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Tom Germond
When and if I retire, Iím going toÖ
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When and if I retire, I certainly plan to smell the roses Ė†if there is something left of my dysfunctional sinuses.

That said, I donít have a clue on how Iíll 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 doesnít 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 dťjŗ 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 hasnít 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 Iíve appeared in taken on Redington Shores? Itís kind of hard to run around a ceremony on the beach, especially when youíre dodging holes in the sand.

Thought about doing more volunteer work when I retire. Guess Iíll have the time, but Iím not so sure how I can help. Remember, Iím the guy who wrote a column with the headline ďHelp needed to change a light bulb.Ē

Iíll have more time to give blood and get free movie passes, providing that eating butter-laden theater popcorn doesnít 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: Iíve never fed movie popcorn to a Redington Shores heron nor kids who leave holes on the beach.

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

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

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. Iím going to have to give up more than just movie popcorn to afford that. Just as well. See one cathedral and youíve seen them all.

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

So much for Europe. Guess Iíll ďdo the Florida thingĒ when I retire: travel locally and support the stateís economy. Donít need a passport for that, either. At least not yet.

When and if I retire, I wonít try to write a book. Writing it is only half the battle; marketing it is the coup de gr‚ce. 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 youíre 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
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