Greetings, faithful readers (assuming there are any). As summer has begun, we have had busy, fun-filled weekends in Port O’Connor. El Hyena of course appreciates that busy weekends are a good thing for the fishing related businesses, stores, restaurants, motels, etc. in POC, and he is very happy for them. The fact that it might personally inconvenience El Hyena, and perhaps make him a trembling, drooling nervous wreck is of no import.

El Hyena loves Warrior’s Weekend, and commends the many volunteers involved. It is a noble and righteous way to show recognition and gratitude to our nation’s veterans for the sacrifices they have made. For this reason, it would be petty and unjustified for El Hyena to whine about it. Knowing El Hyena as you do, however, you should not be surprised that he will whine about it (just a teeny bit) anyway.

El Hyena tries very hard not to be a wienie, and to remain steadfast and manly when faced with stress. After all, “relaxation” should be accompanied by some stress, shouldn’t it ? Being the 51st person in line for a breakfast taco, or waiting an hour to get his boat launched at a ramp ten miles away from Froggy’s (the dedicated boat ramp for Warrior’s Weekend) is no big deal in the greater scheme of things. El Hyena is happy to do all this but, as you know, he’ll probably whine about it anyway.

This year, the big crowds were not the biggest feature of Warrior’s Weekend, for on the long awaited Saturday morning the wind was blowing at least 30 to 35 miles per hour. El Hyena’s boat is not large enough to accommodate guest Warriors anyway, so the fact that he was a lily-livered coward for not venturing out on the water should be, in all fairness, forgiven. At least El Hyena thinks so.

The following weekend was the Memorial Day holiday, another glorious occasion. Fortunately, it was not as windy, but the crowds seemed to be twice as large. Perhaps that was because the entire population of Harris County, Texas was in Port O’Connor for three days. Again, El Hyena realizes that crowded weekends are a boon to Port O’Connor’s many businesses, and the rest of us should just “grin and bear it”. It seems that summer holidays are Port O’Connor’s equivalent to the Friday after Thanksgiving at Wal-Mart. It is our patriotic duty to be trampled at Speedy Stop.

El Hyena loves and admires Speedy Stop. It is an extremely well run business, and we all depend upon it. At Speedy Stop, one can get just about anything, from a cup of coffee to a $400 ice chest. El Hyena wonders, however, if Speedy Stop was really built to accommodate one and a half million people at one time.

Bur don’t worry, El Hyena survived. To aid in his recovery, El Hyena recently journeyed to The Woodlands to visit his parents. To get there and back, El Hyena spent some quality time in Houston area freeway traffic where he experienced more huge crowds. The only difference is on the freeway, the crowd is moving at 70 or 80 miles per hour, enclosed is large, heavy, and potentially life-threatening metal objects known as “motor vehicles”, all racing along within a few feet of each other.

Houston area freeway traffic is all kinds of fun. Where else can one see his or her whole life pass before one’s eyes with such frequency ? In addition to that stimulation, El Hyena has come to see driving in Houston area freeway traffic as a fascinating sociological study, where he can observe all kinds of people with all kinds of attitudes, resulting in all kinds of behavior. One can learn a lot about people by the way they drive in freeway traffic. Because El Hyena prefers to drive in a cautious, safe, and courteous manner, some drivers might judge El Hyena to be a “scaredy cat”, or a “moron”. Some people think “real men” should exceed the speed limit at all times, sharply veer from one lane to another, and mercilessly tailgate those stupid enough to obey the speed limit.

Effective driving in freeway traffic requires a little planning and forethought. El Hyena likes to pick a lane of traffic and stay there for as long as possible until he will need to exit the freeway. This is not always as easy as it may sound, both because of the way freeways are sometimes configured and because of the way other drivers might behave. To do this without being maimed and/or killed, El Hyena tries to begin the necessary maneuvering gradually and miles in advance. Sometimes there are adequate warnings of approaching exits, but sometimes not so much. Other drivers often seemed surprised by their need to change lanes, so they need to make a last-second dash across several lanes of traffic cutting close in front of, or through, other vehicles. Not to worry, El Hyena is happy to slam on his brakes and experience a dramatic increase in blood pressure to accommodate them.

Tailgaters are another of El Hyena’s favorite kinds of drivers. These are people who are entitled to drastically exceed the speed limit and terrify others because they are important people in a hurry to do important things. Everyone else is a “moron”. Everyone else is expected to get out of their way, even when there is no place to go because of other traffic. Apparently that is our problem, not theirs.

Fortunately, this is all the time El Hyena has for whining at present. El Hyena will now attempt to prepare himself for the Fourth of July three day weekend. Maybe he should go to Houston. There probably won’t be anyone there because they will all be in Port O’Connor.

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