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Yankees stay home - at least in the summer

By Tim McDonald, Contributor

Fla. - I used to think Yankees were at least smart enough to stay home in the summer. Flocking to Florida in the winter to escape the snow and the ice made sense. We expected the annual migration of the snowbirds, like certain kinds of geese.

We counted on it. We braced ourselves for it. We set our cash registers to it, like clockwork.

But, now I'm starting to see more of them here in the summer. They seem to be everywhere, like stray dogs. Our golf courses are full of them, with their pale, white skin and black socks pulled up to their knees. Their funny, abrupt accents. God forbid, some of them are even starting to come down here to live full time.

What is this? Some new form of global warming?

Now that summer's almost gone, I feel the need to set the record straight, so that you Yankees will have more information to make informed decisions for next year.

Don't come to Florida in the summer, it's unlivable. We natives have adjusted to the hell on earth that is Florida in the summertime, like those microscopic bugs that have learned to live in boiling water. Maybe you've started to buy the marketers' baloney about Florida's "year-round climate."

Rethink this. Florida doesn't have a "year-round climate." Yes, we have seabreezes, but all they do is blow around the hot air. Florida has a climate that's not conducive to life on earth and it is called summer.

It starts to heat up in June, reaches a boiling point in July and August, and September is like the broiler after you've turned it down a notch. It simmers, scorching to the touch. It isn't 'til October that life renews itself and people come crawling out of their air-conditioned houses to see the sky, as if awakened from a nuclear nightmare.

When I get off the golf course in the summer, I'm soaked through to the bone with sweat and grit. Today, I walked off the course, pulled out my wallet and discovered everything in it was soggy with my own sweat. Even my credit card. I enjoy this. You won't.

it's an all-encompassing, white heat. The sky is blistering white, not the pretty blue of the post cards. It seeps into your pores and your DNA. In 100 years, native Floridians will have evolved to the point they can live on the sun.

The humidity is so high you can drink it. Literally hold out a glass and fill her up. You walk out the door in the morning and swim through it. it's so hazy with humidity you can barely see the flag on a par 3.

And the bugs. Don't get me started. The mosquitoes are like an invading, ravenous army, intent on rapeand pillage. They carry all sorts of disease that we have developed immunity to. I'd hate to see you Yankees get malaria. And believe me, mosquitoes love golf courses, no matter how much insecticide they pour on.

No-see-ums are right behind. These are smaller - thus, the name - but even more annoying. They take big chunks out of you and all you can do is aim for the place where they just bit, in a futile attempt to swat them.

And the love bugs are like locusts, only they don't destroy fields, they destroy what little patience you have left. They don't bite, they just get into everything, into every little crack and crevice you didn't know you had, fornicating like heathens and then diving into your gin and tonic and fornicating even while they're drowning.

Those are just a few of the bugs we have that erupt in summer. There are many others that bite, chew, spread, straddle, blind, maim and kill. Then there are the reptiles hiding under those palmettos you think are so tropical. Rattlesnakes, moccasins, coral snakes, all poisonous and potentially lethal.

Those are the little things. Now, you have to contend with the big things, like hurricanes. You've seen the news? Florida is a hurricane magnet. Hurricanes are hitting Florida - all of the South for that matter - like Ali used to pepper Joe Frazier with that left jab.

It's only going to get worse. The glaciers are melting, the Gulf of Mexico is heating up and Florida is a punching bag for every storm trying to make a name for itself. If you've never been through a hurricane, let me tell you what it's like: It's like you went to hell and they said you were too bad, and sent you to some place worse.

This isn't a PR brochure telling you this, Yankees. It's a Florida native telling you how it really is, for your own good. So next summer stay home and leave all those summer golf discounts to us natives. We're suffering down here. It's the least you can do.

Tim McDonaldTim McDonald, Contributor

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

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