Thursday, August 28, 2014
Did you pack my heavy cable knit wool turtle knit sweater? How about my 50 SPF sun block and bathing suit? Sun block and wool turtle neck can only mean one thing, it’s the third week in July in Key West, and time for the annual Hemingway Day’s Festival and look-alike contest.
Interestingly, not only did Hemingway leave Key West every year in the summer months to escape the heat, he also wouldn’t have been caught dead in a turtle neck sweater there in July. But every year you’ll see white-bearded, heavy men strutting around in the oppressive heat sporting one while trying to look like the Sloppy Joe’s logo, taken from the famous Yosuf Karsh photo.
Now lets set things straight, Mr. Karsh is innocent of any wrong doing here. I’m sure he had no idea perfectly intelligent men would ever do such a silly thing. So there must be, most definitely, a sadistic, diabolical madman loose at Sloppy Joe’s ranking right up there with the Marquee De Sade. Who else could have thought up such a thing?
The other ironic thing is that Hemingway was neither heavy, nor white-bearded when he lived in Key West. Rather, he was a slender, dark haired man sporting just a mustache, yet whenever a contestant tries for that look, seldom have they impressed the contest judges enough to make the finals.
Hemingway Day’s has been going on for 20 years and I can’t even imagine how many sheep have given up their wool in that time. In there defense, in the last few years the owners at Sloppy Joe’s finally added air-conditioning.