Hollywood Elsewhere will be checking out of the Duval House this morning, and with few regrets. Thanks to the Key West Film Festival guys for putting me up here, but life is short. My second-floor Duval room is cool but the wifi is all but worthless up there — the only location where it really functions is on the front porch adjacent to Duval Street — and the TV is showing distorted images. Plus the bathroom sink is all stopped up. Plus I had a marginally unpleasant encounter last night with a couple of scurvy, cigarette-smoking hinterland guys. They’re almost certainly Trump supporters, I figured, and I have to admit I gave one of them a mildly dirty look before we exchanged words around 11 pm or so.
I was filing my Burt Reynolds piece on the porch, and they came sauntering over from whatever bar they’d been drinking at. The younger guy (buzzcut, slender, upper-torso tattoos) said to me, “Are you still working on that computer?” I just looked at him. Asshole. The older guy (cutoffs, cigarette stink, sandals) asked if I was a hotel employee. “No, I’m just here as a guest,” I said. “Well, this area of the porch is ours,” he said. “We paid for that room so this is our territory so you need to sit elsewhere, if you don’t mind.” I didn’t care so I said “sure” and he said “thank you.” A front porch at any hotel is common territory for all guests, of course, but I figured it wasn’t wise to argue with a pair of louts who’d had a few. Hey, John Mellencamp — were you were thinking of fine upstanding citizens like these guys when you wrote “ain’t that America”?
I’m off to the Merlin House around noon.
Trump donkeys at the Duval.