Guest column | Charlie Reese

A dream of unity, both near and far

Dreams come to me of the strangest sorts.

Sometimes, I dream of peace.

It isn't enough that in this world we have divisions among people that has caused strife and pain the world over. Shiites vs. Sunnis. Liberals vs. Conservatives. Second Amendment fanatics vs. gun-control advocates. Yankee fans vs. Red Sox fans.

But now, right here in Pasco County, another division roils yet another segment of humanity's vast sea: Traditional nudists vs. nontraditional nudists.

To paraphrase Rodney King, "Why, oh why, can't we all just get a thong?"

As reported recently by the St. Petersburg Times, Caliente Resort and Spa is faced with suspension from a traditional nudist association due to some nontraditional nudist parties, and now, wouldn't you know it, lawyers are involved.

When lawyers are filing briefs at nudists resorts, and employees of the nudist community are worried about their reputation, you know that irony is not taking a vacation this summer.

So, I keep dreaming.

The Cypress Creek Town Center was put on hold earlier this spring, and now the mall developers are uncertain when they will resume construction. Right now, it's a giant dust bowl. I dreamed of a solution.

Forget the stores. Who needs more clothing stores with so many nudists — traditional and nontraditional — around? Put the new Rays stadium there.

Since the mall development got bogged down over what to do with the wetlands on site, and since the Rays' owners shelved the waterfront park idea, I think this solution bears more attention from anybody who is awake.

The next dream finds me at a Pasco County School Board meeting. Superintendent Heather Fiorentino announces that after a painstaking and exhaustive review of the district's finances, she found where they could cut $16-million from the current budget without impacting programs and, in fact, still provide for step pay increases for teachers.

Praise and accolades come from all corners of the county. The media, teachers, administrators and residents all hail her as a magician and wizard with regard to her budget prowess.

But, at the very next meeting, the board asks her to resign because it is the district's policy to not employ wizards.

The next dream actually comes closer to a prediction.

It is early November 2008. For the first time in 48 years, a sitting U.S. senator is elected president.

Half the country is disappointed, half elated. But, surprisingly, and unlike past elections, a divisive society does not result. Pundits and sociologists and experts from every field are at first mystified by this rare phenomenon in which animosity is no longer evident and universal love of neighbor permeates all levels of society.

Shortly, everyone agrees that the recent World Series win by the Tampa Bay Rays became the unifying action which demonstrated that lefties and righties can play on the same team and be victorious. Rays paraphernalia is sought after the world over.

Shiites and Sunnis are soon seen wearing this common garb, and centuries-old divisions melt away like a Scott Kazmir slider.

Muslims are publishing cartoons of the prophet wearing a Rays cap, as Allah would certainly will it. Hate is eradicated everywhere (except between Yankees and Red Sox fans), and peace swiftly settles over the globe like developers on a Pasco pasture.

And my wife wonders why it's so hard to wake me up some days!

Charlie Reese lives in Lutz.

A dream of unity, both near and far 06/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 9:06am]

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