Thomas J. Madden, Chairman and CEO, Transmedia Group
We got away with it. Pulled it off. It was like we were Bonnie and Clyde robbing a bank. We made off with not thousands, but trillions. And hehe, to this day they never caught us.
And what did we do to feel like bank robbers? I’ll confess, Gov. DeSantis. Before the sun came up early one morning, quarantined out of our minds, my wife Rita and I broke out of our beachfront condo in Boca Raton. We brazenly disobeyed your order. I’m sorry. We walked out on our deserted beach before the sun was fully up. I feel particularly guilty over this because it was so exhilarating!
Beach Walker Guilt!
We were the only ones on the beach walking briskly toward our club, The Boca Raton Resort and Club, when we saw headlights on a vehicle fast approaching us from behind. We thought the game was up. We had had it. We were ready to throw down our cell phones, put our hands up and have our lawyer, Peter Ticktin, beg the court for a merciful sentence.
Then suddenly we were relieved to see it wasn’t the police, it was a man on beach patrol, maybe looking to help birds. Not make jailbirds out of us.
Those of you who remember my book “King of the Condo,” will recall I like to take a humorous approach to life in a Florida condo. That satiric book enabled me to fire back at all the residents who had tormented me when I was their beleaguered President as Trump is today. I had dared to push through an assessment to pay for upgrading the lobby and other improvements. Well, I’m still concocting levity behind the humor counter like in one of my previous blogs: https://maddenmischief.com/2020/03/20/sometimes-laughter-helps-to-relieve-the-tension/
These days we live in an oceanfront condo near the building we own in downtown Boca where my PR firm, TransMedia Group, is headquartered. During this crisis, we’re all working remotely and I had to close our office in Rome, Italy. Yes, these are crazy coronavirus times we’re living in, or hiding out from, that’s producing fresh crops of condo commandos on steroids and making renegades of people like me occasionally sneaking out on a deserted beach in defiance of the law.
Despite all the fears, tension and claustrophobia of being quarantined in our apartments, I still see traces of humor lurking in the lobby, elevators, hallways and common areas of our condo. Sometimes when I get off the elevator and see one of the masked cleaning people pointing a vacuum cleaner rod, I hold up my hands like I’m under arrest. It gets a muffled chuckle.
Today in front of each elevator, there’s a box of tissues and signs exhorting you to use a tissue to cover your finger when pressing your floor button. The other day, my wife Rita and I got on an elevator and there was a man in it who promised not to breathe until we reached the lobby. It was a joke, but I found myself holding my breath for eight floors. We’re all sort of looking at each other, wondering, worrying, trying to judge how healthy someone is and we dare not cough or it could start a stampede.
Today we don’t leave our apartment without our masks and rubber gloves on. The picture below is Rita and I kissing with our masks on. I suppose you could say we’re masking our gallows humor.
Who really knows who’s next to test positive. Also, many of you may not have heard I remarried after losing my beloved Angela to breast cancer last year. I was sleepless in Boca for months until I met Rita after some adventures with Internet dating, which I tell all about in my latest book “Love Boat 78” available on Amazon. And where did I meet my Brazilian wife? Where else? Duffy’s!
Since the pandemic, the Board of Directors at our condo has been taking measures to keep our buildings safe, as it believes, and I couldn’t agree more, it’s prudent to take extraordinary measures to limit the number of visitors to our building and to dramatically increase the cleaning cycle in the common areas. Oh man, are we clean. Residents who were sitting in beach chairs six feet apart now can’t even go on the beach. The jacuzzi’s closed. The gym is shut down. No one’s allowed in the pool. Everyone’s masked. And some of us just can’t help ourselves. Sometimes we become Bonnie and Clyde.