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Fly on the Wall, Edition No. 10


On this Halloween, the Fly dresses up as a regular person and buzzes around to see what's up.

Benefits of attendance

Manatee County Commissioner Larry Bustle has probably learned an important lesson: if you don't show up, your friends may volunteer you for stuff.

At Monday's Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting, County Commissioner Carol Whitmore put Bustle's name forward for a committee, and they had a brief laugh over volunteering someone who wasn't present.

The MPO agreed that Bustle was the man for the committee position, as long as he accepts it.

Spoiled rotten

The Manatee County School Board's Monday night meeting was the first time in a while that the Fly emerged from their meeting into the deep, dark night. There was a lot for the board to handle, and the meeting wasn't over when the Fly left, but knowing how board member comments go, the Fly wanted to get home before Conan O'Brien came on.

Real stories of the FHP

Florida Highway Patrol trooper Lucy Papp can tell you some stories, and if you have a strong stomach, you can even listen to them.

"I've scraped brains off headrests" is just one of the pat phrases of this wide-ranging trooper, who steers that brown and tan Ford Expedition through 10 counties. She patiently gave the Fly, who has raised cats but not children, a lesson in child seats and booster seats as well as the relevant laws and all the wonderful tickets and fines she can hand out.

If nothing else, the Fly is driving the speed limit from now on.

Smitty's vs. the city

A little bird at last Friday's Goblin Gathering told the Fly that Bradenton will go another round with an owner of the building housing Smitty's over the Smoothie King decision. The owner wasn't happy to lose at the City Council a while back, and a council member said the owner told the city, "I'll see you in court."

Why doesn't he just sue St. Stephen's, which owns the property the Smoothie King is on? The council member's theory: the owner is still hoping the school will buy him out.

At least, that's the buzz.

Halloween horrors

It's not Halloween until the news media tells parents of all the horrible dangers children face on Halloween. Not just the bad people out there looking to do evil to children or poison them with altered candies, but the drivers who run them over, the people who want to kidnap them, the awful costumes and the devil who wants to convert them.

This year, swine flu is the "horror du jour" and there are countless stories - mostly grabbed from the Associated Press - about how to keep kids safe from H1N1 on Halloween.

The Fly says we in the news business have to scramble this year because it'll be an early Thanksgiving so we'll have to move fast to warn you about how everything you like to eat on the holiday will ruin your health and destroy your life.

Good way to scare up votes

The possible horrors of Halloween candy didn't stop Bradenton City Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey from giving out goodies at the City Council meeting Wednesday night.

She even offered a choice that included sugar-free, but the Fly likes real candy and narfed a mini-$100,000 Bar. Too bad the Fly rests his mandibles in the county.

That's all for this week.


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