In this nation there is a deep division. A stratification of society that has of late been making the round in various news cycles having jumped out of the college newspapers (kids, you still have those ‘newspaper’ thingies?) and into the MSM. Call it the Tale of Two Cities, the 99%, or some other simple to hash couplet, portmanteau, suffex ‘gate,’ or trending device to decry that we are increasingly divided in this land into distinct camps.
This is the division between the Haves and the Havemores.
The Haves are roughly 95% of the 99% of this country. These are people with an abundance that others the world over envy. That is, they envy our flush toilets, running water, hot water on demand (I will miss all these when they’re gone), and refrigeration. Anyone who is not currently homeless has it better than most of the world. Nevertheless, in our Great Land, there are those who make us Haves look like poverty stricken villagers piddling in the mud.
These are the Havemores. They have everything the Haves have as well as extras like extra houses, extra cars, extra nice things as well as people who they call staff, formerly called servants and way back in the day were slaves(African)/indentured servants(Irish).
Strangely, this division in class manifests across the land in the inverse.
When you are in the neighborhood of Havemores you see well manicured lawns, stately drives lined with trees, shrubs or flowers. Now, these people have toys galore. They just also have places to put them. The yachts tucked away in some clubby club, the cars in garages, their art cycles between houses or is on loan to a museum. Even the places that do business with the Havemores tuck everything away. It’s always, clean lines, simple living, minimalism. I was at the [very expensive hotel] on Naples beach and it was clear this division on the beach. In front of [Classy Hotel for Rich People] the beach chairs were spirited away as soon as they were not needed, the people all had but a few things with them, one of them appeared to be a mandatory wine glass. Clean, simple, and minimal. One would be hard pressed to see from what was on display that these people were secret maxamalists. They had piles organized and hidden. But, they left only footprints and took only selfies.
Just over a little on the exact same beach, the same white sand, the same sunset, the Haves had all their shit out. Beach games, coolers, boom boxes (or whatever the kids call ’em these days), blankets, umbrellas, kids toys, towels, inflated things of all shape, size, and buoyancy. The beach after the sun had set and the Haves were waddling home, the Havemores retired to the bar deck and the comfort of the Tiki lights and blue martinis, was a jumble of empty Solo(tm) cups, bits of or entire chunks of large plastic toys, and sundry other leavings. The same heaps one may find at a concert, fair, LARP-a-thon. Just this one was on a pristine beach. Haves are often larger than Havemores. Covered with tattoos. At least in Florida. They are more so they have more about them at all times.
This is also true for the yards of the Haves and most noticeably where these Haves gather in order to aggressively enjoy themselves.
Away from the manicured retirement castles and villas of those final years in Naples and Marco Island this blogger traveled to a much rougher area close to Everglades City on an island called Chokoloskee. This island is Old Florida, the sort of place where people have lived their whole lives or at least there is still a strong network of “locals.” While this island is not unique, the predominance of items surrounding the small houses was so uniform and… well… over the top.
Yard after yard had a collection of grills, boats, trucks, three wheelers, four wheelers, golf carts, more boats, fishing gear, a travel home in case the vacationers wanted to leave their vacation home for a vacation, and sundry other items arranged in order to disarray according to the humor and temperament of each resident.
It was a cavalcade of shit. And yes, I wanted most of it. Especially those crazy dune buggies that maybe you can drive in the swamp or something. No so much those boats that have a fan on them. I don’t think I want to sit in front of a huge fan as I rocket through the water. But if I did. One would be sitting in the yard. Next to the other one I use for parts.
I have my own pile to be aware of. Which I guess makes me one of the Haves. I am not proud to admit that. From Upstate New York to the wilds of Maine in my travels I have seen mile after mile of so many houses that had exploded their contents all about … if their contents were boats, snowmobiles, water skidoos, large plastic children play things, that shed stuffed to the gills with crap and then left to rot. I have seen houses built in the woods where the shit shows up first, and then the house is built so that perhaps part of the landscaping of the Haves is to pre-shit the area.
I enjoyed my time in Ohokoloskee and met a lot of wonderful and friendly people. I enjoyed it in a different way in Naples and met lots of Havemores. These were two worlds that I am surprised exist in the same state, let alone an hour’s drive from one another on the same planet. We all need to look out in to our yards. Depending on how many toys you see, you can perhaps look to better join a side in this cultural-economic war and rest easy since… well, you have it pretty damn good either way.