A punky reggae party

I’m goin’ to a party
And I hope you are hearty
So please don’t be naughty
For it’s a punky reggae party (Bob Marley)

Flutterby's neighbors in Vero Beach

There goes the neighborhood... Flutterby in front of Vero Beach's posh homes

From Flutterby’s mooring to shore is about 150 feet. It’s a lot farther, if you measure it in dollars.

Tonight, there’s a birthday party at one of the houses on shore. The lawn is full of dressed-up people, and they’ve got a live reggae band. What I can’t figure out are the two chickens in the yard. I’ve never noticed those before. Perhaps they were a birthday present. Perhaps they’re serving really, really fresh chicken for dinner. Or maybe that’s the backup singers.

OK, that’s enough about the chickens. I must be hungry. I wonder what kind of people can afford to hire such a professional-sounding band for a birthday party?

No boring ol’ farts, no boring ol’ farts
No boring ol’ farts will be there
Singin’ no boring ol’ farts, no boring ol’ farts
No boring ol’ farts will be there (another verse from the same song)

My curiosity sends me to Zillow.com, where I look for information about our shoreside neighbors. The house with the party is just over a million dollars, but it’s not for sale. The one that is, though, is even closer; it’s the one whose windows we look right into. It’s a 3-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath rambler with a swimming pool. You can buy it for just over a million dollars. Or rent it for $7500 a month.

Or sit out here on a mooring and look into the windows, for $400 a month.

Turn your lights down low
And pull your window curtains…
(from another Bob Marley song)

It’s a good thing I like reggae, and the birthday party band in particular. I’m sure everyone over there is shouting, unsuccessfully, to be heard over the music, like this:

John: “Blah-de-blah-de-blah chicken?”
Mary: “No, I don’t want to dance with your chicken.”
John: “I said, blah-de-blah-de-blah CHICKEN!”
Mary: “You want me to to remodel your kitchen?”

Out here, we can’t turn the music off, but we can easily talk over it. It’s like our own private dinner concert (no boring ol’ farts here!). Because this is Vero Beach — known as Zero Beach to the younger set — the music stops at precisely 9:30 pm. I’m disappointed.

I once had a business trip to Semiahmoo, a stunningly beautiful resort near the Canadian border in Washington, with two coworkers. When the desk clerk handed out room keys, two of them faced the water, and one faced the parking lot. The two other women looked at me in consternation. I had the most seniority, so they were certain I’d claim one of the waterfront rooms, leaving them to fight over the other one. Instead, I picked up the parking lot room key, saying, “Enjoy the view. I’m going sailing tomorrow, and if you count both sides and the transom, I’ll have over 75 feet of waterfront property all weekend.”

That comment comes back to me as I listen to the reggae-chicken birthday party. Tonight, they’reĀ  enjoying their waterfront property and sharing it with their friends. But they are paying an awful lot just to be looking at us! And we are not paying very much to be looking in their windows, enjoying their music, and laughing about their chickens.

Let me tell you, it takes a joyful sound
To make the world go ’round
It takes a joyful sound
So come a come and rock your boat (one last verse from Bob Marley)

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