Tourists Becoming A One Of The Local ‘Conchs’ Is Not For Everybody
I have never left Key West in the best of health – there’s always that fast rush of last night’s alcohol running through the system like water going through a faucet you didn’t shut off – but I’ve never been in danger of catching “Keys Disease.”
While I love Key West and being there, it’s not the kind of place where I would hang up the flip flops to permanently live. I simply need more variety in my life.
But for some people, Key West is the key to happiness. The no-stress, no-hurries pace is a perfect fit to them. Musicians are particularly susceptible to Keys Disease because they can usually pick up a few gigs in a bar and make a few dollars from a tip jar to survive.
There are also artists, free spirits and of course t-shirt shop proprietors. You meet several of these people while you’re visiting Key West, and they are the true lifeblood of the town. They proudly call themselves “Conchs.”
This is not to say I don’t get Keys Disease while I’m in Key West (and the Keys as a whole). Oh yeah. For a while, sitting in Sloppy Joe’s or at the open-air Schooner Wharf on a warm afternoon with a guy strumming his guitar makes me think, “this wouldn’t be a bad place to toss out the anchor.”
I can write and publish PubClub.com from pretty much anywhere so the thought of becoming a Conch has indeed entered my mind several times.
But in the end, reality hits me like one of those rum drinks at the outdoor tree bar.
One day, tho, you never know for Keys Disease can be a pretty powerful intoxicant.