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Tom Germond
When and if I retire, I’m going to…
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When and if I retire, I certainly plan to smell the roses – if there is something left of my dysfunctional sinuses.

That said, I don’t have a clue on how I’ll spend my retirement, besides cursing at the obnoxious talking heads on Fox News, MSNBC and the other purveyors of misinformation.

Throwing the TV Brick, a soft foam sports souvenir, at the television doesn’t seem to work against the commentators. Nor the Tampa Bay Rays. If the Rays are not going to put their bats to good use, they should send me one. I might need it to smash my television one day.

Back to the roses. I have some hobbies, such as waging chemical warfare on dust mites, but even my favorite pastimes sometimes lead me down the trail of monotony. Evening beach combing is a great diversion, but déjà vu too often leaves its calling card.

Recently, I saw some sea gulls fighting over a potato chip. They appeared to be the same birds I saw on a previous outing. And I could swear the great blue heron I passed on Redington Shores hasn’t moved 10 feet in two weeks. Lazy beggar.

And who are those little kids who keep leaving holes in the sand for me to trip over when I jog? Along those lines, I wonder how many wedding photos I’ve appeared in taken on Redington Shores? It’s kind of hard to run around a ceremony on the beach, especially when you’re dodging holes in the sand.

Thought about doing more volunteer work when I retire. Guess I’ll have the time, but I’m not so sure how I can help. Remember, I’m the guy who wrote a column with the headline “Help needed to change a light bulb.”

I’ll have more time to give blood and get free movie passes, providing that eating butter-laden theater popcorn doesn’t knock me out of the blood donor pool. Love the stuff, but one kernel is lethal enough to kill a Redington Shores heron. Note to PETA: I’ve never fed movie popcorn to a Redington Shores heron nor kids who leave holes on the beach.

When and if I retire, I guess I’ll continue to serve on my condominium board despite threats from unit owners to hang me. That’s reason number one hundred why I’m pushing the board to get rid of all our oak trees.

When and if I retire, there’s always sports to fall back on. Enjoy going to UF college football and basketball games, but I’m too cheap to get a good seat and always seem to end up in the Bob Uecker section. I’m also too cheap to buy binoculars. And stadium popcorn is not nearly as good as the theater’s.

Speaking of being expensive, air fare might keep me grounded. Always planned on traveling abroad when I retire, but after talking to a neighbor, I might have to pack a tent to afford overseas travel.

My neighbor is leaving soon for a Rhine River cruise trip. Her round-trip air fare to and from Amsterdam is $1,700. Ouch. I’m going to have to give up more than just movie popcorn to afford that. Just as well. See one cathedral and you’ve seen them all.

Gazing at the grim faces of bishops staring at me in paintings give me the willies.

So much for Europe. Guess I’ll “do the Florida thing” when I retire: travel locally and support the state’s economy. Don’t need a passport for that, either. At least not yet.

When and if I retire, I won’t try to write a book. Writing it is only half the battle; marketing it is the coup de grâce. In an ideal world, after you spend thousands of hours writing, rewriting and proofreading your book, you send it to a newspaper editor, who reviews it in a newspaper article and publicizes your book-signing event.

In the real world, the editor who gets the book usually puts it aside and it ends up in the bottom drawer of a file cabinet in the bowels of the newsroom. If you’re lucky, your book could be used as a bookend on a newsroom shelf where somebody might see it and donate it to the friends of the library.

Guess I need retirement counseling. Must broaden my horizons.

Filling holes in the beach sand is for the birds.

Tom Germond is executive editor of Tampa Bay Newspapers. Email tgermond@TBNweekly.com.
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
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Phone: (727) 397-5563
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