. . . So a guy was at the gas pump with a long line behind him. He pumped his gas, and then went in the convenience store and spent several minutes getting coffee. When he came back out, a guy started punching him and knocked the coffee out of his hand. Was this a justifiable assault?
. . . Progress Energy Conspiracy Update: The day that Maitland Mayor Sascha Rizzo was quoted in this column about Progress Energy, his power was restored.
. . . Do you know why Charley was headed for St. Petersburg and then suddenly and inexplicably turned in this direction? Gay Days. Pat Robertson warned us this would happen.
. . . On a more positive note, mulch should be cheap.
. . . And now for the people whining about life without electricity, here is a note from Terri Rogers. She wrote this in response to Wednesday's column about the power crews working in Central Florida.
. . . "Dear Mike: I enjoyed your story on the line crews and tree trimmers. My husband is a lineman with Pike Electric. I have only seen him for a few hours in the past two weeks. It probably will be at least four more weeks before myself or our three little girls -- ages 7, 6 and 2 -- will see him. We worry day in and day out about his safety. These men work endless hours under horrid conditions, as if their job isn't dangerous enough.
It deeply saddens me that people are mad because they are not in their lush homes watching TV. These brave men are doing everything in their power to get these lines fixed. They work as long and hard as they can because they want the power on more than the customers do, so they can go home. My husband is working with a sprained ankle and both elbows are cut open. He has kidney stones, a condition that is worsened by the heat and dehydration.
He doesn't complain about any of that. He just talks about the devastation that these people must be feeling. Being from South Georgia, I guess we are just of a different breed."
Dear Terri: Hear, hear.
. . . "Dear Mike: That was your best column yet. I read it and then jumped in my car and drove to the fronton before 7 a.m. and honked my horn in thanks. Those trucks were moving out. What a sight! Progress Energy has its faults, but they have done a masterful job logistics-wise in an effort to solve a monumental problem."
. . . Progress Energy Conspiracy Update: Curtis Holland just got his power turned back on.
. . . Some advice from an expert. I lived more than two months on the Appalachian Trail without electricity and often in very hot conditions. Here are some pointers. Always have sex in the other person's sleeping bag. If you have a clean sock, soak it in the nearest stream and wrap it around your neck. If you don't have a clean sock, use a dirty sock. Butter-flavored Crisco stays good for two months in a backpack. Spread peanut butter on uncooked ramen noodles for a delicious, crispy treat.
. . . On the Appalachian Trail, we often had to deal with people who snored in the shelters. They sounded not unlike generators. We usually tied them up, poured honey on them and threw them outside for the bears. We can't do that here with people who run their generators at night because we have no bears. But we could strip them, tie them up and throw them outside naked after spraying mosquito repellent on everything from their belly buttons up and their knees down.
. . . Because I can't watch the Wizard of Oz, I'm reading it. The original story is macabre stuff. The wood-chopping Tin Man used to be a real man, but the Wicked Witch of the West put a spell on his ax and he began chopping off all his limbs and even his own head. A tin worker replaced everything. With only his natural torso left, the woodchopper then cut himself in half. It was replaced with a heartless, tin torso. With no heart, he no longer could love the munchkin girl of his dreams. That is why he wanted a heart so badly.
. . . Hey, where is the Tin Man when we need him most?
. . . Some of the out-of-state power restoration crews took Wednesday's column wrong, apparently objecting to being called filthy and a ragtag bunch when they came in at the end of the day. The point of the column was to show how hard they work. And when you work that hard in the Florida heat for 15 hours, you're pretty filthy afterward. By the way, none of the Progress Energy managers were filthy.
. . . Progress Energy Conspiracy Update: Mike Thomas is never getting his power turned back on.
Mike Thomas can be reached at 407-420-5525 or email@example.com.