Spud's New Year's Resolution
was to seek out warmer climates during the winter months. He wasted
no time in making good on this promise and in January of 1998, he packed
up the sun screen and headed south to St. Petersburg, Florida. He booked
in to St. Pete's historic pink palace, the Don Cesar Beach Resort where
he hoped to spend time working on his golden lustre in the sun and potato-surfing
in the Gulf of Mexico.
Except for a few hours of blue sky, the
warm tropical weather was nowhere to be had. Instead, thanks to the
Spanish weather dictator El Nino, the hot spot was turned into a windy
and wet hurricane breeding ground. Spud was happy that he refused the
travel agent's advice on staying at Typhoon Tony's Mobile Home Trailer
Seeking indoor activities as an alternative,
Spud visited the Florida International Museum and it's fabulous exhibition
on the Titanic (what is it with Floridians and water disasters?). The
museum was crawling with security; physically accosting anyone trying
to take a photograph of a chipped dinner plate from the ship's galley
or any of the other relics.
Never one to have authority stand in his
way, Spud smuggled his camera inside his plastic body and passed the
metal detector. When the opportunity arose, he jumped onto the bow of
a scale model of the ship and snapped away. Immediately security scrambled
and chased the plastic potato through the building, but to no avail.
Spud used his compact size to his advantage and eluded capture by jumping
into an air duct.
Hoping to flee the 'heat' of his
perilous escape, he headed down to St. Petersburg's famous pier. The
local ruffian pelicans situated there didn't take too kindly to Spud
feeling he was muscling in on their feeding grounds. Efforts to reason
with the birds proved fruitless and they resorted to violent tactics
knocking him clear out of his shoes.
Visibly shaken by the incident, Spud stumbled
back to the resort where he promptly packed his body and left town.