Friday, February 2, 2018

Manatee Tale

Manatees are everywhere in South Florida yet  they rarely get some media love. Most of the attention and headlines go to the sharks, gators, dolphins and killer whales.

Yet manatees are loved down here. So it was a pleasant surprise to see a new Geico commercial that shows how cute they are.

The spot features three manatees sporting funny shirts, "Did Someone Say Tacos'' and "Come At Me Bro.'' By the end of the commercial, there's a fourth sea cow with a pink T-shirt that says "Let's Cuddle."

Thanks to the commercial and some other recent pop culture mentions including Jeopardy! questions, the manatee is finally having its moment.  (There's even a Manatee festival in West Palm Beach to celebrate a lagoon where they enjoy basking in during the winter months.)

I wrote a feature about all the manatee love in the news lately.

Folks who live down here probably have a story of some type of manatee encounter or another. Growing up in Miami Beach, I've seen them gently bobbing behind condos that face Biscayne Bay. Below the surface, they gracefully glide, seemingly lost in their own world as they graze for cabbage, lettuce and vegetables.

But when they surface, they hang around as if to say Hi. (I like to think they're looking for veggie hand outs.) No matter how many times I've seen them, it's always a surprise when they suddenly appear, like a sweet gift from the universe.