Miami Vice? To be sure

This is Officer Lee Groinman. That's right . . . Seattle's Most Apologetic Cop. Before we go any further, I'd like to just take this opportunity to express my regrets for any Dawg fan that I may have unduly influenced in that Miami game. Omens, premonitions, heck I was even startin' to hear voices . . . "26 points sucker!"

My bookie from Reno, Mr. "Tiny" Timmy, was all over my case. "Groinman! What about this 26-point business? What gives?" "It's bank Timmy! Take it to the streets!"

Why I felt so bad, I even had this check from Malamute sittin' on the kitchen table for nearly a month, when after all that time, I did the only thing a fella could do . . . I cashed it.

Sorry Rich.

We got down to Miami late on the Friday before the game, but hey, it was only 7pm. back in Seattle! So to the "Grove" we went! The "Grove" is Miami's nightspot, blocks and blocks of it!

Oh the humanity!!

Oh the lack of parkin' . . . parkin' would become somewhat of a centerpiece of the entire trip, and I'm not talkin' about the Husky team that stayed in the parkin' lot.

Well, we got up early Saturday mornin' and decided to take a stroll along some of Miami's best beaches. The fellas made me go back to the room and change shoes…something about cowboy boots and bermudas' . . . ah, omens.

We'd been makin' some progress along this one ‘ol beach, when my highly trained, yet somewhat bloodshot cop eyes began to detect something amiss.

"Deano! You notice something weird about these short-haired guys and their shorter trunks?"

"Lee, those aren't guys, and those trunks are bikinis, you dork, and yes it seems like we've stumbled upon a topless beach!"

I, of course, knew that, just checkin' on the Desk Sarge. Deano had a couple of 190's last night and I thought it might have set off his highly tuned system.

No chance.

This entire fine (and yet suddenly even more beautiful) mornin' had been peculiar in one sense . . . leaflets. Every few feet we were handed leaflets. Even the cigar-tray totin' ladies pushin' the evils of tobacco were handin' us leaflets.

This time, my resolve was dissolved. In one of the most ingenious bits I'd ever seen! It was like one of those ladies totin' the cigar-trays back in the "I Love Lucy" show. Except that this gal had totally forgotten the top of her outfit! Right there on a topless beach! Why, she had Hondurans! She had Cubans! Heck, she even had domestics! Itty–bitty tiny things that went for nearly nuthin', right up to largest 18 dollar gazebos'!!

After samplin' her tray of goods, I settled on a mid-size 10 dollar Cuban . . . a victory cigar, ya' know. Definitely not a 65-7 cigar, little did I know.

GAMETIME!! We decided to head out to the Orange Bowl a bit early, as none of us had a clue as to how to get there, and nobody spoke Miamian either. >br?>br? South Florida has a barbershop every 2 blocks or so, more barber shops than parkin' spaces . . . made ol' Groinman here, wonder about what went on in those barber shops . . . gambling, no doubt.

Near the Orange Bowl, we came across this ancient Cuban feller, in the street, smokin' a cigar nearly as big as hisself. "You park here…15 dollar block, 20 dollar no-block, you choice block, no-block."

As the place looked like a picture I once saw of Beirut, we paid the 20-spot which meant that nobody could block us in . . . no-block.

I wonder how much the Husky team bus paid . . . no-block?

So after a bit, I'm getting' into it, smokin' my itty-bitty cigar that I got for nearly nuthin'. I'm out in the street with the Cuban . . . "15 dollar block…20 dollar no-block!!" I directed traffic into his lot and sold the place out!

The Cuban and his pals are all laughin' their arses' off (while countin' their money…). "Senor'" he says, while slappin' me on the back, "You just like police!"

Then there was the game . . . so, anyways, after the game was over, we headed back out to our rented van where the Cubans were still laughin' and drinkin' the last of our beer. We bid them ado and headed down to Key West. (Yes, designated driver . . . no-block).

Now it had been a good 20 years since I'd been down to the Southern-most of the Keys, Key West. Oh sure, like most of us, it had changed a bit, but maybe unlike most of us, it had retained whatever quality it once had, for me anyway.

Except for parkin' . . . still a bitch . . . block.

Alas it was our second and last night in Key West and Groinman here, felt the need for some solitude. Not easy in Key West.

I settled back into the scene of crimes of years past . . . Sloppy Joe's Bar! Made famous by Hemingway back in the thirties. It's Hemingway this, Hemingway that at Slop's'. Across the street is another place with a large tree in front of it. On that tree is a sign that reads, "Hemingway pissed here!" Nuthin' like good ol' American competition! Well, the night was windin' down, in the course of the evening, I had befriended a certain barmaid by the name of Carla, from Pittsburgh. She had made friends with the members of the band that was playing at Sloppys' that week, the ZacSee Miller Band.

I really had to get back to the motel, a 2-mile walk.

"Lee, where are you headed?" Asked Carla. "You said your favorite band was "Little Feat." You just gotta hear the band's next set! They do nearly all of "Waiting For Columbus!" It's an audience participation thing, we're pretty good!"

Whose "we?"

Sittin' in Sloppy Joe's, listenin' to a good band do "Little Feat," why, it was just too Southern for Groinman here, to pass on…

Sure enough, the lead singer soon was bellowin' out the verses from the Little Feat song, "All That You Dream."

"I been down, but not like this before . . .
Can't be around this kinda' show no more . . . "

I hear ya buddy…65-7 flashed thru my brain.

The highlight of the night was probably when the band played "Old Folks' Boogie."

"Well ya' know, that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill . . . "

This 80 year-old geezer then got up at his table and played this dazzlin' clarinet solo, the crowd roared! He then bent over to bow and ripped his pants, part of the act I'm sure, but he had me on the floor anyway. Either that highlight, or maybe it was when this Fat Lady got up in her corner and sang "Fat Man In The Bathtub" (with the blues).

Yes, the Fat Lady had sung, a magical night, but it was time to run. I didn't run fast enough, and I had made the BIG mistake of takin' a "shortcut" back to the motel. I didn't really feel the knife, but felt the blood runnin' down from my back into . . . well, my shorts. I spun and kicked the knife loose, it fell into the street, but not before my wallet was lifted and my camera sliced off of my belt! There was my last 24 bucks in that wallet, and hey, that camera still had FILM!

I chased the perp around the corner, just in time to see a white pair of PAMPERS disappear into the night!

I saw my wallet in the light of a streetlamp, I picked it up. A voice from a year ago rattled thru my head.

"Just let it go Lee...let it go."

I could never explain this one away anyway. I might just of well had a neon sign that read: "tourist…sucker!"

Lord have MERCY!!

Oh about that cigar, the 10 dollar Cuban victory cigar? I SAVED IT!! Got me a propane FLAME-THROWER, just waitin' to LIGHT IT!! What the heck…the RECRUITIN' banquet is just around the CORNER!



Oh yeah, the knife and the wound? Doc, it was just a scratch, made a nice souvenir!

Groinman's last note: flying into New York City, we came over Ground Zero. My camera, the 24 bucks, my little knife wound, heck, even the game became meaningless. It was a strange sensation, a moment of silence came over the plane, one that nobody had to call for. Top Stories