals. And we're at Hooters."
Unfortunately, Hao went north. Law enforcement in West Palm Beach clocked him doing well over eighty miles an hour. Hao apologized profusely, brimming with enthusiasm for the open road, babbling about the promise of Key West, effusing on the size and merits of his American Chrysler LeBaron. Instead of ticketing him, which would have been like slapping a child for misbehaving, the cop politely told Hao he was headed in exactly the wrong direction. Hao thanked him to the heavens, turned around, and set off for the Keys.
Somehow, Hao wound up in Tampa.
He refused sympathy over missing out on Key West, explaining that he found a place just as good. In fact, this place was so amazing that Hao spent his entire vacation there. For Hao, the happiest place on earth wasn’t Disney, but a Hooter’s in Tampa.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Deleted Scenes 3: Hao
Part of the finished essay involved Floridians atypical the image the rest of the country has. If this essay gets in, I'll be disappointed that readers didn't get to meet Hao.