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Hi everybody,

Many long and boring hours of spraying Cogon grass have given birth to yet
another story to clog up your inboxes.  Here we go with a story of two
misfits who did the unthinkable.

The Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival was upon us.  A long hot
summer and fall of battling the last remnants of the cancerous herbage that
we call invasive pest plants has left me with no time to rally a team and no
desire to put forth the effort to make a serious challenge.  Ah, a weekend
of birding with friends and perhaps leading a few field trips.  Andy's
Father's Son sounds like a man without a country.  His former team is not up
to his level, a feeling I can definitely relate to, and he wanders
aimlessly.  He could join an intermediate team.  "Who's in intermediate
division this year?"  Once again, I don't know.  A familiar twinge is felt.
The Canadians are coming back.  Could that be competitive fire?  Do I sit
out for another year and get softer still?  Let's take the hint and form a
pseudoteam with Andy.  With only two members, we can't officially compete.
It will give us a chance to hone our competitive skills during 29 hours of
male bonding.  Besides, we may even beat the Canadians.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

Sorry, but that is such a ridiculous idea.  Two of us with limited scouting
beating one of the best birding teams on the continent, yeah right!

So, the phone call is made.  A strategy session is set.  Andy asks his Mom
if Dave can come over and talk about stuff.  Actually, David wants to show
Andy how to plan a birding competition and get a free supper.  He can plan
this by himself.  So the scouting strategy is laid out.  Only three days,
can't do much in that time.  An experimental route is planned; what the
heck, it doesn't count anyway.  Friday afternoon I decide to call the
scouting off and hit the festival HQ.  I see many friends; some I would want
on my team if it weren't for there commitments to programs and field trips.
It is decided that we will hit the crossroads a way down south in Dixie for
an unbeatable seafood dinner.  I didn't have to worry about choosing soup or
salad when eating with Andy.  He gets the salad, I get the soup, and I get
to eat both.  Hmm, I'm going to spend the next 29 hours with a boy who
doesn't like pizza?  I dunno.  After dinner we head to The Great Outdoors to
be serenaded by Karaoke King, Jeff Bouton.  His duet with the other Jeff (a
local karaoker) of To all the Girls We've Loved Before was a great finale to
the evening.  Through the next two days, Andy would comment several times
(he is prone to repeat himself) that Jeff was pretty good at Karaoke.  Keep
your mind on birds, son!

So we get to bed late, a few hours of sleep and the experimental route
begins.  The lack of sleep doesn't matter too much, we aren't really
competing anyway.  Ha ha ha ha ...  Oh yeah, I already said that.

In chapter two we hear the story of how the two misfits fared in the rain
and misery of the Sunshine State in November.

David Simpson
Fellsmere, FL
[log in to unmask]

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